Results 1 to 20 of 45

Hybrid View

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    New is not always better. Why in the world would one think that changing from the tried and true to the new up-to-date plastic foundations/frames would improve the quality of a beehive? I have recently converted to plastic foundation/frames and much to my dismay, have had a complete failure. I have added them into established brood chambers that had old, damaged comb-none have been drawn out. Then had the wonderful idea to use them in some swarm boxes I have caught this year. Even after coating the frames in syrup (sugar water) and feeding the swarms, they left. That's right. Three caught swarms left my boxes. I have NEVER had this happen with wax foundation. Yes, it would have been ideal for me to put drawn comb in with the new swarms or even some established brood frames, but unfortunately I don't have any to spare at the moment. Needless to say, I will be going back to all wax foundation. Sure, maybe it will be a little more effort on my end, but it beats losing over $300 in swarms - not to mention the quality and health of my existing colonies. Sorry for the venting, but I am absolutely sick over my screw up.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,308

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Did you get wax coated plastic frames or non wax coated?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Bartlett, Illinois
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    I have had three hives started with wax coated plastic frames. The bees built out three top deeps, and six medium supers with no problems. Are you sure they were given a good wax coating?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Danbury, CT
    Posts
    2,887

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    I have had poor results with plastic frames as well... I bought some peirco frames last year and they haven't touched them... I took them all back out and am not going to use them any longer.
    Always question Conventional Wisdom.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    3,968

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    I used wood frames with plastic foundation last year and all plastic this year - all from Mann Lake - and I don't see ever buying another sheet of wax.

    Why would you treat all brands as if they were the same? No offense, but what you are saying is about like "I had a red car once that was a lemmon, therefore all red cars suck."

    Name names if you are going to condemn a product.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Through this past Winter and continuing, now, I've been using Mann Lake PF120's, some PF120 foundations cut out and inserted into wood frames, and foundationless wood frames. I've also been using combinations of both, all have rapidly (within two or three days) been turned into working combs, some with pollen/honey, most with nearly all brood and a little pollen/honey. I also use many Rite Cell plastic foundations in wood frames (I use these for the ease of grafting from the larger cells). I give these a little extra beeswax coating and they're drawn into comb, usually overnight.

    The only time I've seen bees balk at plastic, was when it wasn't beeswax coated, when the hives populations were still low, and when there wasn't a honey flow happening.

    When the hives populations were "strong" and there was also a "strong" honey flow, I've had them turn old plastic frames that were waxless (they were so old the wax had worn away), weathered until they were warped and cracking, and even with a layer of dried mud; become, in just a few days, beautiful, honey and brood filled combs. I almost didn't recognize these frames as the ugly, disintegrating old frames that they had been. I was amazed again at what the bees could do.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    All are wax coated. After reading several comments I will try adding more wax.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Henry, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Thank you for all of the replies! I have both Mann Lake and Dadant foundation and frames. Some are plastic on wood frames others are all plastic. I have ordered only wax coated foundation, although upon inspection there does not seem to be much wax. I will pull out the paint brush/craft roller tonight and get to painting wax. I'll add them to my current swarm boxes plus a few established colonies to see if it makes a difference. Thanks again!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
    Posts
    722

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    They would not draw out my plastic so this year I painted them. Now I wonder if I may have got it too deep. I am putting one frame with comb (mostly drawn from a cut out), one plastic (with extra wax) and struggling to figure out what else to add to the traps (since I have 6 the number of extra gear) I have some wax shallows, and plastic coated mediums (none drawn).
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    Crystal Water, Queensland, Australia
    Posts
    900

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Not sure if I'm on the right track...I'm replacing all my Plastic Frames ( made in Australia) for a different reason then the ones mentioned above. The problem I have is that our Plastic Frames have reinforcing on the side bars and they are SHB heaven as bees can't get into them.
    I have also started to replace wired queen excluders for the same reason ( SHB can get into the sides where bees can't chase them)

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,824

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Should I add wax to new PF-105s? Should I exclude the swarm in that I put on them? If I super with it how do I do it? This coming from a decades old plastic ridiculer trying plastic again for the 2nd time.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    well I guess I get to say it again, since nobody knows what google is, paint wax on em, thick wax gives em more of what they want. The only precaution is DO NOT get so much wax on there the comb pattern is smooth over, they have no idea what to do with that. Plastic is great. As the moth finds some wax we tear it out, and rewax the frames with plastic. And they dont blow out in the extractor, how awesome is that!?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,318

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    odfrank,
    I would recommend adding some additional beeswax to the PF105's, I've tried various other techniques, but find that adding more beeswax as recommended by Grant, see Beeswax on Plastic has been the most beneficial technique for getting nice comb drawn on plastic foundation as quickly as possible.

