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Author Topic: who uses plastic frames?  (Read 3079 times)
squidink
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« on: September 15, 2011, 06:09:11 PM »

I am more of a traditionalist but have been scouring the internet and see that some people are using plastic frames.
Who Down Under uses them? (Other countries as well) What are the pro’s and con’s you have found using the plastic frames? And what’s the approximate lifetime of a plastic frame?

Ben
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Meadlover
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« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 09:16:06 PM »

Ben,

if you fill out your location in your information we can give you some better advice.

If you're in warm areas, ie QLD I would not even consider the full 1 piece plastic frames as there are way too many crevices for SHB to hide in.

Plastic foundation I have used but don't like. The bees don't seem to like is as much either. In my hives they draw it MUCH slower, and make much more brace comb on it. If you want to cut out a queen cell etc it's much harder with plastic foundation. The bees can't modify it at all, eg sometimes they make holes to travel between frames on wax foundation frames.

I have tried to get rid of all of my plastic foundation and have gone for foundationless frames. I have not thrown the plastic foundation out though as one day I may use them in an emergency, or for a swarm trap or something.

ML
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boca
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« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 04:04:01 AM »

In my opinion plastic will be more and more widely used. They have so many advantages that it is difficult to list them all in a post.
Disadvantages? I hear some are disappointed. Perhaps they had the bad luck of a low quality product, or not used correctly. There is a variety on the market.

I tried out the plastic frames of Nicot. Perfect.
It is not only foundation but partially the walls are drawn out. It does not need waxing. I hived a swarm on it and the queen started to lay eggs as soon the bees warmed it up. Only later they finished the cells with wax.

If it is used for honey, the nectar is deposited immediately without any wax.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2011, 04:27:40 AM by boca » Logged
Meadlover
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« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 07:49:27 AM »

They have so many advantages that it is difficult to list them all in a post.

Do you have SHB problems in your area?
If we didn't have such a SHB problem here in Subtropical QLD I would probably find the plastic frames/foundation less counterproductive than foundationless.

ML
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boca
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« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 08:00:20 AM »

Do you have SHB problems in your area?
If we didn't have such a SHB problem here in Subtropical QLD I would probably find the plastic frames/foundation less counterproductive than foundationless.

No. Fortunately we don't have it.
Would it make a difference in the context of using plastic frames? .. other than it is straightforward to clean and disinfect the plastic and to put them back as new ones.
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OzBuzz
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« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 01:42:11 AM »

I use plastic foundation in timber frames - i'm thinking of going plastic foundation for the honey supers but wax foundation for the brood nests... I've had hassles with the bees not drawing out the plastic foundation any where near as quickly as the wax foundation...
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BlueBee
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« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 01:56:04 AM »

I use plastic foundation in wood frames.  That avoids the crevice problems and the warping problems with the all plastic frames.  I really like the plastic foundation when it works.  Much easier to deal with problems and scrape off bad comb with plastic in the middle. 

I’ve used 2 brands here in the US, one brand the bees readily combed up, the other brand (small cell) they would not touch.  I finally took the advice of some guys here in the forum and rolled more bees wax on the ones the bees didn’t touch.  That did the trick, they combed it up beautifully (and quickly).  Yes, it is a pain to have to put your own wax on the plastic, but it works.
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Mardak
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« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 05:10:57 AM »

Plastic foundation in wood frames works a treat after the first season, some down her roll on molten wax, some paint of syrup. No particular correct or incorrect way as long as the bees draw comb. Extracting a treat as the foundation does not collapse as readily in some other wax foundation types. Both systems work well, probably depends upon personal preferences.
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ScoobyDoBee
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« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 08:55:02 AM »

I am working in small cell frames when I can. Here's an odd thing I noticed - the all plastic frames were the only ones with eggs in them! And they were fully drawn out when others weren't. Go figure. I did paint on some of their own wax - maybe it smelled fresher?

I do see all of those crevices. Maybe that is why I saw a bee intently examining one. Wonder if they could be filled with something.

I have only found the small cell in all plastic frames. Sad

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Lord Viykor
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« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2011, 11:45:26 PM »

I got some two piece plastic frames today, you unclip them with your hive tool and insert the wax foundation. They should work well, there is a couple of small gaps the shb could try to get into. I guess you could seal it with bees wax.



« Last Edit: December 02, 2011, 07:32:21 AM by Robo » Logged
SRJ
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« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2011, 07:00:00 AM »

Most recently I filled a box with wooden frames and plastic foundation. Never used plastic before and was a bit worried the bees wouldn't build on it so I melted some wax and brushed it on as best I could. Didn't get it covered very well since the wax solidifies too quickly but the bees built on it fine anyway. I have found they build on it slower but that could also be not enough nectar flowing for them to need the space for storage.

I also put 2 plastic foundation frames in another hive without the wax treatment and they are built out pretty well also.
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Lone
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« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2011, 07:50:32 AM »

From today I am using plastic foundation in one super, at least as a trial.  The clincher was being away for 6 weeks and having my helpful landlords plonk another super on the hive here because there was a once in a 5 year honey flow and the single honey super filled up.  However, they couldn't get the battery charger to work and could only find old brittle broken foundation which they squashed into the frames, the result being collapsed siamese newly drawn comb everywhere (which was handy to melt down and paint onto the plastic).

We've never done it before and didn't know exactly how much wax is needed on the plastic.  Storms have started for the wet season so if they don't knock the ironbark flowers off, I hope I see the foundation drawn out.

Lone
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ozbee
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« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 01:43:43 AM »

i have drawn and used over 30,000 plastic frames in the last twelve months and all i can say is they are the only way to go . if flooded or blown apart like from cyclone yassi all they have to do is water blast them with hi pressure . with beetle you can water bast or dip in boiling water and go again . even after floods they are the best  the wooden frames with the plastic tend to break down because of the acid from the honey. to drawn roll them with a fine line of molten wax in water also draw in top box for best results / plastic hives work best when all the frames are plastic
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weedyau
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« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 01:59:56 PM »

 ozbee, may I ask what type/brand frame you use? Do you have SHB and if you do, what do you use for control?
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VolunteerK9
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« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 02:45:59 PM »

I tried out the plastic frames of Nicot. Perfect.
It is not only foundation but partially the walls are drawn out. It does not need waxing. I hived a swarm on it and the queen started to lay eggs as soon the bees warmed it up. Only later they finished the cells with wax.

If it is used for honey, the nectar is deposited immediately without any wax.


I would like to try some of these myself but unfortunately, do not have a U.S distributor.
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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 05:40:31 AM »

I use wood frames with plastic inserts.

wouldn't have it any other way. I have transitioned to plastics.

Still running some wax foundation mainly for brood box.

next year i should have none which i think is great....so much easier


 afro
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squidink
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« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 04:42:08 PM »

Hi Peoples and Seasons Greetings to all!

Where is the best place to buy plastic frames and foundation? (the complete black ones)

I would like to start off with 100 or so.

Ta

ben
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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 08:19:49 AM »

google "gilberts beekeeping", i have always found them very reliable
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the-ecohouse.com
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« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2011, 09:27:19 AM »

after anothers day of extraction...i submit that i will never use wax foundation EVER again...pain in the butt...

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Lone
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« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 09:39:43 AM »

You wind the crank handle too fast, Eco?

Smiley
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