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  1. #41
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    Feb 2007
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    Chase, BC Canada
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    57

    Default

    The Bee-O-Pacs are appealing because it looks very little handling once the individual containers are filled.

    From my POV, they are also cost-effective, considering the labor involved in other systems and the local selling price of the 4-oz packages. (They sell for nearly the same price as other 8-oz packages.)

    The main problem I can see is the possibility of the bees not filling all the containers in the corners, ends, etc., and those containers would be wasted.

    I'd really like to hear from more folks who have actually used the system. How did it work for you?
    Inga Anderson

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Schenectady, NY, USA
    Posts
    254

    bee-o-pac

    Jim Fischer pointed out that Shane, at Betterbee, tells customers to expect a 65% yield (saleable items) from a set of Bee-O-Pac frames and challenged "Boris" to compare the cost of a Ross Round section with a Bee-O-Pac after considering that yield.

    "Boris" replied that Betterbee did not confirm Jim's statement concerning the yield.

    Something is wrong here. Shane has also made that statement to me. He said they (Betterbee) do not offer that information if questions are not asked, but that if a customer asks about yield that is what they tell them. My guess is that "Boris" either did not talk to Shane (there are several new people there just now), or Shane said something close to 65% but not exactly and "Boris" figured that somehow justified him replying that "Betterbee did not confirm...".

    I have also noted that "Boris" seems to have never posted a note to Beesource, except on the topic of Bee-O-Pac. Wonder why? Is he not a curious or experienced beekeeper?

    A further indication of something being wrong is that it seems it is difficult to determine just who "Boris" is. I know several members of the Catskill Bee Club and none that I have asked know who it might be. The Catskill Club is quite active, and a good one. I have also been at their meetings more than once, and have been a guest speaker, and have no recollection of any "Boris". While it is entirely possible there is an accomplished beekeeper in or near Catskill NY who is not a member of the club and also otherwise unknown to beekeepers in the area, is that likely? http://catskillbees.org.

    Why would "Boris" use a psudeonym if his only agenda was to help other beekeepers? Could it be he has other motives?
    Lloyd Spear, Owner of Ross Rounds, Inc. Manufacturers of round section comb equipment and Sundance Pollen Traps.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,366

    Default

    Lloyd, did you check his website in his profile? http://www.beebehavior.com/

  4. #44
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    Feb 2007
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    Chase, BC Canada
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    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by lloyd@rossrounds.com View Post

    Why would "Boris" use a psudeonym if his only agenda was to help other beekeepers? Could it be he has other motives?
    Lloyd, I do appreciate that you are clear about your bias, as owner of Ross Rounds but I've visited Boris's web site and appreciate it. He does not appear to be using a pseudonym. He also seems to be evaluating various systems of comb honey production and probably searched on the various systems discussed on bee forums. I find his information helpful and not particularly biased.

    I would still like feedback from those who have actually used the Bee-O-Pac system, rather than from those who have used other systems and/or want to promote competing systems.
    Last edited by inga; 03-18-2007 at 01:40 AM.
    Inga Anderson

  5. #45
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    Feb 2007
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    Post

    Quote Originally Posted by lloyd@rossrounds.com View Post
    Jim Fischer pointed out that Shane, at Betterbee, tells customers to expect a 65% yield (saleable items) from a set of Bee-O-Pac frames and challenged "Boris" to compare the cost of a Ross Round section with a Bee-O-Pac after considering that yield.

    "Boris" replied that Betterbee did not confirm Jim's statement concerning the yield.
    For the sake of argument, let's assume that Shane said just that and that he might be correct.

    Would the same not be true for any other system, seeing that the bees have a tendency to fill the centers, rather than the edges of any frame?

    Then the cost comparison would still hold, and I think the one given on Boris's site is a fair comparison, because he includes a comparison of the cost of "refills." (See http://www.beebehavior.com/comb_hone...comparison.php)

    What Boris didn't include was a cost/benefit comparison per salable unit. For Ross Rounds, for instance, the refill cost appears to be $2.43 per one 16 Oz. conditional unit - or for 2 salable 8-oz units. ($1.22 each) (Note that's the refill cost, not the initial acquisition cost, which is much higher.)

