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Author Topic: Seeking Comments: Alternating Permacomb w/traditional frames for a weak hive?  (Read 585 times)

Offline bakoplan

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I'm a second year newbie, meaning I think I'm at the point where I'm a conscious incompetent--still much to learn.

About two months ago I rescued a hive that was in the backyard of a friend (this hive had found a capped hole where the irrigation system controls were and thought it a nice home).  They are now back at my place, in a single Langstroth super (deep). About five frames of their comb were rubber banded into empty frames and came with, I put in two frames of brood/honey from other hive, requeened (first one didn't make it) and the balance of the nine frames are Mann Lake "rite cell" plastic frames.  The bees have done a reasonable job building out one of the two remaining frames. If you're doing the math, that adds up to nine total frames.  The tenth slot is an internal one gallon feeder which always has 1:1 syrup available, and they are taking about a half gallon a week.

The hive is looking a bit better over time, but I would still consider it quite weak, so I've ordered a ten pack of Permacomb which I'll place as a medium super above the original deep.  My thought is the Permacomb will relieve them of the effort to draw comb and they can more quickly move to raising more brood and building up the hive.

Ok, so with that background, I was just thinking ahead in anticipation of receiving the PermaComb tomorrow and would like comments from the pros:

Regarding Permacomb I've seen comments from many where they suggest spacing the frames nine instead of ten (standard Langstroth) such that the bees will pull comb out beyond the plastic and therefore make later decapping easier.  Now since I intend this to be surragate hive/brood, I don't care so much re decapping.  But...as an alternate method, has anyone heard of alternating traditional assembled "rite cell" plastic form frames with Permacomb?  I would wonder if this would allow for ten frames in the box, and still encourage some wax buildout of the Permacomb frames. 

Your thoughts?

Offline sawdstmakr

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Welcome to Beemaster.
Bees can build comb on foundation less frames faster than the can on any foundation. The foundation forces them, usually, to build the comb the way we want them to, not because it saves them time or energy.
When you put in new foundation, place all 10 frames. Otherwise they will build wonky comb. Once drawn then you can reduce it down to 9 frames.

Offline Michael Bush

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You would think with fully drawn comb it would be a big advantage.  But with fully drawn comb the bees tend to hesitate to use it and then they finally do.  I'm not saying PermaComb is a DISadvantage to the bees, but it's really not a big advantage either.  It IS an advantage to the beekeeper since it's so durable and it does give you drawn comb that even the wax moths can't destroy.
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Offline Acebird

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The biggest issue is AFB if you have to burn the hive.
Brian Cardinal
Just do it