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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Lawrenceburg, IN
    Posts
    97

    Default Pierco vs competitor frames

    I have heard for going commercial plastic frames are the way to go, is that right? Also does anyone know if there is a differance in the plastic used to make Pierco frames and the competitor frames that Dadant and Brushy Mountain sell? I am looking to get about 1000 frames and I noticed that the off brand frames are much cheaper. I don't want to get the cheaper ones if alot of chemicals leak out of the cheaper ones.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Damascus, Maryland
    Posts
    376

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I inhearited some of them and am trashing them as I go:


    may just be me though.


    JB:}
    "Life without God is like an unsharpened pencil - it has no point."

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Barnesville Pa.
    Posts
    74

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    If I had to do over again I wouldnt go plastic. From what I see of other keepers frames it seemed mine were slow to build comb. I sprayed them with syrup and it didnt seem to help. I wont be using plastic on my next two hives next year. Im new though so take it for what its worth.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,471

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    We have some plastic midrib frames from the previous operators. They all say "P-" and then the year i.e. "P-95" . My son claims the bees can read, because they seem more prone to fill them with pollen .... they think "P" is for pollen. My guess is that they are colder, and therefore the bees think it is the edge of the brood chamber, where pollen should be stored.

    Roland

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Posts
    135

    Thumbs Up Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I run 95% Pierco and am very happy. I have 5% wood and you couldn't get me to buy them. Can't wait untill all the wood is gone.
    Jack

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    SNOHOMISH, WA, USA
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I went with all foundationless this year, a mistake I will not make twice. I did not have a second deep available when my swarm hive needed it so I added a medium. After three weeks they had not touched a single frame. I swapped out to a deep with all plastic checked them after three weeks and have 5 frames filled out with capped brood, bees having a hard time keeping up with the queen. Here is a picture I took, the wax is bright yellow.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I'm a huge fan of plastic frames, but the assumption I went on is that you can take them right out of the box and install them in any hive.

    My lessons are they all need extra, melted bees wax rolled on (ABJ has had a couple of articles on this about a year ago). Extra wax equalizes the different brands.

    It also helps to have a good nectar flow going (feeding syrup during a nectar dearth doesn't always work, it's like the bees know you're trying to fool them).

    It also helps to have a good, strong, healthy colony. Additionally sliding new plastic frames between two existing frames of brood really does a great job, though it's a little labor intensive. There are also big differences between hives and the respective race of bees. Italians, generally, seem to draw mine out faster.

    I tried the spraying syrup, but it would never stick. It just beaded up and rolled off the existing wax.

    As for brands, I've tried them all. My favorite is Permadent, followed by Mann Lake's product. Dadant and Pierco, less so. I think the cell imprint is deeper on the first two and the bees seem to jump on them faster.

    I also note each supplier carries a premium grade and an "economy" grade. If you want success getting them drawn out, buy the premium grade. Been there, tried to save some money on the cheaper grade and it just isn't worth it.

    Lastly, in terms of a strong colony, I've had difficulty getting a new swarm or a nuc to draw out plastic foundation. So I give them a good start on wired wax foundation, then start inserting the plastic foundation.

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

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Faulkner Manitoba, Canada
    Posts
    1,696

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    We usually have no problem with plastic frames. This year, and i am atributing it to the cold wet summer, they did not draw on 95% of the frames we put in. We had 7 drawn and 2 foundation. Normally though, no problems

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Saskatchewan, Canada
    Posts
    282

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I'm new as well and I can get them to draw foundationless but they still won't touch the pierco. I'm curious if this is a queen issue, geographical or who knows?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,497

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    We run strictly pierco frames now. Replaceing old comb is part of the management system now and buying in bulk we get a great price from pierco. We run mucho splits in the spring and placing in four frames of brood with and empty pierco as the rest of the frames we haven't had a problem. Will run ten frames as they pull them out and then pull one as it is pulled to run nine frames in the hives as usual. To help them draw out faster we take the end frames which they are stubborn to fill for some reason and place them in the seven and three spot and kick a pulled frames to the outside. The key is to make sure you have feed on so they pull the frames out. We like to feed like crazy in April so they have the frames pulled out as May hits and the first flowers are coming in. Once the heavy flow is on...they will pull out whats left.

