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Thread: Bee-O-Pac

  1. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
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    Jackson, MO
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    Likewise, I too, say "thanks, Lloyd." No need to have waited so long to weigh in.

    It's been an interesing evolution of thought from what I thought was the original question about getting those bees up into those confined areas without inviting them to swarm. This seems to be a universal challenge irrespective of your choice of cassette.

    I confess I still sell the bulk of my comb honey in those little wooden boxes from Kelley (ala Killion) because it's what sells around here. Nobody ever accused a S.E. Missourian of being progressively minded. Laborious, yes. And cute, yes, "why, they remind me of dad's operation when I was a kid."

    My second best comb seller is chunk honey is a pint jar of extracted honey, followed by a distant third by cut comb in a clam shell plastic box. Both of these come from shallow frames with unwired foundation.

    I have greately enjoyed the conversation and articles, the insights and the advice.

    Grant
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  2. #22
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    Jun 2004
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    Greenwood, IN ,USA
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    Well I just got my first experience of the Bee-O-Pac equipment. Its construction reminds me of an old toy from my era called "vac-u-form". Except that the old "vac-u-form" was 4 times the strength plastic as "Bee-O-Pac". Very flimsy, not well made, not good quality control as I have had to have some frames replaced - twice. The method which you put the 2 frame halves together is terrible. Come on people...smashing a little plastic bump through a hole is not an engineering masterpiece, and it really wouldn't be so bad but, IT DOESN"T WORK 80% OF THE TIME!

    Then, if you get to the point of finishing the assembly witout pulling all your hair out...try to get 8 frames in the super. Wouldn't fit for me - just 7!

    Needless to say I am not a bit impressed with this equipment. I didn't even go into the cost side of this...I'm not going there.

    Thanks everyone for letting me vent...gee and I haven't even gotten them on a hive yet. Wow I can't wait for that!

    As a gift from me to Beeosphere. You need to provide the following warning with your product:

    Warning...have your friends/family leave the house before attempting assembly of this product. The frustration level generated while assembling this product could be fatal to standers-by.

  3. #23
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    Apr 2004
    Location
    Macon, GA USA
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    942

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    >Simply, Bee-O-Pac was not introduced to ‘help’ you produce comb honey. It was introduced to take your money, pure and simple.

    Sounds like Lloyd hit the nail on the head.

  4. #24
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    I don't think you're all being that fair to Bee-O-Sphere. The IDEA was to have a package for comb honey that would fit a standard medium super and the bees would put the comb in the container. That's not a bad idea. I think it remains to be seen if it will work well in the long run.

    Maybe in the long run they will improve it and/or the beekeepers will figure out the ins and outs of using it.

    To be fair, I've heard a lot of complaints about every cassette system including Ross Rounds. People will say, they can't get the bees to fill them in. But in the end getting the bees to fill any kind of comb honey cassette system requires a certain kind of managment regardless of the method otherwise.

    Certainly Ross Rounds are a proven entity, at least to the people who are sucessfully raising comb honey in them. The people who used to raise section honey have almost all converted to Ross Rounds because it eliminated many of the problems of the section honey system.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #25
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
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    117

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    Michael,

    I'm not complaining how the product works with the bees, or the "idea". On the contrary, I think the idea is great!

    My complaint, or, maybe better put, my personal observations are about the poor construction, manufacturing, and quality control of the Bee-O-Pac product. All the above in relation to the price they charge.

    To Michael's point and in all fairness to Beeosphere, I can not attest to the performace of them yet as I have not put them on the hive.

    But, I can tell you regardless of how well or poor they perform this spring...I will not buy anymore unless Beeosphere has a complete 180 degree turn-around for the better, in their design and manufacture of this product.

  6. #26
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    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
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    Jeff- keep in mind that this is a new product and starting up the manufacturing of a new product is always expensive. As their production methods improve, there's no reason to think the price will go anywhere but down. That being said, I've never done comb honey before and I don't know much about it. I'm just making a capitalistic observation.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  7. #27
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    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    > To be fair, I've heard a lot of complaints about
    > every cassette system including Ross Rounds.
    > People will say, they can't get the bees to fill
    > them in. But in the end getting the bees to fill
    > any kind of comb honey cassette system requires
    > a certain kind of managment regardless of the
    > method otherwise.

