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Author Topic: who uses plastic frames?  (Read 20134 times)

Offline squidink

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who uses plastic frames?
« on: September 15, 2011, 07:09:11 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

Offline Meadlover

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #1 on: September 15, 2011, 10:16:06 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

Offline boca

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2011, 05:04:01 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, 05:27:40 am by boca »

Offline Meadlover

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 08:49:27 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

Offline boca

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2011, 09:00:20 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.

Offline OzBuzz

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2011, 02:42:11 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...

Offline BlueBee

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2011, 02:56:04 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.

Offline Mardak

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2011, 06:10:57 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.

Offline ScoobyDoBee

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2011, 09:55:02 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. :(

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Offline Lord Viykor

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #9 on: December 02, 2011, 12:45:26 am »
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, 08:32:21 am by Robo »

Offline SRJ

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #10 on: December 03, 2011, 08:00:00 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.

Offline Lone

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #11 on: December 03, 2011, 08:50:32 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

Offline ozbee

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2011, 02:43:43 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

Offline weedyau

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2011, 02:59:56 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?

Offline VolunteerK9

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2011, 03:45:59 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.

Offline the-ecohouse.com

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2011, 06:40:31 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


 :mrgreen:

Offline squidink

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2011, 05:42:08 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

Offline the-ecohouse.com

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #17 on: December 28, 2011, 09:19:49 am »
google "gilberts beekeeping", i have always found them very reliable

Offline the-ecohouse.com

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #18 on: December 30, 2011, 10:27:19 am »
after anothers day of extraction...i submit that i will never use wax foundation EVER again...pain in the butt...


Offline Lone

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #19 on: December 30, 2011, 10:39:43 am »
You wind the crank handle too fast, Eco?

:)

Offline ozbee

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2012, 09:38:10 pm »
 rod palmer  the closet for NQ

Offline the-ecohouse.com

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2012, 02:58:18 am »
apparently i did ... :shock:

Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #22 on: February 08, 2023, 09:56:45 am »
By reading this older topic, I suppose plastic was still in the earlier learning stages at the time. A lot can be learned by reading Beemasters older topics, (a beekeepers time capsule if you will). I will post 'one' quote, though this one, is just one of many interesting post placed here, within this topic.

There are many related 'topics' in the archives pertaining to plastic frames..

Phillip


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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Offline max2

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #23 on: December 27, 2023, 10:06:52 pm »
Plastic frames. Plastic anything.

I have avoided most things plastic from the time we strated with bees.

It sure has it's place but recycling has limits and I try not to add to landfills.

There is another aspect - does plastic affect the taste of honey?

I have a mate  who has about 150 hives and sells at the same places we sell. People regularly tell me that our honey is " much nicer". We like the compliment but why should our honey be " nicer"?

Most of his hives are in an area with a lot of Privet and Camfor laurel. This could be a reason - we are in a bush enviroment. Very few privets.

He uses a pump , plastic hoses, plastic frames and plastic supers...we don't use any of these things.

Any evidence that plastic has an affect on the taste of honey?

Online Michael Bush

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #24 on: December 28, 2023, 05:52:22 am »
The plastic doesn't affect the flavor that I can tell.  How much you heat the honey affects the flavor a lot.  Keeping different nectar sources separate gives each kind a more distinct flavor.  If you crush and strain it has more flavor then when you extract.  The honey flying through the air loses a lot of floral notes.  The most flavorful is comb honey.
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Online The15thMember

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #25 on: December 28, 2023, 12:09:41 pm »
Interesting, yet another reason why I don't see myself getting an extractor. 
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #26 on: December 28, 2023, 12:35:29 pm »
Being able to reuse the comb will make a lot more honey.  Probably not enough to justify a new extractor for only a few hives, but enough to justify using one if you can get it cheap enough.
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #27 on: December 28, 2023, 03:37:02 pm »
Isn't the plastic foundation coated with beeswax in the amount the bees themselves desire before they add nectar within the added drawn out cells? If so, isn't it reasonable to assess that the added nectar/honey 'flavor or taste' will not be changed by using a plastic foundation base, anymore than in comparison to natural beeswax foundation since nectar/honey is encased in beeswax from every angle, never touching the plastic in the foundation?.. (In both situations)

Phillip
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Online Michael Bush

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #28 on: December 28, 2023, 05:44:43 pm »
Some are unwaxed and all are barely waxed.  Like a light spray where most of the plastic is still exposed.
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #29 on: December 28, 2023, 07:39:32 pm »
That is true. It is generally accepted that we either add a bit of wax ourselves, or buy plastic foundation pre-waxed to encourage the bees to take it from there, (a starting place if you will), to add what amount of wax they themselves deem acceptable for their purpose. Purchasing plastic foundation with some amount of wax added, or adding wax to it ourselves, will encourage bees to continue until they have it covered to their satisfaction. As if is also generally know, many times bees will not add wax (draw out bare plastic foundation) themselves without this added wax encouragement. But once accepted they will add what wax they deem adequate to finish coating the plastic.

Joe May of Indiana shows us a way to have bees wax coat the plastic foundation 'themselves' without us having to manually add wax ourselves.

https://youtu.be/1F8i1-K2Rzw?si=zbViSbNsiGrz_zyC
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #30 on: December 28, 2023, 07:54:38 pm »
My neighbor got a batch of 100% plastic frames last year and he reports that they built on them like they loved them. His uncle was opposed to using them and said that the bees would not accept them.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2023, 08:14:42 pm »
That is awesome Terri, many times with bare plastic, they will start their 'own row of comb' on the outer edge of the top bar bypassing the plastic which is not a good thing.

Phillip
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2023, 09:10:24 pm »
At the moment my bees have only enough nectar coming in to keep them going. If I were to place a plastic foundation or comb into a hive, they would take any wax from that frame and utilise it elsewhere. They only work plastic when there is no option ie a newly hived swarm, a hive building quickly in the spring or when there is a good flow on. Bees don?t like new plastic perhaps due to its smell. Plastic foundation that has previously been used in a hive can bee scraped clean and placed back into a box with better acceptance.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2023, 10:27:00 pm »
Thats right Les resources make the difference...
2 Chronicles 7:14
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Online Michael Bush

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #34 on: December 29, 2023, 06:11:19 am »
> His uncle was opposed to using them and said that the bees would not accept them.

Acceptance by the bees has a lot to do with timing.  When there's a flow and there's no where else to build comb, they build it fast.  When they don't need comb too badly, sometimes they will hesitate.  And some of it is genetic.  Some colonies are happy to build on it and others hesitate.

https://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#messedupcomb
https://bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#waxplastic
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #35 on: December 29, 2023, 09:00:38 am »
> His uncle was opposed to using them and said that the bees would not accept them.

Acceptance by the bees has a lot to do with timing.  When there's a flow and there's no where else to build comb, they build it fast.  When they don't need comb too badly, sometimes they will hesitate.  And some of it is genetic.  Some colonies are happy to build on it and others hesitate.

https://bushfarms.com/beesfaqs.htm#messedupcomb
https://bushfarms.com/beesfallacies.htm#waxplastic
He did say that they built it fast. I don't know what 'fast' is here and I'm not sure that he does but he made it sound like they had whatever plastic frames he put in there, built out in a week. I do not know how many of them he put in either.

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #36 on: December 29, 2023, 09:20:22 am »
Terri,
When you use plastic frames, always add a super with plastic only. If they have anything else in the super, they will use that first and usually not use the plastic.
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Online Terri Yaki

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #37 on: December 29, 2023, 09:31:27 am »
OK, that's interesting.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #38 on: December 29, 2023, 01:11:00 pm »
That is awesome Terri, many times with bare plastic, they will start their 'own row of comb' on the outer edge of the top bar bypassing the plastic which is not a good thing.

Phillip

Here is a picture of an example of what we do not want, and why it is recommended that a wax coat be added to plastic foundation... Picture credit to Honeyflow.com

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Online Michael Bush

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Re: who uses plastic frames?
« Reply #39 on: January 02, 2024, 06:42:18 am »
I have decided the most accurate description of this is a "parallel half comb".  Because it's parallel to the foundation but there is only a cell on the outside and not on the back side.  The other common problem are fins at right angles to the foundation.
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