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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Richmond, Illinois, USA
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    25

    Default Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    You know, the all-plastic frames with wax-coated plastic foundation. Is there a good reason to avoid them, or to prefer them over assembling my own traditional wood frames?

    Yes I'm a noob, looking to place an order for my first hives. Any opinions welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,841

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    I don't know anything about ez frames having never held one. I do use a lot of mann lake pf xxx frames for deeps and mediums. I get excellent service out of them. I find the bees don't deal with them noticably treat them different from wax foundation. The sure fire way to get a perfect frame of any kind is to place them between two frames of capped brood in the middle of the nest. Other than that, draw them as a full box at a time after the bees are working on the outside frames of the box below. . Place one frame of brood or capped honey frame in the middle to pull the bees up into that box. Opinions vary, but that is my experieince

  3. #3

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    The only thing I do not like about the 1 piece plastic frames is the hiding spots all around the edges for small hive beetles. I used to use all 1 piece frames but since small hive beetles are overwintering so well here now I have switched to wood frame and plastic foundation.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Camino, CA
    Posts
    78

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    The biggest issue I have with them is when they're full of honey in late summer and into the fall they flex way to much which breaks the capping off the honey and squeezes some out. This flex happens to a certain extent with brood too but doesn't appear to be a real issue. It's my experience that you have to be a lot more gentle with these when they've been propolized down or they can break and I've been slowly replacing it with wood frame plastic foundation. All that said... I have one hive that still has two frames of it in a double deep and those frames are the only place the queen will lay her winter brood and it doesn't matter where in the hive those frames are they're the first place she lays. Last season I moved them to one side of the upper deep in hopes she would stop laying in them and I could remove them but she continued to follow them. I finally gave up and put them in bottom middle and that's where the cluster spent the winter.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Belpre,Ohio, USA
    Posts
    1,253

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    In response to Dan's reply, I have a friend who used a hot glue gun and filled in the edge webbing on the plastic frames to prevent the beetles from hiding there, takes some time to do but it worked very well.
    Bill...in Southeast Ohio

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,016

    Thumbs Up Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by pine_ridge_farms View Post
    The only thing I do not like about the 1 piece plastic frames is the hiding spots all around the edges for small hive beetles -snip-
    Quote Originally Posted by WWW View Post
    -snip- I have a friend who used a hot glue gun and filled in the edge webbing on the plastic frames to prevent the beetles from hiding there, takes some time to do but it worked very well.
    SHB refuge, weight and sag are down sides of the all plastic frames. HTH
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    I prefer plastic frames and foundation. I use pierco and can't get rid of the wood frames fast enough. If you have SHB they will hide where they can no matter what frames you use. IMHO they are just easier to spot and kill when they hide on plastic.
    Plastic is cleanner, cheaper and easier to work with in my limited experience. I tried to run a double deep of wood frames....sold it nothing but a pain to check. It seems you need a crowbar to pull a frame and a hammer to get it back in.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Cheyenne, Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    1,693

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    The E-Z brand frames has not done good for me. They are just a little short (18 15/16" instead of 19"), and the foundation part of the frame has been warped on every frame.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    You mean Other than the warping, cracking and ears breaking off and them not being repairable. For some reason my Chain Uncapper doesn't like them much either because they flex.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Joel,
    Does your uncapper prefer any plastic or does it struggle with all the brands?
    Is it because you have it set for wood?
    What kind of uncapper do you have?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingsport, Sullivan, Tennessee
    Posts
    780

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    I use the PF frames. As Dan said, the SHB hide in the side grooves. Bees can also be trapped in there as you do inspections. Another downside is that it is near impossible to cut out queen cells from them.

    Still, I use them extensively in my deep and medium brood boxes and have had no difficulty with flexing or with extracting.

    -js

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Navarro county, Texas, USA
    Posts
    109

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    I originally thought plastic would be the way to go, but after lots and lots of reading, i went with wood, i was amazed at the quality of Mann Lake wood frames. With a staple gun. And some Titebond III, these will outlast the plastic frames. AND bees find it more natural. Thats just my 2 cents.
    "If everyone is thinking alike, someone isn't thinking."
    - General George Patton

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Frazier, my 2cents. I prefer Mann Lake Deeps PF's in the brood nest for their value, and I find that plastic doesn't seem to propolize together as tightly as wood. I run 10 frames in the broodnest squished together. I haven't noticed the flexing being a problem, and they get drawn out well on a flow.
    I like the wooden ones better in the supers because they are better to handle when making honey; The wood is easier to grab onto than the plastic, and they don't slide in my extractor like the PF's.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Erin, NY /Florence SC
    Posts
    3,361

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mbeck View Post
    Joel,
    Does your uncapper prefer any plastic or does it struggle with all the brands?
    Is it because you have it set for wood?
    What kind of uncapper do you have?
    We run a Maxant and the issue with the uncapper is frames often have areas that have more honey and are not evenly filled out or "buldging" during a big flow. This results in the chain flail hitting one area on the frame and flexing it into the chain on the other side taking the comb right down to the plastic. Inevietably the ears are not strong enough for the chain uncapper by year 2 or three and we've had ears break off in the uncapper and also in manipulating them through frames. Mostly that comes with 3-5 year of age. We could reduce the issue by running 10 frames instead of nine but after a testing a couple hundred I'll never have another one our operation.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,256

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Why don't I like Pierco plastic frames...other than the reasons above with which I agree...

    George Harrison said it best..."I got blisters on my fingers."

    They hurt my hands!

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,841

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    I am not commerical and if I was, the reasons for not using plastic are sound. I have never seen a carcass of a bee caught in the dreaded hollow in my pf frames. I may not have enough time on my hands to scrutinize every groove, but it is just not a problem in my hives. I don't yet have shb. I handle equipment fairly roughly and haven't broken off a plastic ear or a wood one lately. Maybe old man roughly does not match a young mans impatience. I had lots of that. I find plastic not a whit harder to get drawn out than other modalities. I remember a hopeful youth putting boxes of crimped and wired foundation on late in the fall and having the flow stop. When I came to take off the empties, the foundation was riddled, ruined and brittle. I also had peirco which was brand new at the time and it wasn't drawn either, but I could just put it back on the next year. Oh I put the foundation on because I had no drawn comb, I was rapidly expanding. And I really didn't have a clue in my 26 year old head. I really wish that boy would have had this forum and its wisdom available then! But then computers were for banks and big businesses.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Richmond, Illinois, USA
    Posts
    25

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Palmer View Post
    George Harrison said it best..."I got blisters on my fingers."
    I'm pretty sure that was Ringo.
    Or are we talking about the Small Hive Beatles??

    Anyway, thanks all for your contributions.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Weeki Wachee, Florida,USA
    Posts
    1,920

    Default Re: Is there a downside to EZ-Frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Joel View Post
    We run a Maxant and the issue with the uncapper is frames often have areas that have more honey and are not evenly filled out or "buldging" during a big flow. This results in the chain flail hitting one area on the frame and flexing it into the chain on the other side taking the comb right down to the plastic. Inevietably the ears are not strong enough for the chain uncapper by year 2 or three and we've had ears break off in the uncapper and also in manipulating them through frames. Mostly that comes with 3-5 year of age. We could reduce the issue by running 10 frames instead of nine but after a testing a couple hundred I'll never have another one our operation.
    Thanks for the reply.
    I hope I don't have these issues as I grow.

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