    For Bee-O-Pacs the cost appears to be $1.84 per one 16 Oz. conditional unit - or for 4 salable 4-oz units ($.46 each) If only 65% of the pacs are salable, that would amount to an effective cost of $.71 per salable unit, retailing @ $3.00.

    In our area, Bee-O-Pacs sell for close to the price of 8-oz units. In the US, I understand they sell for an average of $3.00 each. According to your web site the average retail price for Ross Rounds is $3.83. (Let's round that up to $3.90, for the sake of comparison.)

    Or, in other words, Bee-O-Pacs would sell for $12.00/lb, leaving a gross best-scenario gross profit of $10.16. Ross Rounds could sell for roughly $7.80/lb, leaving a gross best-scenario profit of $5.37/lb.
    Even if the Ross Rounds were always 100% filled and the Bee-O-Pacs were never over 65% filled, we would have a potential gross profit on Bee-O-Pacs of $9.20/lb against $5.37/lb on Ross Rounds.

    It is surely unrealistic to expect Ross Rounds to be 100% filled and salable. Thus there would be a percentage loss on Ross Rounds refills as well, with a corresponding loss of profit margin.

    I admit I haven't checked Boris's math, but I did my own math earlier and found Bee-O-Pacs to be by far the most economical system -- both in cash outlay and in labor outlay. (Lost my notes.)

    The argument that Ross Rounds are cheaper in large quantities doesn't help much, because the same is true for Bee-O-Pacs and any other packaging system.

    So now I would like some feedback on how well the bees normally fill Ross Rounds, compared to Bee-O-Pacs. (I personally can't see reasons for a great deal of difference, but then I have no experience yet. )
    Inga Anderson

  6. #46
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post

    Read this:
    http://www.beesource.com/cgi-bin/ubb...088;p=1#000007
    And call Shane at Betterbee, as Lloyd suggests,
    and ask HIM what sort of waste you are going to
    have with Bee-O-Pac. If a guy who SELLS Bee-O-Pac
    says "65%" saleable sections, then I will continue
    to take the position that it is your lack of
    experience that is causing you to unwittingly
    misinform the forum members.
    Jim, are you saying that Shane at Betterbee sells only Bee-O-Pacs, not Ross Rounds?

    If he sells both, there may be less-than-obvious reasons why he is biased in favor of Ross Rounds. Does he also tell folks what percentage salable rounds a super of Ross Rounds produces? (Surely it is not 100%!)
    Inga Anderson

  7. #47
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    Jul 2004
    Location
    The Hudson Valley, NY
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    297

    Default

    >So now I would like some feedback on how well the bees normally fill Ross >Rounds, compared to Bee-O-Pacs. (I personally can't see reasons for a great >deal of difference, but then I have no experience yet)

    Bees fill RR better than BOP because RR supers have a perimeter beespace on all sides. Much more importantly, incompletely filled individual RRs can be returned to the bees to fill, whereas incomplete BOP are trash.

    I like both products, but RR has a better system. I won't use BOP again because I don't like the waste.

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    > Jim, are you saying that Shane at Betterbee sells only Bee-O-Pacs,
    > not Ross Rounds?

    Shane sells both, which makes him "impartial".
    He makes money either way.
    But Shane is not about to misrepresent his wares, as he has
    more at stake than a single sale. Bad advice could cost him
    a "lifetime customer".

    > there may be less-than-obvious reasons why he is biased in favor of
    > Ross Rounds.

    I would not accuse Shane of "bias".

    > Does he also tell folks what percentage salable rounds a super
    > of Ross Rounds produces? (Surely it is not 100%!)

    Certainly not - if you end up with 100% of Ross Round supers filled,
    you clearly did not provision enough supers, and could have had a
    larger crop!

    > I would still like feedback from those who have actually used the
    > Bee-O-Pac system, rather than from those who have used other
    > systems and/or want to promote competing systems.

    I bought a dozen supers of Bee-O-Pac when it first came out.
    I depolyed the supers randomly, putting Bee-O-Pacs on some
    hives, Ross Rounds on others, and even mixing the two on
    other hives.

    When it was time to pull the comb honey, I have almost no Bee-O-Pac
    sections filled, yet the Ross Round supers were full. You can figure out
    what my loss was on this little test, but after years of making comb
    honey, I don't think it was due to any failing on my part.

    To each his own, but Bee-O-Pac simply does not appear to have a following
    among those who are experienced comb honey producers.

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chase, BC Canada
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Scannell View Post
    >So now I would like some feedback on how well the bees normally fill Ross >Rounds, compared to Bee-O-Pacs. (I personally can't see reasons for a great >deal of difference, but then I have no experience yet)

    Bees fill RR better than BOP because RR supers have a perimeter beespace on all sides. Much more importantly, incompletely filled individual RRs can be returned to the bees to fill, whereas incomplete BOP are trash.
    Environmentally speaking, it may be "more important," but, as I pointed out, financially, the BOP's are still a better buy, even with 35% loss and no loss on the RR's.
    Inga Anderson

  10. #50
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    Feb 2007
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    Chase, BC Canada
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    Default

    Jim, I appreciate this reply.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post
    > Jim, are you saying that Shane at Betterbee sells only Bee-O-Pacs,
    > not Ross Rounds?

    Shane sells both, which makes him "impartial".
    He makes money either way.
    But Shane is not about to misrepresent his wares, as he has
    more at stake than a single sale. Bad advice could cost him
    a "lifetime customer".

    > there may be less-than-obvious reasons why he is biased in favor of
    > Ross Rounds.

    I would not accuse Shane of "bias".
    No one is asking you to. Fact remains that there is more to it than simply having both products for sale. If he has no bias whatsoever, he's not human.
    > Does he also tell folks what percentage salable rounds a super
    > of Ross Rounds produces? (Surely it is not 100%!)

    Certainly not - if you end up with 100% of Ross Round supers filled,
    you clearly did not provision enough supers, and could have had a
    larger crop!
    So the 65% figure is not really helpful, as a comparison, is it?
    > I would still like feedback from those who have actually used the
    > Bee-O-Pac system, rather than from those who have used other
    > systems and/or want to promote competing systems.

    I bought a dozen supers of Bee-O-Pac when it first came out.
    I depolyed the supers randomly, putting Bee-O-Pacs on some
    hives, Ross Rounds on others, and even mixing the two on
    other hives.

    When it was time to pull the comb honey, I have almost no Bee-O-Pac
    sections filled, yet the Ross Round supers were full. You can figure out
    what my loss was on this little test, but after years of making comb
    honey, I don't think it was due to any failing on my part.
    Now that's the most helpful thing you've written on the subject. If you put the competing products on comparable hives at the same season of the year, that's a valid comparison.

    You actually initiated the idea of financial comparison by implying they were a poorer value than RR's, and after I did the comparison, BOP's looked better than before. But if it's harder to get bees to fill them than RR's, that point is moot.

    I'll be interested to see what others have to say. (In the meantime, I'll have to stick with cut comb, I suppose. I like the idea of the bees building comb in the containers because the finished comb doesn't have to be handled.)
    Inga Anderson

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Moravian Falls, NC
    Posts
    67

    Default clarification(?)

    Hi All,

    My name has been thrown around enough that I thought I would add my 2 cents. I am not going to say one system is better than the other. I sell both because I think each has value and one over the other may be better suited for any given beekeeper.

    In my experience, I get about 65% of Grade A sections; however, I have had customers report 75%. I freely share this information when asked about BOP. I don't have to asked specifically about the yield for me to mention this. I also mention that (depending on the market) you can sell the "seconds" at a discount and still make money on them.

    With that said, I'll fade back to lurking.

    Cheers,
    Shane

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Default "and this Round goes to..."

    Hey fellows,

    What's the concensus? Ross Rounds or Bee o Pac.

    From my perspective, having read each post, it seems that RRs have a clear advantage in the long run. Perhaps the base economics favor BoP but the end result is what is sold, and RRs have the edge and then some, if I read it all correctly.

    Nothing against salesmanship and trying to make a living, but I come here to learn and watch Jim Fischer trade jabs with others. LOL.


    Regards,
    Albert
    Last edited by Albert; 03-18-2007 at 09:47 PM. Reason: factual errors
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    New York City
    Posts
    3,401

    Default

    > I don't like the feeling that "Boris" may or may not be a Beek and only
    > posts commercially... I come here to learn and watch Jim Fischer trade
    > jabs with others. LOL.

    Well, here's a real surprise then - I am going to "jab" in an unexpected
    direction, directly at your nose!

    [SIZE=3]I will defend Boris in this post.[/SIZE]

    > If in fact "Boris" is a "Nom de Plume", it smacks of deception.
    > Which is rather distasteful imo. We Beeks are cut from a better cloth.

    We may be cut from "better cloth", but the stuffing inserted into that
    cloth seems to lack something akin to "brains". Here is what a grand
    total of 10 minutes of very, very easy work revealed:

    1) Boris seems to be exactly who he says he is, and he lives exactly
    where he says he does. Anyone who wishes can enter his website
    domain-name into the "whois" facility at any of the domain registrars,
    and see his full name, address, and telephone number. This is "public"
    information, but I'll not post it here, as to do so would be in poor taste.

    2) Further, comparing the "whois" information with public data on
    telephones/names/addresses and such yields a 100% match,
    proving that nothing has been made up, and that Boris really
    does live there.

    3) Boris has had his camera and hive temperature monitor up on the
    internet for a while, as I recall seeing it when it was first announced.
    One can thereby conclude that he has had at least that one hive
    since 2005 or so. Photos on his website show at least 3 other
    hives circa 2005, and other bee-related photos circa 2004.
    We can conclude from this that he is a beekeeper, and has been
    one for several years.

    4) He has posted on subjects other than Bee-O-Pac, and I, for one,
    welcome his views. I may not agree with some/many/any of them,
    but contrasting views are exactly what one wants in a discussion
    forum!!! Without contrast, there is not much to "discuss", now is
    there?

    5) He may not belong to the local bee club. So what? Most of
    the folks who participate in the online groups can't be bothered
    to attend their local bee association meetings, which is their loss.


    Boris, let me deeply apologize for the questions posed in regard
    to your legitimacy as a beekeeper and the questions as to your
    existence as an actual human being.

    Please understand that anything even slightly interesting or useful
    that gets posted to BeeSource is quick to be ripped to shreds by
    what has become the internet's most vicious and petty bunch of
    self-appointed instant experts in all areas, not because they have
    any actual honest disagreement, but more often, merely because
    they are bored, see a post that "looks fun", and smell blood.

    I try to distance myself from such nonsense, so if I seem vicious,
    please note that I at least offer some tangible point(s) of contention,
    maybe a controlled study or three, or perhaps even a reference to
    basic bee biology or bee behavior as supported by prior controlled studies.
    (In other words, there's a big difference between being hard on the
    facts versus being hard on people.)

    But it is just unfair to attempt to dismiss someone as posting on only one
    topic or subject, when it is so freakin' EASY to see that you have started
    17 different threads, not all of them about comb honey, and have
    contributed 102 total posts on various subjects.

    So, I'm sorry that we have lazy folks who can't be bothered to check
    their facts before they make personal accusations.

    While there may be latent concern on the part of some that you may
    be trying your hardest to promote your website in the hope that it can
    generate some ad revenue, at the rates paid by Google AdWords, you'd
    make more money with a newspaper route or a lemonade stand! So I
    don't "buy" any claim that money is your motivation here.

    Maybe you honestly want to contribute, and think that you have something
    to contribute. Just like everyone else here.

    I think a number of people now owe you a beer.
    Several beers.
    An entire party.

    So, where do we all meet up to make it up to you?

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Grahamsville, NY
    Posts
    440

    Default

    "He also seems to be evaluating various systems of comb honey production and probably searched on the various systems discussed on bee forums. I find his information helpful and not particularly biased."

    Inga,

    Thank you for your post.

    My main goal is to compare honestly all systems for comb honey production under the same conditions. I am not representating ANY of the producers of comb honey equipment.

    Boris
    Last edited by Boris; 03-19-2007 at 08:01 AM.

  15. #55
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chase, BC Canada
    Posts
    57

    Default Clarification ?

    Hey, Shane, thanks for popping in and clarifying that the 65% figure for BOP's referred to *Grade A* Pacs and that a portion of the lesser grades would still be salable at a profit.

    My figures seemed to indicate that the BOP's would generate a larger profit per pound of honey even *if* the 65% were a total loss. But I dislike the idea of a lot of plastic waste, so recognizing that there is not necessarily a 35% loss is helpful.

    Now I'd like to hear from others about how many "Grade A" rounds they get from RR's. The scraping out of imperfect rounds and reinsertion into the hive would present a significant labor investment which could, in fact, be more costly than wasting a few pacs in the BOP system.

    (Just musing .... )

    Inga

    Quote Originally Posted by SGebauer View Post
    Hi All,

    My name has been thrown around enough that I thought I would add my 2 cents. I am not going to say one system is better than the other. I sell both because I think each has value and one over the other may be better suited for any given beekeeper.

    In my experience, I get about 65% of Grade A sections; however, I have had customers report 75%. I freely share this information when asked about BOP. I don't have to asked specifically about the yield for me to mention this. I also mention that (depending on the market) you can sell the "seconds" at a discount and still make money on them.

    With that said, I'll fade back to lurking.

    Cheers,
    Shane
    Inga Anderson

  16. #56
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Chase, BC Canada
    Posts
    57

    Default Guts online :)

    Hey, Jim, I really appreciate this post. It takes more guts to apologize than to tear someone down.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Fischer View Post

    [SIZE=3]I will defend Boris in this post.[/SIZE]

    1) Boris seems to be exactly who he says he is, and he lives exactly
    where he says he does. Anyone who wishes can enter his website
    domain-name into the "whois" facility at any of the domain registrars,
    and see his full name, address, and telephone number. This is "public"
    information, but I'll not post it here, as to do so would be in poor taste.

    Boris, let me deeply apologize for the questions posed in regard
    to your legitimacy as a beekeeper and the questions as to your
    existence as an actual human being.
    By the way, I've seldom seen sites with Google Ad words so unobtrusively and tastefully displayed as those on Boris's site. If he makes enough money to pay for his hosting fees, I suspect he's lucky.

    As far as I'm concerned http://www.beebehavior.com/ is a very worthwhile site that deserves more exposure.

    Inga

    Inga
    Inga Anderson

  17. #57
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Wimauma, Florida
    Posts
    271

    Default

    Boris,

    I edited my post within minutes of posting it.

    When I realized I hadn't confirmed the info posted by others and had taken it at face value, I checked it and then corrected my post. You will see in the edit comment area that it states "factual errors".

    When I'm up in y'alls neck of the woods, the drinks are on me.

    Jim,

    It did take about ten minutes to double check, and granted, I should have checked first but I didn't. Mea Culpa. But I noticed your post was about an hour (I think) after my edit, what gives?

    Albert
    Last edited by Albert; 03-19-2007 at 08:29 PM. Reason: Added info
    September 8th 2007 is National Beekeeping Day
    American Agriculture, its as close as the nearest Honeybee!

  18. #58
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Gillett, Pennsylvania, USA
    Posts
    265

    Default

    I thought I would post my pics of my Bee-O-Pacs from year 2004. I purchased one set.

    Now granted I've never done any comb honey of any kind and the BOP seemed simple and NEW (and at the time cheaper). There was no instructions as to when or where to put the BOPs on the hive (no doubt I shouldve done research). Putting the BOP's together was very time consuming and I had to use duct tape; also i recall a couple of the tabs didn't hook together at all which made the frame even weaker; some of the units even came loose and had to duct tape them in as well; and as previously stated they didnt fit in medium supers properly - if they have been redesigned since - these problems may be fixed, I do not know one way or the other??.

