Has anyone tried those one-piece plastic frames and foundation? On the surface they seem like a good way to go, being impervious to wax moths, rodents, etc. Can someone who has used them give some pros and cons? I'm gearing up for next season and might give them a try, pending what I read here.
The up side that I have seen, is what you mentioned, but also, they don't fall apart. I hate when a top bar comes loose from wooden frames when you are working your bees.
And I don't care how many nails and if you glue them together, the wooden frames get old and fall apart. Secondly, I know that plastic will over time fall apart if left in the sun, but my frames stay in the hive. I believe they should last forever.
On the down side, plastic frames don't feel right in your hands. They warp and bend slightly when full of honey. Also, the bees do not like them as much as wax foundation, and will ignore them until they run out of space and are forced to use them. Another problem is when you give them nothing but plastic frames in there supers, they will build at times odd and misshapen comb.
I still like them better than wood. Once you got comb built, there is no acceptance problems.
Plus I am either lazy or just don't have the time, but it is sure nice to pull something out of the box and use it with out having to assemble it.
If you use these at the very start you have to feed lots of syrup and keep it going util they are well established. They will not build on it if there is no honey flow. But they sure do look good comeing out of the box. It does help to get the ones that are coated. Good luck
I have only 12 hives but after spinning out so manny of my foundations this year I have decided to go with all plastic foundation.I make my own frames and dont want to spend the time wiring the wax foundation so by the end of next year I will have all plastic in my honey supers.I use 6 5/8 honey supers.
I will also experiment with wire mesh bottom boards during the summer months.The other thing I have thought about is making my entrance on the long side of the bottom board so that I wont have a long reach when removing frames(less chance of killing bees) ?....Good Luck Rick