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Author Topic: Plastic foundation  (Read 4952 times)
JasonP
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« on: May 04, 2013, 01:44:32 AM »

Hello, I was wondering what you all thought of using plastic foundation, it does seem to be less work as opposed to the wax foundation. I've watched a few youtube videos which seem to indicate that they work well. As I am a nubie and havn't bought my frames or foundation yet I was just wanting to know any thoughts. I was thinking of going for timber frames with the black foundation.
Kind Regards
JasonP
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edward
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« Reply #1 on: May 04, 2013, 02:21:55 AM »

There great when extracting honey , you can spin them fast and hard without risking that they fall a part and break.


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BlueBee
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« Reply #2 on: May 04, 2013, 02:44:59 AM »

Black plastic and wood frames are PERFECT.  Rigid and durable and easily fixed if the bees (or pests) mess up the comb.  Very easy to see the eggs with black plastic.

Plus what Edward said. applause
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JasonP
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« Reply #3 on: May 04, 2013, 07:17:36 AM »

Ok excellent, thank you very much just wanted to confirm my thoughts.
JasonP
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edward
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013, 07:01:42 PM »

I use the ones that are made from only plastic 17% more space for brood or honey, less work in assembling them.

One of the biggest benefits is that you can have totall controll over your wax and you know what it has been contaminated with or NOT!

It feels good to know and have control over the wax that the bees make and store honey in!


mvh Edward  tongue

The black frames are great when you want larvae for Queen breeding, but I also have White frames  Undecided Not so good, hopless  Cry
But as supers filled with honey they look great  grin
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JasonP
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« Reply #5 on: May 04, 2013, 09:39:11 PM »

Thanks Edward, that's interesting. I might give those a try too, thanks
JasonP Smiley
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #6 on: May 05, 2013, 06:44:31 AM »

disclaimer * I've never used plastic foundation though 2 nucs I bought last year had a couple of plastic frames with plastic foundation *

I've been told by local beeks that plastic foundation has a one major problem. If the bees steal the wax coating that is prelaid on the foundation they'll never draw out that part of the foundation. They claim that even coating it again with their own wax doesn't work. At a short-course I attended a beek teaching framebuilding and foundation laying had a few frames of dark spotty brood comb on plastic where one side was fully drawn with dark comb on about 40% of the frame the rest was bare plastic.

Anyone who actually uses the stuff seen this behavior or are the locals just over exaggerating a chance occurrence?
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buzzbee
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« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2013, 07:20:05 AM »

nietssemaj
I think they are referring to the duragilt foundation supplied by some of the bee supply houses.  If bees need the space desperately they will build comb on the smooth plastic, but I have only seen it after they have no where else to put wax.There is no imprint on the smooth plastic once the wax is removed.
  Solid platic frames can be recoated just fine. Many will actually power wash off the old wax, recoat and reuse.
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #8 on: May 05, 2013, 07:22:59 AM »

Is the duraglit smooth plastic with a slight wax honeycomb pattern as opposed to the other plastic that has a pattern in plastic?
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buzzbee
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« Reply #9 on: May 05, 2013, 07:57:43 AM »

Plastic frame:


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Duragilt(New)


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

Duragilt w/ wax removed:


Uploaded with ImageShack.us



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

You can get the plastic type foundation that snaps directly into the frames too with the preformed cell imprinted.
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buzzbee
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« Reply #10 on: May 05, 2013, 08:01:50 AM »



Plastic frame
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edward
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« Reply #11 on: May 05, 2013, 08:28:16 AM »

How to coat or recoat your plastic frames.

Waxing Plasticframes




mvh Edward  tongue
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buzzbee
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« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2013, 08:38:30 AM »

Melted wax and a mini paint roller.  Smiley
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edward
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2013, 08:59:31 AM »

I paint mine from the bottom upwards, this makes a Little wave of liquid hot wax in front of the roller that gets into all the nooks and crannies.

Also resting the frame on the bucket makes things faster and less spill of wax + the wax doesn't cool down on the way from the bucket to the frame.


mvh Edward  tongue
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hardwood
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« Reply #14 on: May 05, 2013, 09:22:36 AM »

dipping foundation.wmv
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« Reply #15 on: May 05, 2013, 10:21:34 AM »

Hey JasonP,

I am brand new to this also. This is day 15 for me. Haven't been into my hives for a week now and can't until Monday or Tuesday so I don't know how much further they have progressed. However last Saturday which was day 7, this is how my frames looked.










These were new frames with no draw combs on them installed in an 8 frame medium box and a 3lb pkg of bees. Before I put the frames in I did spray them with sugar water to help the bees accept them. Looks like it worked and worked well.