    Last year I decided to try the Ross Rounds but wasnt able put it to use - this year I will. I bought the "ready to use" super along with the extra needed items (foundation, clear covers and labels). Looking at this years Dadant prices I'm glad that I did buy them last year!! - I even sent away for my $8.00 rebate (which strangely I didnt get back until January of this year??).

    So I wont be able to give any info about my usage with the RR but I can tell you that I've lost money on the BOP for sure (of course because of my ignorance). Now look at the pictures so these next comments of mine will make more sense to you...

    http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/dee_02...=/9674&.src=ph

    **I was able to sell about 5 out of 10 BOP units, the other 5 were only half filled or not completely capped, I gave these away as samples.
    **I do have 2 "frames" and 3 "half frames" (yes I know that makes 3 1/2 frames but SOMEHOW i will have to connect the two halves since the tabs are now smashed) that still need finished filling or completely filled.
    **All of the other frames and units were thrown away.
    **So lets see... out of the 8 frames I will only be able to sell 4 frames - that is if the bees fill the other ones completely. I have lots of extra lids for the BOPs if anyone is in need of them - I havent thrown them out yet.

    My opinion... I dont wish to try the BOPs again. Reasons are: faulty frames and "cheap" feeling plastic, lids dont stay on without a label (it is stated that they would by way of a snap-on lid), my bees propolized all over (with sticky red stuff no less) along with burr combing making it very hard to remove the frames - causing the units to pop loose, nothing is reusable if not completely filled up, and the obvious one for me - the queen likes to lay drone brood in them!

    Now that being said... something similar could happen to the RRs but i would only be out the foundation - everything else would be reusable with some "elbow grease" (and of course I wont be throwing away the lids).

    I hope my post helps some of those people decided which one to purchase or at least makes one realize the mess that the queen can make when the keeper doesnt know what theyre doing.

  19. #59
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Marshall, VA USA
    Posts
    136

    Smile

    Dee,

    Saw the photos of your BOP frames filled with drone brood. I tried BOP for the first time last year and had great success with it. I have to admit, though, that when you put BOP and RR together at the table folks always go for the RR until it's gone.

    If you're going to try BOP again in the future I'd suggest putting an excluder between the brood boxes and your comb super. One big plus though of your situation is the fantastic photos you got of developing drone brood inside the clear cells.

    I'm not going to do BOP again this year since sales were pretty slow last year and the large amount of plastic waste it generates.

    Mike
    If you're not confused you just don't know what's going on.

  20. #60
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lima, Ohio, USA
    Posts
    722

    Default

    I pretty much agree on the comments about the BOP system. I've given it, i think, a fair try in 6 supers over 2 years. It does work, and probably would have worked better if my timing was perfect, etc. But I won't by trying them again. The problems I had:
    • They can be time consuming to assemble, much more than attaching cut comb foundation in a frame. I found it usefull to have a set of pliers to mash town the buttons, but even then they could be fairly fragile.
    • They are a bit taller than a 6 5/8" medium super. Not a huge problem, but odd sicne 6 5/8" has been a standard for quite some time. (Did they intend for a 7" medium?)
    • Incomplete sections are wasted. I've got a lot of extra lids. Might help if you could buy the lids separately to minimize the waste.
    • When full the frames are very flimsy. Found out to always work with the super on a table (not a stand or empty stack of boxes), or you'll quickly have a frame falling face down on the floor.
    • As flimsy as the sections are, removing them from the frame isn't very easy. They tend to be hard to break apart, and if you don't resort to cutting them with a knife, you'll break many cappings open. Even cutting the sections out may end up breaking the comb/cappins as the plastic is thin and flexible. It can be very labor intensive.
    • The lid doesn't stay on without a label. Not a big deal, but it's far from leak tight, which presents a problem when the cappings are broken and if the section isn't laying flat. Unfortunately this makes it not suitable for shipping at all.
    It may have some merits, but I just don't have the time or patience for them and they don't fit my customers needs (shipping, size, etc.) Unfortunately with the leaking and waste issue, I find simple cut comb easier and more profitable. Of course this can depend on your market. I simply didn't find much of one locally for the small BOP vs. the larger cut comb or ross rounds.

    -Tim

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