    I'll go further, and say that the same exact
    management practices would apply equally to any
    "system", including the old wooden sections or
    even thin surplus in frames. In fact, not being
    able to get bees to both draw comb and fill
    it with honey in "full supers" of any type is
    a sign of a beekeeper who needs to read and
    learn more.

    If you think about it, the only extra step
    is the drawing of new comb every time, so
    the same management practices used for comb
    production can also enhance one's harvestable
    yield of extracted honey, even when drawn comb
    is supered. Not giving the bees any comb to
    draw at all is a "risky move", so if I went
    through all the same steps, I'd want something
    to keep all those crowded young bees busy at
    a task that keeps them crowded - like drawing
    out a super of foundation.

    Making comb honey is a little complex in
    the beeyard than making extracted honey, but
    it is much less work in the honey house, and
    is worth the "extra" trouble when the dollars
    are counted. Extracted honey prices rise and
    fall whenever someone in a country far away
    produces more or less honey, but comb honey
    prices are both much higher and more stable
    year after year.

  8. #28
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    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
    Posts
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    Jim said:

    "I've not tried it myself, but I have yet to hear
    anyone contradict Walt. Moving some frames
    around is MUCH less work than other approaches,
    so even if it is no more successful than other
    approaches, it "scales" better, and to me,
    "scalable" is where most of this stuff tends
    to be lacking.

    I guess I should take a dozen hives and give it
    a shot."

    Jim,

    I hope you do decide to give Walt's nectar management method a try next year - I think you will find that it is the most succesful method of swarm prevention that you have tried. I say this because I have found that it results in larger populations than other methods with a minimum of labor, and once I fine tuned his method to my area swarms stopped happening. I encourage you to contact Walt and get his manuscript - it is good reading, and once you have fine tuned his methods to your area you may change your mind about splitting being the only way to prevent swarming.

    I ordered my tin foil hat today.
    Rob Koss

  9. #29
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
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    Mike Bush makes a good point relative to Bee-O-Pac being a new product. In fact, that is why I bought and tried two packages. I wanted to see if the use of Vacuum Forming would produce an acceptable product.

    Potentially, the Bee-O-Pac advantages were (1) Vacuum Forming is much less expensive than Injection Molding (how Ross Round equipment is made), so the cost to the beekeeper and consumer might be much less (2) in certain markets (such as restaurants or any kind of food service) a four-ounce package would be preferred and (3) it uses a standard size super.

    Now, 'in the old days', the major dealers in beekeeping equipment were all beekeepers and they would not put their name behind a new product unless it clearly filled a niche or was superior to existing products. In fact, Ross Rounds went through H... to get in the Dadant and Kelley catalogs. Our product had to first have multiyear trials by established beekeepers before they would carry it.

    In the case of Bee-O-Pac, the persons manufacturing it are not serious beekeepers, if they are beekeepers at all. Instead, they are marketing gurus. We now know that it was widely advertised and promoted before there was any acceptance of the product as being superior or even acceptable. (Much was made of an endorsement by a Canadian university. I have since been told that that endorsement was unintended and was embarrasing.) It is clear that the product has serious design faults.

    Just several weeks ago an American dealer reported to me privately that he expected the product to last 2-3 years and then disappear. When I asked him why he carried it in his catalog he replied "we have to take sales any way we can get them'. 'We carry several products that we don't necessarily endorse as being a good idea for beekeepers, and this is one." In my opinion, a sad commentary.

    My guess...a vacuum formed product is not suitable for production of section comb honey as correction of the design difficulties would mean the product would be far too expensive compared to alternatives.
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

  10. #30
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
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    Post

    can anyone link me to walt's nectar management?
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  11. #31
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    Mar 2003
    Location
    Mobile, Alabama
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    east_stingray,

    Walt is not a computer person, so no link. You can contact him at Walt Wright, P.O. Box 10, Elkton, TN 38455
    Rob Koss

  12. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
    Posts
    117

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    Lloyd,

    Once again thanks for the insite...very good.