These are Mann Lake PF120's. A wax coated totally plastic frame with a cell imprint on the plastic. If you ever need to remove the comb, the imprint will still be there. Just recoat with wax and reuse. The cell imprint is permanent.

I used the lighter color because I am in Georgia where it get hot and supposedly these are cooler that the black.

The only thing I don't like is the slots around the edge. When I push the frames together, the slots are large enough for bee to get trapped and die. I haven't found a way to prevent that from happening. That being said I do like them.

Whenever I install a pkg I will use them but when I install a nuc I am going to use foundationless frames.

Good luck in your choice.

Hope this helps.

David


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JasonP
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 02:38:33 PM »

Great discussion guys, thanks. I have thought about those little slots around the edges of the solid plastic frames might be a problem with the SHB getting in and setting up home or as David says, die in there. Have you found this is much of a problem? Could you fill them with wax or would this make them too heavy.


I said to my wife the other week ( After waiting for precisely the right moment of course ) " What would you think about me getting some hives for the back yard" and she said " if you make those doors for the fish tank cupboard you've been promising you can do anything you want"

The moral of my story- All good things come to those who wait.

Ps. The doors are just about finished
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Georgia Boy
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 03:04:24 PM »

Hey JasonP,

Most of the guy on here seems to think the slot aren't much of a problem.

Michael replied "I've never had a problem with the slots..."

Bud1 replied "bees will fix them  I  have used them for years"

buzzbee posted "The bees likely will propolize the slots."

And this from AllenF "I have heard of the problems with SHB with those before. Go get a few tubes of caulk and fill in the holes."

I seem to trap some in there everytime I close up the frames tightly. I am just overreacting because I REALLY hate to crush or kill my bees.

Now you get those hives. You won't regret it. I'm having a great time with mine. I hope to get 2 nucs tomorrow if it doesn't rain.

David

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nietssemaj
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 03:25:33 PM »

Last year I purchased 2 nucs that together had about 5 plastic frames in them. Those frames moved through my barrel hives and eventually into Langstroths as I split hives.

I don't have any pictures of the frames right before my hives absconded due to beetles but there were lots of them and they hid in the spurs. Beetle blasters, screen bottom boards with oil trays it didn't matter.

Not sure if where you are SHB are a concern or not but if it were me I would fill those gaps with something. Even if I wind up with bees in my langs again this year those frames won't be used.
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edward
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 03:31:06 PM »

Thankfully we don't have the hive beetel yet.

I only use plastic frames in my suppers and I was wondering if the hive beetle lives even in the supers or mostly in the brood box?


mvh Edward  tongue
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nietssemaj
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« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2013, 03:47:35 PM »

This is pretty good info on SHB

Things We Need To Know About
SMALL HIVE BEETLES


The beetles are attracted to the ripening pollen and the larvae eat pollen/honey and brood.
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capt44
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« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2013, 11:31:30 AM »

I have been using Duragilt Foundation for a few years now and am going to get away from it.
The bees will move the wax leaving bare areas on the foundation.
I've been looking at the Rite Cell foundations at Mann Lake LTD.
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Richard Vardaman (capt44)
Joe D
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« Reply #22 on: May 12, 2013, 11:51:05 AM »

I have been using old drone out foundation or foundationless until this year.  I was going to help the bees some and built several new supers and installed prewaxed Rite cell foundation in supers fo four hives.  The bees haven't built ANY comb on them yet.  I have sprayed with sugar syrup, did no good.  I am in the process of putting more wax on them now.  But out of four hives with a 10 frame meduim super on each and not one piece of comb on any.  They are in wood frames.



Joe
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edward
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« Reply #23 on: May 12, 2013, 03:10:40 PM »

I have been using old drone out foundation or foundationless until this year.  I was going to help the bees some and built several new supers and installed prewaxed Rite cell foundation in supers fo four hives.  The bees haven't built ANY comb on them yet.  I have sprayed with sugar syrup, did no good.  I am in the process of putting more wax on them now.  But out of four hives with a 10 frame meduim super on each and not one piece of comb on any.  They are in wood frames.

Try putting a frame beetween to frames with eggs and larvae and watch what happens  grin shocked grin


mvh Edward  tongue
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melliferal
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2013, 06:44:46 PM »

I've always had pretty great results with plastic foundation.  There's a caveat, in that some beeks (as noted above) have reported some odd problems with it, or that their bees take longer to draw it out; but I've never had that trouble and when I restart next spring I plan on using all plastic foundation.  Aside from the ease of cleaning, extracting, and spotting eggs, I also find plastic foundation is great when it's time to cull old combs; just use your hive tool to scrape the comb off and you can immediately return the frame to a hive to be drawn out again without needing to buy new foundation.  In this way, it's easy to imagine some plastic foundation lasting as long or even longer than some of one's wooden hive furniture.

