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Author Topic: Pierco frames  (Read 1165 times)
dfizer
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« on: October 01, 2012, 02:40:55 PM »

I'm trying to get a sense of what kind of frames to use going forward.  Currently all of my hives and supers are full of pierco frames.  I have no experience with the foundation / wood frames.  At times it seems like the bees don't really like the plastic frames. 
What are your thoughts on this?  What are the pluses and minuses to each? 
Please advise.
David
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Vance G
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« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2012, 05:53:15 PM »

I use mostly plastic frames.  I find little wrong for my purposes with the Mann Lake frames.  I order them waxless and get a good additional discount.  My last small to  middlin size order, I got deeps for $1.35 delivered and mediums 1.25.  Everything has gone up since then, but you can deal with ML and costs nothing to try if polite.   I have lots of good chemical free, disease free wax to roll on them but drew out a couple hundred this fall without coating them.  I ran pierco in the early seventies and had no problem with them then and I hear they are better built today than the ML.  I guess the holes for SHB to hide in could be a concern for those with the problem, but knock on wood I don't have them yet so I really do not know.  You don't need to be afraid of plastic frames.  They will be well drawn if you introduce them properly.
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mulesii
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2012, 11:59:14 AM »

I have five plastic frames that I received when I purchased a nuc.  All the other frames in my four 10-frame hives (brood and honey supers) are wood with wax foundation.  The bees have always seemed to have an aversion to building out the plastic frames fully.  Usually leaving about 1/4 of the frame unbuilt in the middle of the frames.  They completely build out the wax foundation.  Next spring I will rotate out the plastic so that I am 100% wax.  My bees seem to prefer the wax foundation.
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BlueBee
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« Reply #3 on: October 04, 2012, 01:39:50 AM »

I like the Pierco + wood frame the best.  A very rigid frame; a moth proof frame; a blowout proof frame.  Moths aren’t going to be problem in a big hive, but if you’re doing splits and starting with smaller nucs, the wax moths can get a foothold.  If you don’t kill them at that point, they can take over the nuc.  They’re virtually impossible to cut out of comb with wax foundation, but are easily removed with a hive tool if you have plastic foundation.  If you’re just sticking with a few big hives, then you probably aren’t going to see the benefits of plastic.
 
I like the Pierco + wood the best and my bees readily comb it up in the spring.  A little extra wax helps at other times.  My next favorite is the all plastic frames like the Mann Lake PFs.  I like them primarily because they are the cheapest and require the least amount of work.  My bees aren’t as fond of the PFs as they are the Pierco, but that maybe because my bees are fat.  They still comb up the PFs, but extra wax really helps on the PFs IMO.

I’ve burned all my wax foundation frames and only use plastic and foundationless now.  The next ones going into the bon fire will be the foundationless frames.   
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KD4MOJ
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« Reply #4 on: October 04, 2012, 08:28:31 AM »

I like the black pierco foundation on wood frames... easier to see the eggs.

...DOUG
KD4MOJ
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kemptville
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« Reply #5 on: October 04, 2012, 09:10:36 AM »

All but one frame in my two hives are Pierco - next spring I'm hoping to swap them out for wooden frames with starter strips to leave it to the bees to draw out whichever way they want. smiley
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Mbeck
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2012, 01:29:50 PM »

I use Pierco frames and like them. I don't even brush extra wax on them always.
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phrasmotic
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« Reply #7 on: October 05, 2012, 02:12:40 PM »

I like them too.  In my deeps I cut out the entire center of each frame except for about a 1" strip all around, letting the bees fill it back in with natural comb.  Seems like a waste of plastic, but the bees like building natural comb much more than they like drawing out foundation (ANY kind of foundation).  This gives beautiful natural cell comb all the way to the edges.  I use Pierco in the medium honey supers too, but I don't cut it because it needs to stay strong when it goes for a spin in the extractor.  Speaking of which, I've had regular foundation blow out in the extractor.  Could be my fault, maybe I'm spinning it too fast, but I've not had that problem with Pierco.  Bees are a little more reluctant to draw plastic, but once it's drawn it's drawn.  If they are reluctant to draw your plastic honey super frames, put the honey super between your deep boxes for a week or so during a flow.  They'll begin drawing it out then you can move it back up top where they will finish.
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kemptville
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« Reply #8 on: October 05, 2012, 03:21:16 PM »

I like them too.  In my deeps I cut out the entire center of each frame except for about a 1" strip all around, letting the bees fill it back in with natural comb.

What an excellent idea phrasmotic - I'm going to give that a try with the few frames I have on hand.
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