    I too read the endorsement and other articles that I now know as "advertising" and not true research...hereto...I bought the product.

    >Just several weeks ago an American dealer >reported to me privately that he expected the >product to last 2-3 years and then disappear. >When I asked him why he carried it in his >catalog he replied "we have to take sales any >way we can get them'. 'We carry several products >that we don't necessarily endorse as being a >good idea for beekeepers, and this is one." In >my opinion, a sad commentary.

    That disturbs me in the respect that it implies the retailer(s) know this is not a good product but are mearly driven by sales instead of sales and service. Shame on me this time...not the next time!

  13. #33
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    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
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    > That disturbs me in the respect that it implies
    > the retailer(s) know this is not a good product
    > but are mearly driven by sales instead of sales
    > and service. Shame on me this time...not the next
    > time!

    Hold on now... I know all the major dealers, and I
    can confirm that they DO care about what goes in
    their product lines, and they DO test and use the
    products on their own bees. I think that the
    caveats about Bee-O-Pack were more than adequately
    handled by the major dealers, in fact, Fred Rossman
    had a super of Bee-O-Pac sitting on his table at
    EAS, and would engage in conversation with people
    asking about it by starting out with "I have not
    yet tried it myself...", and then he would show
    the beekeepers how the Bee-O-Pac frames were
    slightly taller than a standard medium super,
    and advise them to add a shim when using them.

    Yes, there is much more "market pull" at work
    than there might have been several decades ago.
    These days, "push" alone will not sell a product,
    one must create "pull", where the buyer demands
    the product. Bee-O-Sphere was very good at
    focusing on a weak point in the other comb
    systems - initial cost. "Cheaper" is a big
    point to beekeepers, who have a near-universal
    aversion to spending 8 cents when they can
    spend 3 hours and do a half-sassed job of it for
    5 cents.

    But as I pointed out in a prior message, you
    get what you pay for, and "cheaper" is often
    very poor economy over the longer term.

    There are LOTS of beekeeping products out
    there that simply are not carried in the
    major catalogs. Why? Because many of them
    were found by the dealers to not do what they
    were claimed to do.

  14. #34
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    Jun 2004
    Location
    Greenwood, IN ,USA
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    117

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    Hey I didn't say it my friend....your mentor up there did. I'm just telling you it ain't happen'n here twice! Regardless of YOUR trust in the dealer group!

  15. #35
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
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    How do you take the Bee-O-Pac super off to inspect under it? The andrew guy I talked to acted like you shouldn't touch it until harvest or all the little sections would fall out. Also, can someone give me some more specifics on using shims? Won't they use the space as an entrance?
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

  16. #36
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    Nov 2003
    Location
    McMinnville, TN, USA
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    716

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    That is the idea to give the bees an upper entrance.

  17. #37
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    Jan 2005
    Location
    North Georgia mountains
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    << "Cheaper" is a big
    point to beekeepers, who have a near-universal
    aversion to spending 8 cents when they can
    spend 3 hours and do a half-sassed job of it for
    5 cents.

    But as I pointed out in a prior message, you
    get what you pay for, and "cheaper" is often
    very poor economy over the longer term.>>

    The most expensive purchases I have ever made were the "cheap" ones. I'm all for inexpensive, but avoid "cheap" like the plague...

    I've never used cassetts, and had no intention of trying them now until I bought out the guy last week. I use only medium supers and now all of a sudden I have well over 200 shallows. I will probably convert some shallows and try 10-20 hives with cassett combs production, but it will be Ross Rounds ONLY if I do.

  18. #38
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Central IL
    Posts
    261

    Post

    Hey, I use exclusively shallows, so if you get bored trying to convert them, give me a call and I'll road trip to see your operation. My spring break's coming up, you know, and I'm not afraid to get out and help you work. I bet two beekeepers can have more fun than two cats with a paper grocery store bag.
    Central IL... where there are more hogs than people and more soybeans than hogs and people put together.

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