I would, however, suggest that all new beekeepers should be encouraged to give wax foundation a try - for one thing, if you decide on all-plastic it should be an informed decision, not a "so-and-so said always use plastic" kind of decision.  For another, you'll need to know how to install thin surplus when/if you decide to make cut-comb; and finally, I think beekeepers in general should make an effort to have at least some working knowledge of every corner of our craft.  A beekeeper who looks at a spur embedder and says "what's this?" would make me a sad. Sad

The rite-cell stuff is great; I noticed ML is selling all-plastic rite-cell frames, and I'm strongly considering that for my honey supers.  I do hope they begin making such frames in black, because I much prefer the black foundation for brood chambers.
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Joe D
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« Reply #25 on: May 13, 2013, 09:21:53 PM »

The rite cell I am having trouble with is in the honey supers.  I am giving them a little more time.    I put extra wax on the foundation and installed them today.   
        In my earlier post I put drone comb,  should have been drawn comb.
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minz
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« Reply #26 on: May 13, 2013, 09:47:32 PM »

I had no luck with them so I tried it again this year.  I painted it with wax and tried it again.  Here is the result on a swarm, in mid flow, in the center of the brood, with feed.  If there were no so many bees on it I would have sent it across the yard.  I find if you get it new, wax it and put it in they will draw it but after the first season I cannot seem to get them to touch in.  In this frame they took all the wax that I painted on and moved it to the center for this little clump. 
http://i1141.photobucket.com/albums/n599/6minz/DSCF4447_zps61468700.jpg
The other box drew out 9 new wax in under 2 weeks (same time frame).  I have spent a lot of money on wax this year.  The other thing about it is when my hives make swarm prep and I have cells on everything I can cut the wax and put a QC or two in each area of a queen castle,  what do you do with plastic?

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melliferal
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2013, 09:32:44 AM »

If you use plastic foundation, that method of queen rearing would indeed be problematic; I imagine the alternative would either be taking the entire frame (but you'll only get one queen out of multiple QCs) or using one of the queen systems that involves grafting your own larvae into your own artificial queen cells; IIRC, there's even one system that lets your current queen lay eggs directly in the cell cups themselves.

The caveat, as with plastic foundation, is that some beekeepers report tremendous success with these systems and others report nothing but problems.  Like plastic foundation, there's just no way to know what your results will be until you try.  But unlike plastic foundation, queen systems can be expensive.
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beek1951
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« Reply #28 on: May 27, 2013, 07:44:23 PM »

I use a lot of Duragilt and have had good luck with it.
My hives all have one plastic frame in each brood box
as I have noticed that the queen will be on the plastic
more often than not. Don't know why they like the plastic,
but I have seen it time and again.
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don2
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« Reply #29 on: May 27, 2013, 08:01:51 PM »

Unlike the varroa and other parasites the hive beetle feed on honey and wax, if  you have shb's and leave unattended excess honey in the hive very long you will be sorry. Smiley d2
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Sflbeesupplies
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« Reply #30 on: June 05, 2013, 08:34:54 PM »

We opened our store a few months ago and as Beekeepers using beeswax foundation we ordered plastic foundation only as an added item to our inventory. Much to our surprise it's extremely popular, especially with commercial Beekeepers. We carry both all plastic frame and foundation and foundation only. We sell Pierco plastic foundation that is coated with beeswax to ensure good acceptance from the bees.
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dfizer
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« Reply #31 on: June 07, 2013, 01:14:36 PM »

I have used pierco frames (all plastic) exclusively since I started beekeeping which was 4 years ago.  I am now up to 9 hives, 2 nucs, and a 1 trapout that's in progress.  I have had nothing but success with it.  I do not plan to use anything else.  I did have to purchase a 20 wooded frames with the pierco plastic foundation installed.  I'll see how this goes but would have much preferred the all plastic frames.  The only reason I have the wood frames now is because the supplier was out of the all plastic ones. 

I do not re-apply wax since the they already come coated pretty well with a wax layer.  What I do do is spray the heck out of them with 1:1 sugar syrup to aid in acceptance. 

Again - I have never had any problems.  The only issue I anticipate is doing a cut out.  I have a home owner that would like me to get the bees out of their over hang so I believe I'll be rubber banding some comb into wood frames and installing them into a deep.     

David
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