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Author Topic: Plastic Frames/Foundation  (Read 4293 times)
Butterchurn
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« on: March 15, 2005, 05:31:59 PM »

I was curious about how many of you are using plastic frames and/or palstic foundation in wood frames.

What is your experience with the all plastic frame and/or plastic foundation.

I'm just getting back into beekeeping after a 10 year hiatus and I am need to get new equipment and combs.  I've been thinking about plastic, but I'm not sure.

Which brand of plastic would you recommend?

Thanks!

Ron
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Butterchurn (Ron)
jxbeeman
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« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2005, 06:06:09 PM »

i just bought some plasticell.  hope it works out.  later
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Robo
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2005, 08:15:09 PM »

It has been discussed numerous times.  Do a search on plastic foundation and you'll find plenty of opinions.
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2005, 10:59:13 PM »

I buy the RiteCell foundation from Mann Lake, in assembled frames.



I love it. They say wax moths can't mess it up. They're right. I had wax moths, and there was no damage to the foundation, only to the comb itself. The bees took to it so easy. I've had no problems with it at all. And it does come in black if you want black.

Beth
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Butterchurn
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« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2005, 11:30:31 PM »

Thanks for all the replies.  Mann Lake is witin reasonable driving distance, so I'll go pay them a visit.  I think I will get RiteCell in the preassembled wood frames.  I still like wood.  It is a real stretch for me to try plastic. I'm a bit old fashioned you know!

I did a search and read about the opinions of others.

Thanks!

Ron
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Butterchurn (Ron)
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« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2005, 10:19:09 AM »

Quote from: Butterchurn
I think I will get RiteCell in the preassembled wood frames.  I still like wood.
Ron


I too prefer the wood frames.  I find the plastic frames flex too much and are harder to hold onto with a frame grip.  Especially when they are heavy.
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Butterchurn
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« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2005, 05:34:13 PM »

I called Mann Lake and bought some of their preassembled wood frames with black RiteCell.

They only had 23 pieces of black RC available so I bought 20.  The black RiteCell will be on backorder for awhile.  I am glad I called when I did.  I want more, but took the 20 to start.  Apparently a strong demand for the black.

Ron
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Butterchurn (Ron)
jxbeeman
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« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2005, 08:15:31 AM »

what is the reason for wanting black.  thanks
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Beth Kirkley
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« Reply #8 on: March 17, 2005, 08:36:30 AM »

From what I understand, the queen takes to black easier for laying eggs. Also, you can see the little larvae better.

Beth
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Jay
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« Reply #9 on: March 17, 2005, 11:50:07 AM »

The eggs are white the cells are black, makes it much easier to see if your queen is laying or not!
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stingshurt
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« Reply #10 on: March 17, 2005, 02:01:47 PM »

Thanks folks for the questions you have answered for me so far. this is such a great resource for a beggining beekeeper.

I use wax coated rite cell (plastic foundation) in my honey super. I have coated frames with more bees wax by brushing it on, took off my Bee I mean Queen Excluder, put on an illinois honey super and feeding them 1:1 sugar water. I put this pail feeder on top of my super.
The bees are starting to draw out the rite cell now.

My question is? When do i put on another super with undrawn foundation on it?

And do i put it above or below the one on there now?

Thank you Beekeepers......SH
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TwT
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« Reply #11 on: March 17, 2005, 03:41:01 PM »

I'm using Pierco 1 piece frames and foundation this year, I bought the black and the bees are drawing it out fine.
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« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2005, 10:57:56 PM »

I have gone to foundationless frames.  I have tried Pierco and other plastic based foundation, I have tried full wax, and I have tried starter strips.  I find that the bees draw empty frames as fast or faster than any of those.  There are a couple of precautions.  It helps to insert one drawn frame near the center of the box to get them started right.  It helps to rub the center guide with wax.  It is an absolute that you have 10 frames, not nine until they are drawn.  The comb is a little fragile and should be handled with care until it is attached to the bottom and hardened some.  

Below are links to my top bars modified for foundationless.   You can get away with unmodified top bars if you interspace drawn comb to guide them.
 
I use a fence and sled to bevel my top bars.
http://www.myoldtools.com/sled1.jpg
The sled is just a piece of plywood with a 1x2 strip of scrap screwed onto it.
http://www.myoldtools.com/sled2.jpg
The fence is an auxillary fence clamped to my tablesaw fence. It has a step milled on the edge so I can also bevel top bars that have the wedge removed.
http://www.myoldtools.com/sled3.jpg
In use, the blade is buried in the top bar and the edge of the sled, so it is never exposed.
http://www.myoldtools.com/sled4.jpg
The bars look like the one on the left after ripping. You can remove the wedge and use them like the center one. The advantage is it can be re-used with the wedge if you don't like foundationless. The one on the right shows the triangle that was ripped off. It can be glued in to make a well centered guide.
http://www.myoldtools.com/sled5.jpg
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Lesli
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« Reply #13 on: March 18, 2005, 05:38:28 AM »

I'm using plastic small cell in the brood nest from Dadant. I've heard long time beekeepers say they wouldn't use anything but plastic because it lasts forever and if it gets messed up, you can scrape it down and start over. Last year, in one of my colonies, the broodnest got honey bound and the colony swarmed in late September. I won't let that happen again! But not letting that happen can mean taking out a frame or two, spinning out the honey, and putting it back (or so the bee club people tell me). So I want sturdy brood next frames that can be extracted.

I haven't decided what I'll use in my supers yet. Last year, I put in some wax foundation, and starter strips in others. They girls drew out the wax fine. But last year I was doing cut comb, and this year I'll be extracting, so I'll need something that can hold up to that.

Last year, I started with purchased nucs, and had a variety of frames--black plastic, wired wax, white platic, Duragilt, and so on. In theory, you're not supposed to mix, but I guess since it was already drawn, the bees didn't mind. It is a lot easier to spot eggs on dark foundation, whether it's black plastic or well-used brood comb.
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