First, the executive summary: Wooden frames with real wax foundation totally rule over plastic. This is a pain, because it costs about a dime more to buy the parts for a wooden frame which you will then spend 15 minutes putting together, instead of just getting the piece of plastic. However, I bought a case of plastic frame back in 2005, and we’re going to use it, lasses.
Anyway, of the four hives, we have one which has drawn all its wooden frames and now is womanfully attacking the plastic, one which has just filled its lower hive body and is doing a spherical expansion into the ten plastic frames in its upper hive body, one which has three wooden frames in its upper hive body and is starting to draw plastic only after fully drawing the wooden frames, and one which simply refuses to draw plastic and I think is planning to swarm with six undrawn plastic frames, though I didn’t see any queen cells.
Everyone seems to have lots of undrawn comb, so I think I’ll wait four weeks before I bother them again. I’m hoping to put on a couple supers then and get enough honey to at least carry family and friends for a year. For next year, we need to decide whether to go to six hive and actually have a honey surplus, or go to eight and again put the surplus into comb rather than honey. Either way, wooden frames are the way to go.
I’m also thinking I need to find someone who sells assembled wooden frame with wax foundation. The normal practice is to sell kits, figuring that beekeepers have nothing better to do in the winter. Me, I can program. I’d rather write code than assemble frames, and I get paid enough programming to pay two [underprivileged group of choice] to build frames while I code. Paging Adam Smith.