    As Skinner Apiaries has said, add the extra beeswax to the cell walls, only, and it appears, you can't go wrong with that.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,764

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    I had all plastic last year, and the bees drew it out nicely once I started feeding. This year I am trying foundationless wood alternated with wax coated plasticell, and I am scared to look in the box. We've had a good flow on, I was delirious with fever from a flu yesterday and not brave enough to open the boxes. Unfortunately my wood frames that are in the mediums didn't have the wedge dropped down. I was kind of busy with my cutout. So this morning I am dropping the wedges and getting ready to swap whatever frames I need to.

    Gypsi
    Time to be a gypsy again, 2014 will be my prep year, my bees want a better area with actual rainfall.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    San Jose, Ca
    Posts
    372

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    Another easy fix I've found is to spray them with a little 1:1 syrup. I didn't spray 3 frames in the center of the box to see and they built out the other frames before touching the 3 I didn't spray.
    Disclaimer: I know enough to know I don't know anything yet.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    629

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    I have used the Mann Lake PF100, 120's and 105's for a few years now. In addition I still purchase new wood frames and use rite-cell plastic foundation. Manufacturer's do not apply a great deal of wax to the plastic because it adds to the cost of the product. I for one am glad they don't, because I like to add my own "clean wax" instead. I think its important to add a thin coating of melted wax over the face of the cells. I generally coat at least 3/4 of the frames by using a foam brush run lightly across the plastic. Don't fill the cells with wax. After awhile you'll develop you own technique for apply wax to foundation. Less is better. My bees have no problem drawing plastic coated foundation into nice looking combs. No matter what you use bees will only draw out foundation when there is a flow on or they are being fed heavily. I have had boxes of foundation just sit on a hive and not have them eager to touch it because the weather turned, or the flow stopped. When conditions are right they will draw it out. Personally I still prefer wood frames with plastic coated foundation.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
    Posts
    1,310

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    One anti-plastic note that I feel responsible for putting in here (and then I'll shut up with my "plastic bashing," promise):
    According to countless studies, plastics leach toxins, especially toxins that POWERFULLY emulate the effects of estrogen in the human body; according to a new study, paid for by a plastics manufacturer, not only do SOME plastics do this, pretty much ALL plastics (even and especially "BPA and PABA free) do it. If you're not concerned about feeding your kids artificial estrogen, ignore me & continue to wonder why all the 14 year old girls keep looking like 17-19 year old girls should....

    All Plastics Are Bad for Your Body, New Study Finds (article by Emily Mann)

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
    Posts
    2,358

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    For swarms I only use foundationless with a 1/4" to 1/2" wood starter strips coated with old melted brood comb. Once they move in, I immediately put a frame of brood in, even if it's drone brood to get them to stay. I also feed syrup regardless if they need it or not. I think it helps them to build comb.

    Once they draw out several frames on foundationless, I stagger in PF 125's as a comb guide so they'll keep it straight. I know it's a little more work but I've never had a swarm leave. They don't like plastic at first. You have to integrate the plastic as the hive grows. Once they draw on it, it's fine.
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    VENTURA, California, USA
    Posts
    3,604

    Default Re: Plastic Frames-Biggest Mistake Yet

    4/25/2012
    I have a field trial going on this April 2012.
    I explained to Nick at Pierco that I was hot bees wax coating his one coating product to insure that they get drawn out and he suggested the 02 type
    I purchased the Pierco 02 which is double coated, supered a strong medium, waited 10 days, and checked the hive on 4/24/2012.
    Results:

    5 perfectly drawn out frames on both sides from top bar to bottom bar!
    photos will follow after a local rain.
    Ernie
    My websitehttp://bees4u.com/

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Ads