to wire, or not to wire...

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by d.magnitude, Jan 19, 2011.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Boy, I have a real beeginer's question.

    I started last year w/ plastic foundation but felt that they took rather long to draw it out, so this year I'm starting all my new hives w/ wax foundation.

    I have crimp wire foundation, ready to be installed, and assumed that I'm supposed to cross-wire my frames as well. Is that not the case? It just recently struck me as perhaps redundant, but as I said I've never used wax foundation before, so please... tell me what to do.

    Thanks,
    -Dan
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0

  3. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wire everything except for thin cut comb foundation used for chunk honey.
     
  4. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I wire everything except for thin cut comb foundation used for chunk honey.
     
  5. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    My apologies. I missed the same question previously posted with the same title, not 10 posts down the page. :oops:

    I read it now. I'll wire after all, just thought I might get away with saving a step. Sorry again.
     
  6. G3farms

    G3farms New Member

    Messages:
    5,162
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Well that's not a problem, no need to be sorry. Now you know for sure :thumbsup:
     
  7. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    d.magnitude, I'm glad you started this thread though because you brought something new up with regard to getting bees to draw out plastic foundation...

    I run with nearly all unwaxed plastic foundation now (except for the comb that gets used for cut-comb honey), because I think the benefits far outweigh the problems. I used to think they would only draw it out if it was pre-waxed, but I was wrong. I have found that the trick to getting them to draw it out without fail is to use one of those pesticide applicator sprayers to spray them with 1:1 syrup just prior to giving them to the bees (I use the pesticide applicator because a hand-pump spray bottle like the ones window cleaner comes in wear my hand out within just a few boxes). They lick the syrup off them and start drawing them out at the same time (as long as daytime temps are within the range that bees can work with wax, I think somewhere around 70+ F). The syrup also helps simulate a flow which will spur the bees to draw out comb even if there isn't a flow on (which they won't normally do)... so I get better results doing that than just giving them wax foundation. Just something to think about in the future when deciding what to try down the road.
     
  8. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Bens writes:
    I used to think they would only draw it out if it was pre-waxed, but I was wrong. I have found that the trick to getting them to draw it out without fail is to use one of those pesticide applicator sprayers to spray them with 1:1 syrup just prior to giving them to the bees (I use the pesticide applicator because a hand-pump spray bottle like the ones window cleaner comes in wear my hand out within just a few boxes).

    tecumseh:
    I am not certain what experience you bring to bee keeping Ben and I really hope this comment does not offend. In the 'black cats' normal mode I will make my comments anyway and if my comments do offend, then just let me post my apology here before hand.

    I suspect that what you 'think' you are seeing here aligns pretty well with BF Skinner's (he is kind of the fist fellow that developed smart bomb technology using a bird back in WWII) superstitious chicken. That is you (or the chicken in Mr Skinner's case) see some random event and come to 'believe' this random event is pivotal in something transpiring when in fact it is just another random event. Nothing that you describe in the above paragraph is essential in the mechanism for bees to either pull or generate bee wax. Mr Skinner warning is an excellent caution for new bee keepers and old bee keeper to always keep in mind.
     
  9. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

    Messages:
    396
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    For what it's worth, when I started to feel that my plastic frames were being drawn slowly, I did spray them with 1:1 syrup (sometimes w/ some HBH thrown in), some frames more than once. They still seemed slow. That being said, I had not used wax foundation before so had no direct comparison, but other local new keeps who were using wax were having much better (faster) luck.

    I do see the benefits of plastic once it's drawn, and I certainly don't mind having it in my hives now that it is. I'm sure I have plenty of experimenting ahead of me before I decide what works for me.

    -Dan

    ps- Tec, I like the Skinner reference. My concentration in undergrad was the psychology of learning, and my prof. was a former student of Skinner's and knew him personally.
     
  10. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Dan... I have been keeping bees a long time and have read quite a lot of stuff along the way. Over the years I have seen a lot of stuff come along first in books, then magazines and now over the net that appears to me to pretty well qualifies for Skinner's warning. I think the first item that comes to mind is cluster frames (these likely will reappear in just a year or so as a cure for everything from athlete feed to balding in the bee world). There are a couple of current items that seem to qualify but to mention these ruffles feathers.

    Anyway I guess those folks that recognize this problem know that it is good to repeat your experiment again and again and always look at your controls until you know exactly how some experiment will come out.

    best to ya'....
     
  11. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

    Messages:
    978
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Oh not at all. I know that what works with my bees and in my experience doesn't always work for anyone else; and even if it does work for some, it may not be the direction they want to go with.

    One of the things I like about the forums is that we can get multiple points of view from them and then pick and choose what path we want to take in our own apiaries. More often than not there is more than one right way, but if we choose wrong, the bees will let us know.
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ben writes: "One of the things I like about the forums is that we can get multiple points of view from them and then pick and choose what path we want to take in our own apiaries. More often than not there is more than one right way, but if we choose wrong, the bees will let us know."

    I agree completely.

    I run permadent waxed plastic foundation in wood frames. When I started I did it this way and really have nothing else to compare it to. I assume by what I have read that bees will draw out wax foundation quicker but do not have my own experience to verify it. I have found that for me, the benefits of the plastic outweigh the negatives. With some of the frames I do have that have wax foundation, (came with nucs, etc.) there were some pretty ugly ones (cull). With plastic if the girls get a little inventive with their comb drawing, I simply scrape it off and put it back.

    This discussion has me thinking about trying wax foundation just to see. Actually I was toying with it for another reason as well. I saw somewhere that if you wanted a simple way to raise queens, use wax foundation and cut vertical zig-zags (/\/\//\/) and drop the frame into a queenless hive or something like that. Apparently it makes for easy to remove queen cells, (something that is not so easy with plastic foundation).

    Perry
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perry writes:
    use wax foundation and cut vertical zig-zags (/\/\//\\/).

    tecumseh:
    I think pretty much the CC Miller method of queen rearing. this method takes a good bit of coordination and timing... first in getting the wax partially pulled and then getting 'the queen mother' to lay in the frame and then exposing this frame (at the proper time) to a good number of queenless bees. this method is very simple in the limited number of things required to raise cells... really just an empty frame, some scrap of sheet wax and a knife. the timing of ripe cells ready to harvest is somewhat more difficult using this process.
     
  14. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    "CC Miller method"
    Thanks tecumseh, I have a bad habit of seeing this stuff when I'm perusing and never take the time to jot some of it down. Then I think about it later and try to remember where I saw it and what it was called. :oops:
    It must be an age thing. I got a Dance/Dance revolution game for the Wii for my 9 yr old son and when I got on the mat to give it a go he says "Careful dad, don't break a hip" and starts laughing! :shock:
     
  15. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perry... the CC Miller method is an excellent way to begin rearing some small number of queen cells most especially for someone new to beekeeping (doesn't require grafting) or anyone with limited 'bee hive' type resources. If you are just starting out it is a nice place to begin.