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Frame foundations


What is everyone using for frame foundations? I plan on getting plastic coated with beeswax.


That is what I have purchased.


Everything!!! :smile: I have plastic coated with wax, wired wax, unwired wax and special foundationless frames from Bee Thinking.


I have Wax Foundation, Wax Starter strips, Plastic foundation and some wired but mainly going with Wax Starter strips to keep any pathogens to a minimum - especially for any swarms I catch


Are you putting bait hives out or are you on your council swarm collectors list?


Both - I’m on the group collector list and will put out bait hives


I ordered 5 frame nucs but I have to fill the rest of the 8 frame slots. Then I’ll have extra.


It’s a wonderful way for novices to get going. You get to practice swarm retrieval and you get to experience different bees. A word of warning. If you are driving any distance to check out a swarm make sure you get them to send you a picture. I think I went out to more Bumblebees in my first season than I care to remember.
It’s nice to catch swarms with a bait hive too…something really satisfying about it :slight_smile:


I’m not getting swarms. How did my question get hijacked? Thanks for everyone’s response.


Threads do drift. Sometimes you pick up really helpful information you were not seeking in the first place.
If we have offended you then blame Valli…she is a moderator and should know better :wink:


Nah, I’m not offended, lol. Just thought maybe folks thought I was gettin swarms.


This is what I got. So that I can regress my bees to natural size cells. And small cell plastic frames were recommended by @Michael_Bush to do this the quickest. I also have the wooden frames that came with the Flow hives. Eventually I will switch over to foundationless and see how that goes. But I will still have my other frames as an option later on


Hmmm, I thought you had to regress your bees slowly first, before switching to small cell foundation. I will be interested to hear how it goes! :blush:


He recommended Mann Lake PF100, because they can’t tear down the wax and do what they want. They will regress in one generation, where it make take 3-4 with wax or foundationless. There doesn’t seem to be any reason to believe this harms the bees in anyway.


Fascinating, please keep posting about this as you get some field experience! :smile: Thank you!!


I’m fascinated too as the whole idea is contentious in bee scientist circles. Somebody on Beesource was going to run two colonies side by side. One regressed bees and one as-they-come ,but I noticed he was getting his bees from somebody who hadn’t treated for 7 years so that seemed a bit pointless as a scientific investigation. I lost track of him and there were no reports from him after those outlining this plans.


Back when the only two available methods were natural comb or small cell wax, that seemed to be an issue. I got PermaComb (5.0mm or so fully drawn plastic) and heated it and wax dipped it and regressed them instantly back in 2002 or so. Then Honey Super Cell came out (also fully drawn plastic that was 4.9mm) and it worked but acceptance was an issue. It took about two weeks to get the bees to finally give up and use it. But that was fairly instant regression. Then someone discovered that Mann Lakes “Standard Frames” were 4.95mm. Mann Lake didn’t know that until people started calling and asking the cell size. Now they sell it as “small cell”. The bees draw it the size it is laid out on the first try and you have small cell bees in one turnover of bees and comb.


Yeah, sometimes you’ll get told it’s the size of a foot ball, only to find out it’s not much bigger than a tennis ball.

I guess with spring upon the N. hemisphere, this forum will slow down quite considerably in the coming weeks. I hope you all pop in from time to time to say “hi”


A very good point, I have gone to collect a swarm or two only to find out that they are wasps, then the home owner has requested I take them away. I say “What? … No chance!” and then they get a bit cross with me, it should be the other way around, I have better things to do and just spent good money on fuel. So be 100% sure they are honey bees.


Thank you for the comprehensive reply, Michael. Lots to think about! :blush: