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View Full Version : Plasticell vs. Rite-Cell



JC
10-08-2007, 06:00 PM
Do you prefer "Pasticell" from Dadant or "Rite-Cell" from Mann Lake? Why?

Keith Jarrett
10-08-2007, 06:25 PM
I prefer Dadant frame with plasticell, two years ago I bought 20,000 frames from Mann Lake pre assembled, the staple, on the end bar went threw to the top groove of the top bar, I had about 19,000 this way. The wax bowed in most of them. Never going to buy their frames again. I talk to Stuart of Man lake, he said, if the machine is off they're all going to be off. I thought to myself, why have a sticker on every box saying inspected by xyz of man lake.

I justed looked at it as a $30,000 mistake. I try not to make too many of those.

Michael Bush
10-08-2007, 06:52 PM
I've had the best luck and gotten small cells with the Mann Lake PF-100 and PF-120s. 4.95mm cells and good acceptance. Also, if bought in bulk, under $1 a piece for one piece frame/foundation.

JC
10-09-2007, 09:38 AM
I prefer Dadant frame with plasticell, two years ago I bought 20,000 frames from Mann Lake pre assembled, the staple, on the end bar went threw to the top groove of the top bar, I had about 19,000 this way. The wax bowed in most of them. Never going to buy their frames again. I talk to Stuart of Man lake, he said, if the machine is off they're all going to be off. I thought to myself, why have a sticker on every box saying inspected by xyz of man lake.

I justed looked at it as a $30,000 mistake. I try not to make too many of those.

I have heard that Mann Lake has had problems with their machinery for the assembled frames. They now have a weird notched end on the top of the end bar to help in the automated assembly process. However, that design makes the frame loose and more difficult for me to put together. Additionally, the wood in their frames is made of dense pine. That kind of wood is ideal for hive bodies, but it is terrible for frames. My pneumatic staple gun has a difficult time penetrating the wood. On the other hand, I have also heard that Dadant has not had any problems with the machinery to assemble frames. However, I assemble my frames and I have just switched from Dadant wood frames to Kelly wood frames. Kelley frames have a better finish and a finger joint on the bottom of the end bar.

MapMan
10-10-2007, 10:47 AM
I prefer Dadant frame with plasticell, two years ago I bought 20,000 frames from Mann Lake pre assembled, the staple, on the end bar went threw to the top groove of the top bar, I had about 19,000 this way. The wax bowed in most of them. Never going to buy their frames again. I talk to Stuart of Man lake, he said, if the machine is off they're all going to be off. I thought to myself, why have a sticker on every box saying inspected by xyz of man lake.

I justed looked at it as a $30,000 mistake. I try not to make too many of those.

Must not have been too bad, if you accepted them and didn't return them... I'm certain that they would want to make things right, for small and large volume buyers. Must be another side to your story, unless you liken 30 grand to a small mistake, in the scheme of things. Is it you accepted them as-is, then used them, and now want them to accept them back? Fuzzy logic.

MM

Keith Jarrett
10-10-2007, 11:13 AM
Must not have been too bad, if you accepted them and didn't return them... I'm certain that they would want to make things right, for small and large volume buyers. Must be another side to your story, unless you liken 30 grand to a small mistake, in the scheme of things. Is it you accepted them as-is, then used them, and now want them to accept them back? Fuzzy logic.

MM

Well MM, after you have branded them and need them it's hard to take back. I did have a talk with Man Lake management at there warehouse, that was there story.

This year we had a great spring, needed more supers, everyone but Man Lake was sold out that I called. Well you know what's coming.
After getting this junk put to gether I am again bent.

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s35/CNHoney/100_1905.jpg

This is just one out of many many of them, how can you be this far off?

Came home more than once with bloody hands try to fit four pieces of wood together from Mann Lake.

Flyer Jim of beesource saw these supers in my shop and said take them back.
Maybe I should, or maybe I should send a tape measure with instructions to Mann Lake's wood shop.

JC
10-10-2007, 01:30 PM
Well MM, after you have branded them and need them it's hard to take back. I did have a talk with Man Lake management at there warehouse, that was there story.

