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Author Topic: All plastic frame and foundation  (Read 2227 times)
latebee
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« on: January 18, 2006, 11:28:58 PM »

I have been using the pierco one piece frame and foundation for three years now. No major probs so far. It flexes a little more than wood but so far no breaks. The one disadvantage that I have noticed is that the bees will add burr comb more readily to the tops and bottoms of the all plastic frame. This makes them stick together and hampers inspection and hive reversals. In my experience they do not do this on the wooden frames with as much gusto. What are your experiences and ideas in regards to the difference between the  wooden and plastic FRAMES.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2006, 06:58:54 AM »

My experience with thin and thick and nonexitant top bars and bottom bars is this.  If you have a thick top bar (1" or more) and a medium bottom bar (3/8" or so) you get very little burr between the boxes.  If you have a thin top bar (3/8" or less) and a medium to thin bottom bar (3/8" or less) you'll get a lot of burr between the boxes.  CC Miller said this about a hundred years ago, but I, of course, had to discover it myself.

The Pierco has virtually no top bar and no bottom bar (less than 1/4") and therfore gets burr between the boxes.  I've concluded that the bees LIKE the burr between the boxes.  The queen and the bees move more easily from one box to the next.  I don't scrape it off.
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Michael Bush
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Jack Parr
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« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2006, 07:51:10 AM »

in my short experience, have proved to be about the same as wooden frames.

I don't have enough experience to state emphatically, that one is better than the other.  The Pierco is of course a no hassell install which I think has merit.

I didn't notice any more burr comb one way or the other. Both have burr comb and to state that bees will do something more one way versus another way is, well...

I, this past season, had two setups/colonies side by side, one had drawn comb with wood frames, the other had virgin Pierco frames straight from the shipping box. During the honey flow the end results were about the same. Both hives have nine frame medium supers evenly spaced with metal spacers. Both did not suffer any burr comb build-up, at all. In fact I would say that the bees had done a perfect job; The frames/built up comb was filled and puffed out pass the frame wood/plastic making cutting with hot knife a simple process. I would say a perfect job by the bees.

I  "concluded " that bees WILL fill, with wax, honey, brood, pollen if and when they need to.  

I did notice that keeping the frames, when newly installed, tight against each other, tended for them to be less burred. Even then, some of  the deep frames were filled out with comb, past the frames causing the next frame over to be filled but recessed somewhat, allowing for the appropriate
bee space, however, uncapping frames filled lower than the surronding frames is somewhat more tedious.  HOW'S THAT FOR A FRAME-UP???

I also concluded that conslusive findings about what bees will do or not do is not at all conclusive.  wink
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2006, 08:11:43 PM »

If you're getting very much burr between boxes of wood frames with standard (thick) top bars, then your beespace must off.  Either the frames aren't consistent in size or boxes aren't consistent in depth or the frame rests aren't consistent or are incorrect.  With a 1/4" to 3/8" beespace and a 3/8" bottom bar and a 1" top bar you shouldn't be seeing any burr to speak of.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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Finsky
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2006, 01:17:47 AM »

There are big differencies  with hives which makes burr or not.
Some are very eager to fill all gaps and glue the inner cover.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2006, 06:16:33 AM »

That's true.  There is a genetic component involved.  Some bees build burr everywhere and some bees just don't want to build on your foundation at all either.

Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
Apis629
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2006, 09:16:23 PM »

I can't speak for plastic frames but in terms of plastic foundation I find the two biggest advantages to be that it won't melt and flop while being installed and (the big one), if the comb is eaten by Small Hive Beetles the foundation is reusable.
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livetrappingbymatt
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2006, 11:14:31 PM »

i've used the plastic frames for several years. the best thing for me is that during the summer i can just take them out of the box and use them.
in my climate wood frame can be made in winter but wax needs to be installed in warm conditions. winters i have time but summers are way too short !
bob
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #8 on: January 23, 2006, 06:21:15 AM »

PermaComb is awsome in these respects.  Since it's fully drawn the wax moths do even less damage.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
latebee
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« Reply #9 on: January 23, 2006, 09:29:02 PM »

Ok, so now that we are on the subject of permacomb does anyone have experience uncapping it for extraction? The concept is very exciting--but would one use it for brood comb? As you can tell I know NOTHING about perma comb,but as usual always willing to try something new. I know what the vendor says--but what about the beekeepers thoughts on the pros and cons? I think someone here has mentioned that if it is dipped in beeswax you can achieve small cell comb very easily. I am all ears----------------------------------------------------- smiley  smiley
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #10 on: January 24, 2006, 07:04:40 AM »

>does anyone have experience uncapping it for extraction?

If you have them spaced 9 frames and they are fully drawn out a cold bread knife works great.  If they are capped under the surface (sometimes one or two are at the end of the flow) then I use a hackler honey punch.  I have a 5" one, but I'd recommend the 2 1/2" one instead.

> The concept is very exciting--but would one use it for brood comb?

I use it for both honey and brood.

> As you can tell I know NOTHING about perma comb,but as usual always willing to try something new. I know what the vendor says--but what about the beekeepers thoughts on the pros and cons?

Most of what I thought were cons, I've since decided are pros.  The dimensions scared me away from it back in the early 80's.  I should have used it then.  It only came in mediums, and I didn't want to buck the "standard" deeps for brood.  It's only 6" instead of 6 1/4" deep and I thought that was a problem.  John Seets made it clear they would burr the combs together between the boxes and I thought that was a bad thing.  Now I like it.  The queen moves more easily between boxes and I get a nice varroa check evertime I break open some drone between the boxes.

> I think someone here has mentioned that if it is dipped in beeswax you can achieve small cell comb very easily.

It's already 5.1mm (if you account for he differences in cell wall) and if you wax dip it it's 4.95mm.  I dipped all of mine that is in use.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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