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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    863

    Default PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Can't decide what color to get, I want black because they will be used for brood. But I read somewhere were someone had trouble with them warping when in the sun. They will be cut out of the frame and installed in wooden frames like this.

    2012-10-07 15.23.35.jpg

    Is it better to get black for brood frames, does it help to see the eggs that much more? Steve
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma dr. Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    561

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    I find it immensely easier to see eggs in the black comb than in fresh light coloured comb. After a few rounds they will all darken up somewhat. I never had any occasion to have them out in the sun but I suppose could be cleaning up wet honey supers. Once you have the 100s foundation in wooden comb I think the worst warping source is gone. Incidentally a band saw is much easier to cut the original panels out with rather than table saw.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,440

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    It is easier to see eggs on black. There is also a slight advantage noticed because black does not reflect light around the hive. Beehives are dark by nature inside. Makes you think how bees communicate with the waggle dance, but that is another story.
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Go with black. I originally got black for brood boxes and white for honey supers. Now I've ended up with a mix. Doesn't seem to bother the bees but it bothers me.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    cg3 what bothers you about them?
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    2,539

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Really, it's no big deal. It just looks like a jumble.
    Is it solipsistic in here, or is it just me?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Milwaukee, WI, USA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    I'm afraid to open this can of worms but I'm curious- how would you compare the 100s with foundationless? From what I understand most plastics are not small cell size

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    S Hadley, Massachusetts USA
    Posts
    686

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    I have used these frames in natural and in black. I purchased hundreds of the natural and a few dozen of the black. I found an obvious preferece fro the natural. Some hives will just ignone the black all together. Dont know why.....but my bees dont like the black.
    Pearl City Apiary Michael and Loucil Bach

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Fisher

    I use both, but much prefer the black. If you coat them with additional wax you'll be glad you purchased the black because you can easily see it. I have never noticed a difference with bees preferring one color over the other, but I will agree that some hives are more reluctant to draw foundation than others, but that has nothing to do with the color of the foundation.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Just my observation........Wax on black combs will melt quicker if placed in the sun while examining hives, so keep it in the shade as much as possible.........I do like the black for seeing eggs in the BC, but if I just see larva & capped brood, I'm mostly happy........

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    863

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Risky or anyone else, what is the easyist way you have found to put the wax on the frames? I have heard brush and roller, I only have a hundred frames to do and will probably do them in batches of 25.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,143

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    sfisher I wax frames in my shed. I use one of these, but don't use the valve. http://www.prestopotwaxmelter.com/
    I use a 4 inch paintbrush and just paint the wax on quickly, it doesn't need to be perfect just so there is a visible coat in the top center of both sides of the frame. The hot wax makes the frame bow a little - which initially made me nervous and is one reason I do the operation quickly. The pot melts the wax very quickly, a few minutes, on its lowest setting.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Manning, SC
    Posts
    1,780

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian Quiney WI View Post
    You can get one of these w/o the spout at Walmart for about $22. Put the setting on warm, use a 4" foam roller and have at it ............quick and easy to cover the entire frame. I've never had it bow, but I use all plastic frames......
    You only need the spout if you're making candles as it's easy to move the wax into the pour pot from the spout.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,143

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    snl, I forgot to mention I initially bought mine for candles, but have never made any.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    I have tried different types of application but finally settled on the 4" foam roller. As mentioned, don't get the wax too hot, just keep it workable. The foam roller applies a nice even layer over the plastic foundation. You don't have to coat every cell.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,018

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    I recommend the white (wax colored, yellow, whatever, depends on the vintage). If you lean the black ones against the hive while doing and inspection in the sun, they can rapidly get hot enough to kill brood and melt wax. I've had it happen. I have 98 black ones and 210 "natural" ones.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Now that sounds like a 'rookie" management mistake to me.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,018

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Why is that?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Santa Fe, NM
    Posts
    608

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    Not to change the subject here but this past summer was my last using the Mann Lake PF series small cell plastic frames. The ones currently on my hives I will continue to manage, but the rest of them that I have in several cases are being cut out and placed in conventional wooden frames. I liked Barry's idea in his thread. I tried it last weekend using a jig-saw to easily cut out the foundation and toss the plastic frame. I like the small cell but not the frame itself because it is problematic. I think I have 4-5 cases left so this will require working a few winter days in the shop to get them switched over. My issue with them (as previously stated) is that the bees love to build burr comb and or brace comb between the bottom bar of one super and the top bar of the other. In my experience they always do it. I know that there are several schools of thought as to why they do this but they DO do it and for me it’s too time consuming to try to correct. The bottom line is that they don't do it with standard wooden frames so for me its case closed. I will go out on a limb here and predict that Mann Lake will eventually start to sell the same small cell foundation used in their PF series to assemble into wooden frames; to me that just makes sense. Going into a bee yard during a honey flow opening up colonies and having to scrape all that wax and honey off the bottom and top bars of plastic frames is not my idea of being productive. In my experience, if you don't do that and place the supers back together you will kill lots of bees in the process. They get squished. As far as my comment about the management issues, my point was simply that you can avoid putting brood comb in the sun when inspecting colonies. During the summer here when I have boxes of comb on my truck and it’s over 100 degrees I don't park it in the sun, I leave the truck in the shade, or cover it with a tarp. That’s a management issue not a problem with the equipment.
    "Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay".....Krishnamurti

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Fayetteville, Arkansas
    Posts
    5,018

    Default Re: PF 100s Black vs Natural

    It's an extra thing to have to avoid, even on a mild day. Something to keep in mind if you are investing your hard earned money in a product.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

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