    Not sure about the competitors..no one has been able to beat the prices we get from pierco but then..we buy lots and lots. Oh...and they have great shipping prices also...if you go truck shipments.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Concord, CA
    Posts
    3,969

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    Our bees did better on the black Mann Lake frames. The built some funky comb on the green Pierco drone frames.
    Dan

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    43,615

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    The Mann Lake PF100 series (100s are deep and 120s are medium and others are various colors) are cheaply built but they are also cheap and they are 4.95mm cell size and I've had better acceptance with them than any other plastic I've used. It is a luxury to be able to just pull the frames out of the shipping box and put them in the hives.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    North Bend, WA
    Posts
    504

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I've also had very good acceptance of the Mann Lake PF-series. Strangely enough, the only hive that had a problem with 'em was a swarm I captured this year. They really wanted to build bigger cells than the 4.9mm template provided. They eventually caught on after frame #5 of comb-building.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Auger Hole, MN
    Posts
    433

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    kinda funny that the only part of beekeeping that likes plastic frames are the beekeepers!

    Tom Seeley did a study a few years ago that showed honey production was significantly less with plastic versus wood/foundation. He also postulated but could not prove that vibrations which bees use to communicate was also altered on a plastic substrate as compared to beeswax sheets.

    What crack me up is the so called natural beekeepers who condemn anything and everything thats not "natural" except their beloved plastic frames.

    In my view there are some aspects of beekeeping that cannot be quantified by a dollar or a pound of honey. Aspects that leave beekeeping connected to its roots - not connected to a plastic mfgr who is all about making money.....

    I just don't see any glory in putting plastic or chemicals into a bee hive. Maybe I'm getting old and out of touch but I just don't get it and think its a laziness issue.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    Never met a plastic frame I liked. Broken frame Ends, warping, slip out of boxes and fall easy, comb depletion via chain uncapper , bending in the uncapper, slow acceptance. They sure looked good and easy when we were expanding and needed some labor saving equipment. We run 200 hives and I look forward to the day I never see another, I know I'll never buy any additionals.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Valley Springs, Ca.
    Posts
    135

    Smile Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    Never met a plastic frame I liked. Broken frame Ends, warping, slip out of boxes and fall easy, comb depletion via chain uncapper , bending in the uncapper, slow acceptance. They sure looked good and easy when we were expanding and needed some labor saving equipment. We run 200 hives and I look forward to the day I never see another, I know I'll never buy any additionals.

    You sure you are not talking about wood? That is what I feel about wood. Plastic forever.
    Jack

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Delta, Utah
    Posts
    494

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    Plastic foundation is one thing plastic frames are another. Plastic frames hurt your fingers when you pull them out for an inspection since they're skinny and not thick like wood. The bees love to glue the lid to the top plastic bars way more than with wood frames. Plastic warps and distorts, they're not sturdy like wood. I personally hate plastic frames and will never, ever use them again. To each his own though, obviously many like them and they are priced right.
    -Rob Bliss
    Bliss Honey and bee supplies

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Valley Center, CA
    Posts
    190

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    In my experience, plastic frames don't survive the uncapper well, are brittle, and are easily broken. I wouldn't spend money for them. Sometimes when placing a pollen sub patty & closing the colony back up, you can hear them crack. They just aren't as strong/flexible as wood.
    KI6FCI

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Orland Park, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    86

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I have tried something new this year.
    I took the idea from the top bar hive
    just replaced the top bar with one I
    made at my shop and placed a couple
    into each hive in july, last weekend
    as I was extracting honey I pulled out
    the ones I retrofited with the TBH style
    and found that all were filled in perfectly.
    The wax comb was perfectly even and
    even the cappings were perfect.
    I will slowly replace all my frames incl.
    the body hive with the new type.
    The extraction was no different, but
    easier and wax was very solid, great for
    cold cutting knife.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,247

    Default Re: Pierco vs competitor frames

    I am running the Mann Lake black waxed rite-cell deep foundation in wood frames. I get the best of both worlds. The bees take a little bit longer to decided to draw them out but, they eventually do.

    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/ProductDe...&idCategory=11

    9 1/8" ASSEMBLED FRAMES #1 GRADE WAXED RITECELL:

    Assembled frames are shipped to you with waxed Rite-Cell® already inserted so all that's left for you to do is install them in your boxes.

    * High precision cuts
    * Unparalled fit
    * Standard outside dimensions work with any uncapper
    * Full 1/2" thick bottom bar
    * Glued joints for extra durability
    * Assembled with 1 1/2" resin coated staples

    Use with 9 5/8" Hive Bodies.

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