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Author Topic: plastic vs wood - frames?  (Read 3885 times)
bayareaartist
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« on: May 13, 2005, 01:57:48 AM »

I was wondering if beekeepers out in the world could give me thier opinion about plastic frames vs wood?
I am looking for someone who has used both.

thank you,
Donn
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Donn
RayJay24
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« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2005, 05:10:29 PM »

Hi Donn,
Wood has the advantage of being all natural, the frame uses a foundation comb that bees take to readily.  Life expectancy varies depending on how humid and hot your hive is and whether the frames are for brood or honey.   Plastic lasts forever if you treat them right, easier to clean but you need to brush on melted beeswax as a "starter" before the bees accept it.    I use plastic, but prefer wood.  Its purely a personal choice. One of my friends uses wood for brood frames but plastic for honey - swears it makes a difference (for her).
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2005, 07:10:05 PM »

I use all wood and will most likely stay with it. Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2005, 07:55:20 PM »

I have some Pierco plastic frames and hate them.  They flex too much when fully drawn and loaded.  They also have a narrower top bar and they are hard to hold onto with my frame grips (more slippery than wood too).  I have seen some new ones on the market now that look beefier,  but I'm content to stay with wood.
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Horns Pure Honey
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« Reply #4 on: May 13, 2005, 08:18:55 PM »

I never though about my frame grips, great point.  Cheesy
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Ryan Horn
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« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2005, 07:48:07 AM »

Quote from: Horns Pure Honey
I never though about my frame grips, great point.  Cheesy


I can only speak for the cast aluminum grips from Kelley, not the steel ones that others sell.  Though I imagine the slipping part would be worse on the steel, since the gripping area is much less and smoother than the aluminum ones.

FYI...  For anyone starting out,  I would recommend the cast aluminum grips from Kelley,  they have a much bigger, more ergonomical(?) handle than the steel ones. Once you use them, you will not want to go back to the old hand hurting steel ones.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2005, 09:10:22 AM »

I guess I'm a bit if an extremist at both ends.  I use fully drawn plastic PermaComb (which I heat and wax dip) and foundationless wood frames.  They really work well interleaved Smiley

http://www.bee-l.com/bulletinboard/seets/permacomb.htm

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessFrame2.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessFrame1.JPG
http://www.bushfarms.com/images/FoundationlessDrawn.JPG
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Michael Bush
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Miss Chick-a-BEE
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« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2005, 10:51:38 AM »

That Permacomb looks very interesting. I'd love to have some myself. I believe I've already got enough frames for this year, but next time I buy frames that will probably be what I go for.

I don't think I've ever seen those in the catologs I get - so it's a new idea for me. Thanks Michael.

Beth
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latebee
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2005, 12:54:34 AM »

With out trying to sound too generic I have both and they offer good and bad features either way. My favorite for deeps is made by buying the plastic endbars(only deeps are sold) from Betterbee along with the wax coated black plastic foundation. All you have to do is cut a slotted top and bottom bar and this way  I think you get the best of both. My only concern would be the useful life of these in the long term, I'll let you know in ten years how they hold up.
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burny
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2005, 06:04:32 AM »

what if you took advantage of the colonies tendency to not fill out wide,but to grow verticaly and use plastic on the inside and wood on the outside...or would the bees just choose the wood /or plastic and screw things up?
    i need 50 frames of something in a week to put in my next boxes or im going in the queen making business


      keepa keepin...burny.
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Bee Boy
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2005, 11:46:10 AM »

I prefer all natural stuff, the bees seem to take to it better. Plastic frames seem to slow down the bees a little. So i prefer to use all wax foundation and wood frames. The only draw back for me is that they take a little extra time to put together.
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latebee
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« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2005, 09:38:56 PM »

From my limited experience whenever I mixed plastic foundation with wax in the same hive I have wound up with a lot of parallel comb and undrawn plastic ones. Prefer plastic, but really have no great preference ,other than the fact wax moths can't destroy your plastic foundation before you freeze it(to kill moths and thier eggs),unlike wax foundation. I really dont care for the idea of using paradichlorobenzine(para moth) on my combs,IMHO its like storing moth balls in your honey jar and emptying it out to put honey in before you eat it  cry Maybe I got a litlle off the beaten path here but thats the way I feel.
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latebee
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« Reply #12 on: May 20, 2005, 10:01:34 PM »

Just an additional thought here.It seems the wax moths only destroy the foundation on older frames,never the newer ones. I wonder why this is? They will most certainly destroy the combs,but don't eat the foundation on newer frames.Anyone have a clue as to why this seems to happen?
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thegolfpsycho
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« Reply #13 on: May 20, 2005, 10:41:00 PM »

They are after brood comb.  They will on rare occassion foul up new wax.  But wax with brood cocoons are meat on the table.
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