This year we had a great spring, needed more supers, everyone but Man Lake was sold out that I called. Well you know what's coming.
After getting this junk put to gether I am again bent.

http://i148.photobucket.com/albums/s35/CNHoney/100_1905.jpg

This is just one out of many many of them, how can you be this far off?

Came home more than once with bloody hands try to fit four pieces of wood together from Mann Lake.

Flyer Jim of beesource saw these supers in my shop and said take them back.
Maybe I should, or maybe I should send a tape measure with instructions to Mann Lake's wood shop.

You have a legal right to inspect the merchandise and to refuse acceptance if the merchandise is not "conforming goods," even if you paid C.O.D. However, you must notify the seller in a timely manner. The seller, according to the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC2), must offer a remedy. I have received a small amount of nonconforming goods from Brushy Mountain, Dadant and Rossman. All three companies promptly sent replacement goods.

Keith Jarrett
10-10-2007, 02:29 PM
JC,
Thanks for the info,

That order was a 1,000 boxes this spring, that also will be the last from Mann Lake.
The problem is that we don't have alot of free time to keep going back to fix problems that never should have been.

I usually don't do business with folks that sell sub-stardard products.

Mann Lake opened a store hour and half away from my house, I was jumping up and down, that I could get bee supplies so close.

But here we are and the only thing I will touch in there store is bee feeds.They know there business has fallen way off with me.

Duane & Judy are swell folks that run the Woodland store, but there wood product's from MN blow.

JC, if you notice the date (picture) on those boxes Im still going. I called Duane about a Month ago and told him that there was a few that just would not fit, he did say he would replace those. I don't know how many frame rest are split but I know it's a lot.This job, has taken a vice, clamps, and malits. I must have missed the "tools required" tag on this one.

Needless to say, Dadant frame's are going inside those boxes, I think ten thousand of them. Yes, they were a little more but the quality was nice to see again.

Chef Isaac
10-10-2007, 06:00 PM
I like working with Dadant... very nice people and good product. I do buy the pollen patties from Mann Lake... (unless Keith will sell me some) :)

Fred Bee
11-07-2007, 07:22 PM
After all the discussion here about the problems with the frame issue, I am still curious as to person's experience with these two foundations. I was reading somewhere in the late George W. Imirie's "Pink Pages" that he enjoyed using medium supers with the plasticell in wood frames from Dadant.

Personally, I havn't tried plastic foundation, but I don't enjoy wiring and embedding wax foundation and have been considering trying the plastic foundation in the wood frames. Would love to hear more about your experiences with these.

If I get them, I'd be putting on the plastic foundation in wood frames in my extracting supers...during our honey flow here this coming spring. Don't want to risk loosing my honey crop this year, but alas, I don't have enough supers of drawn foundation in hand and I will have to place some supers of just foundation only on my hives...so I will either use plastic foundation (Like Plasticell or Rite Cell) or use wax foundation. What say ye?
Thanks all.

kensfarm
11-09-2007, 08:38 PM
From the picture.. it looks like they're cutting wet wood.. then it shrinks & warps.

Keith Jarrett
11-10-2007, 06:56 AM
From the picture.. it looks like they're cutting wet wood.. then it shrinks & warps.

Ken, are you referring to Keith's pictures ?

sierrabees
11-17-2007, 05:18 AM
After all the discussion here about the problems with the frame issue, I am still curious as to person's experience with these two foundations. I was reading somewhere in the late George W. Imirie's "Pink Pages" that he enjoyed using medium supers with the plasticell in wood frames from Dadant.

Personally, I havn't tried plastic foundation, but I don't enjoy wiring and embedding wax foundation and have been considering trying the plastic foundation in the wood frames. Would love to hear more about your experiences with these.

If I get them, I'd be putting on the plastic foundation in wood frames in my extracting supers...during our honey flow here this coming spring. Don't want to risk loosing my honey crop this year, but alas, I don't have enough supers of drawn foundation in hand and I will have to place some supers of just foundation only on my hives...so I will either use plastic foundation (Like Plasticell or Rite Cell) or use wax foundation. What say ye?
Thanks all.

