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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    I finally got my order of Mann Lake PF frames. Has anyone ever bothered to trim the end bars to 1 1/4 width? Or does everyone leave them at 1 3/8? I plan to mix these frames in with 1 1/4 foundationless frames in my brood boxes.

    Will I run into any structural integrity issues with the frames if I just trim the end bars a little? It doesn't look like it will affect the frames.

    Or do I need to be the guinea pig and try this?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Windham County, Vermont
    Posts
    246

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    Countryboy,....I've trimmed the endbars to 1-1/4" on some of mine. I used a low-angle block plane and shaved it off, 1/16" on each side...works good, and it in no way compromises the structural integrity of the plastic frames. You'll be pleased with how easy it is to do. Good luck!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Anderson County, Texas
    Posts
    1,254

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    Just curious. Why would you want to do this? With my MannLake frames I have plenty of room left with 10 frames anyway.
    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country." Nathan Hale, 1776

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    Just curious. Why would you want to do this? With my MannLake frames I have plenty of room left with 10 frames anyway.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesframewidth.htm

    My bee supplier told me the Mann Lake frames have a reputation for the top bar warping on them, so I was apprehensive about cutting on them. I didn't look at them very close last night, but upon closer inspection today I went ahead and trimmed 1/16 off each side on a few frames. I would think it would take way too much time to trim the ends with a block plane though. I just set the fence on my table saw to 1 5/16 and trimmed one side on each end, and then set the fence to 1 1/4 and trimmed the other side.

    I got some PF 105 (black deep 4.9mm) frames too. I drilled two 3/4 holes in the middle of the foundation. Michael Bush has said bees overwinter in mediums better than deeps, and it is suspected to be because of better communication. I put the holes in the help the bees communicate and move from frame to frame in cold weather. I'm curious to see if the bees will use the holes, or if they will draw comb over them and close them up.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    There are other issues with comb width, but the big one for me was cell size. Since they draw the PF120's so nicely, I haven't been shaving them down. But I have been putting one PermaComb in the center of my eight frame boxes. It has no spacer so I can fit 9 frames in my 8 frame boxes.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
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    Knox County, Ohio
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    2,694

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    Which leads me to my next question. When you mix the PF frames with foundationless frames, how do you arrange them? If all were cut to 1 1/4, would you have the center 5 frames the PF frames, and 3 foundationless on each side? Or every other one, or 2 PF's and then a foundationless, or 2 PF and then 2 foundationless? Or just any way you happen to put them in? Is there a minimum number of PF frames you try to have per brood box?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,217

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    > Which leads me to my next question. When you mix the PF frames with foundationless frames, how do you arrange them?

    Any way that seems good at the time. I don't interleave them, because they will tend to build fat combs on the foundationless and ignore the plastic, but I do mix them up. Undrawn I'd put all the foundationless together and the PF120s together. Drawn it's irrelevant. Acceptance is good enough that I don't have any real problems.

    > If all were cut to 1 1/4, would you have the center 5 frames the PF frames, and 3 foundationless on each side? Or every other one, or 2 PF's and then a foundationless, or 2 PF and then 2 foundationless? Or just any way you happen to put them in? Is there a minimum number of PF frames you try to have per brood box?

    I don't worry about it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Cut PF 120's to 1 1/4 or leave as is?

    Thank you.

    The more I thought about it, the more I figured a specific arrangement was unlikely. It might be ok to set it up that way, but as soon as you add frames to open up the broodnest, it would be a royal pain trying to keep the order the same.

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