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Thread: Frame color

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Amador County, California, USA
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    138

    Default Frame color

    Does the color of the frame matter?

    I was speaking with a beekeeper a long time ago who told me not to buy plastic frames from Mann Lake but if I did he said: "at least don't get the yellow ones."

    I was considering switching over to black frames but don't know if the color means anything to the bees themselves. Anyone know?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    carney, maryland, USA
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    593

    Default Re: Frame color

    If you are grafting, the black frames provide a background that makes it easier to see. I do not know whether the bees have a preference, as I have never had plastic frames other than either yellow or white.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Campbell River, BC, CA
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    530

    Default Re: Frame color

    I've got enough of the yellow plastic frames to fill a dozen double deeps, most of them deployed in hives at this point. After the comb is built, and a few rounds of brood comes out of it, they look just like any other frames, comb starting to get dark. I've got one in particular squirreled away in the freezer, it's had _at least_ a dozen rounds of brood raised over the 3 summers it's spent in the brood nest. I plan to use it in my mother hive when it's time to think about grafting, will set it into the middle of the brood nest so my superstar queen will lay it up. Cant see any of the yellow at the bottom of the combs in that one, it's pretty dark, not sure having black underneath would make any difference at this point.

    I cant see the color making a big difference after it's been in the hive for some time. Maybe when brand new, but not after a couple years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Mirabel, Québec, Canada
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    423

    Default Re: Frame color

    Quote Originally Posted by philip.devos View Post
    If you are grafting, the black frames provide a background that makes it easier to see. I do not know whether the bees have a preference, as I have never had plastic frames other than either yellow or white.
    I've heard they prefer black to white. Can't say for yellow.
    www.apisrustica.com (French-only website) Bee Breeding: Canadian nuclei & queens / northern hygienic bees

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Johnson County, Indiana, USA
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    94

    Default Re: Frame color

    I don't see how the color can matter in the darkness of the hive, unless they're 'seeing' something outside the visible spectrum.
    Once the bee is inside, Mr. Veil is no longer your friend.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
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    2,230

    Default Re: Frame color

    Since the bees are mostly female.... what about red or pink with Valentines Day around the corner???

    Sometimes, I put red (or other color) food coloring in the syrup......... they make the neatest comb with it!
    http://OxaVap.com
    Your source for the Varrox Vaporizer, "One of the highest ranked" by R. Oliver

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
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    Chattanooga, TN USA
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    685

    Default Re: Frame color

    Quote Originally Posted by khicks12 View Post
    I don't see how the color can matter in the darkness of the hive, unless they're 'seeing' something outside the visible spectrum.
    Well, we know for a fact they can see ultraviolet. Perhaps the yellow ones have some UV component that we can't see?
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    46,316

    Default Re: Frame color

    I have met some people who strongly believe it matters to the bees. My guess is they just happened to use a particular color in a dearth or a flow and drew their conclusions as a result. I don't think the bees care. White is eaiser to sort honey by color. Black is easier to see eggs.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Amador County, California, USA
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    138

    Default Re: Frame color

    The only advantage with black frames, that I can think of right now, is that it would be easier to see eggs and larvae (and pollen perhaps).

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    Tucson, Arizona, USA
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    5,400

    Default Re: Frame color

    Uh, in the absence of light, there is no color. Color just demonstrates what frequencies of light something absorbs, and what it reflects.

    The black ones, if exposed to sunlight during summer, will melt into a mess, in less than ten minutes. The lighter colored ones will last longer.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
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    1,212

    Default Re: Frame color

    and there it is in Black and White
    .
    .
    .
    and yellow
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN USA
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    Default Re: Frame color

    Quote Originally Posted by Joseph Clemens View Post
    Uh, in the absence of light, there is no color.
    Yeah, but the inside of any hive is not going to be 100% pitch black. Light will always come in through the entrances.
    Beekeeper since 2013. Read my bee blog at:
    http://harrisonbayhoney.blogspot.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    1,209

    Default Re: Frame color

    Another advantage of light plastic frames is you can see the beetles hiding in the groves of the frame, and allot of the time the SHB just sits there, giving you time to grab your hive tool.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Strasburg, Pa, USA
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    116

    Default Re: Frame color

    I have both yellow and black plastic frames, first so many people say not t but plastic but I haven't seen any difference yet, the bee's build them out, the queens lay eggs in them. I do like the black for in my deeps because you can see the eggs better with the darker background.

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