In my experience, the bees seem to prefer to build their own comb first with only starter strips, next comes wax foundation, last comes plastic. Once they have accepted plastic and started comb on it they do well, but I often have them actually skip over a frame with plastic foundation and build on the frames on either side while only putting a small patch of comb in the plastic in the middle or if the spacing is off a little they will build comb attached to the plastic with a lot of bee space between, but not directly on the plastic. My best and fastest comb buildup comes with a small starter strip with or without wires placed for them to build around. Since I lost most of my hives last winter I am trying to replace all of my comb as rapidly as possable with new wax and will rely primarily on the starter strips for brood comb. Plastic is definately stronger for the honey supers however. I don't think there is a single answer as to which is better, it just depends on how you are planning on using the comb. As far as the Dadant plastic vs. the Mann Lake plastic, I have had better acceptance with the Mann Lake, but like Kieth, I'm not thrilled with their wooden frames.

kensfarm
11-17-2007, 08:05 PM
Ken, are you referring to Keith's pictures ?

Yes I was..

jim lyon
11-17-2007, 08:20 PM
I buy a lot of unassembled Dadant frames (15,000 last year) very few broken or warped pieces when we are done . I always get a bid from Mann Lake but Dadant is closer for shipping and I have always been impressed with their quality. We always get the Plasticell and it has performed very well for us. I have never used it side by side with the Rite-Cell so I guess I can't give an opinion on which is better. One interesting note when I talked to Mann Lake they only had black Rite-Cell on hand at the time but told me that it was preferred by about any beekeeper that has used it because the bees draw it out better. I said that it just shows we beekeepers are a strange bunch but for me it just sounds a little bit strange since hives are dark inside anyway. Then before I hung up I asked him for a price on 50 deep boxes and when I realized that he was simply reading the price as it was printed in the catalog I said if I place an order this big (there were also 500 6 5/8" boxes) you aren't going to give me a better price on the deeps? He told me that he couldn't without an OK from his boss. Dadant always gives me their best price when you are buying in these quantities.

Panhandle Bee man
11-17-2007, 08:35 PM
Here's my biased opinion. I prefer Dadant's frames and Mann Lake's rite cell when dealing with deeps. I think that the rite cell foundation has a deeper, and better defined "cell" over the plasticell. Having said that, I have a lot more plasticell foundation than I do rite cell, and in all my supers, I use Dadant's plasticell foundation, here's a couple of tips on getting the bees to draw it out that I have found. Leave the queen excluder in the honey house when drawing it out. You need a strong flow on, with a lot of young bees in the hive. Don't over super, when you give the bees the super add them one at a time, and no drawn frames/boxes. If you have a good flow going on, and a lot of bees, and no queen excluder the bees will draw out and mostly fill a medium/illinois super in about a week. Adding a super per week will get a bunch supers drawn out rather quickly.

Keith Jarrett
11-18-2007, 07:32 AM
From the picture.. it looks like they're cutting wet wood.. then it shrinks & warps.

Ken, that could be, I'm not a wood expert.
But it seems like there cuts were just off.

Now on their frames, they stapled the end bar at the top, so to drive the staple into the top bar. But what they did was drive the staple through the top bar groove , now then you have your plastic wax sheet bowed in your frame. They did this on my 20,000 frames I bought. Way to go Mann Lake.

jim lyon
11-18-2007, 12:38 PM
I tried putting that staple in at the top of the end bar for a while, seemed like a good idea but gave up on it because it was so difficult to get it in right without either shooting out the side or ending up in the groove as you describe. A couple staples and some glue and they will never come apart anyway. Another thing that has to be factored in with the preassembled frames is how much it adds to the shipping cost because of the increased bulk. I understand where Keith is coming from though, sometimes you just don't have time for a big frame assembly project and it becomes a lose, lose proposition when you are counting on them and don't have time to do much else except let them know you aren't happy and hope they will make it right.

Keith Jarrett
11-18-2007, 02:59 PM
Jlyon,

What dadant does, is use a wide staple in there end bar, then they use a narrow staple on the top bar.
So the staple straddles the top groove.

Also the shipping, Dadant uses a pallet of 750 frames shrink wrap and banded. I drove three hours down from Dadant with 10,000 frames this year with no problems.

Way to go Dadant. Thank you. :)