Wrote some code to bit-bang the control sequence, but nothing was happening.
Turns out the delay statements I was using were causing too much of a delay.
In googling the problem, I found a blog post on Steve Phillips website. see http://stevephillips.me/blog/using-ws2812b-pic-microcontroller I saw he was just using a few NOP() functions which tells the microcontroller to do nothing over the next few cycles.
If you want to see the code it can be found on git hub. https://github.com/Billy-Bogardus/FlexCoffeeLED/tree/1.1.0s
Ws2812b with pic16 on a flexible PCB