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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    For a while, I have been trying out narrow frame beekeeping. It seems to work just fine, but the question is the volume.

    When I started doing this, I had six hives. I trimmed 180 PF-120 frames and 100 PF-105 frames as I continued to expand. But now I'm working at the 25 hive level and switching largely to mediums.

    I just got in a shipment of 210 more medium frames. With 25 hives at 7 boxes each, that works out to nearly two thousand total frames which will have to be trimmed in the next couple years.

    Is that going to be worth my time? Is it going to be worth my time to continue trimming new frames as I sell nucs every year?

    What do you think?
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,902

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    What are your options, if you believe in using narrow frames all you can do is continue doing what you are doing or trim down wood frames or build your own frames. Either way its a lot of work. John

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    would it be pratical to get say a shaper bit cut to the right width??? make the job go fast???

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    A jointer/planer might be a good idea, but that's more money.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,114

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    If you really want to do it you can set up a router table with a straight bit as an edge jointer. Just google it.

    How have you been doing it?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,953

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    >Is that going to be worth my time? Is it going to be worth my time to continue trimming new frames as I sell nucs every year?

    i think you have to ask yourself questions like:

    "Should I believe and convert to everything I read on the internet?"

    And "Are Michael Bush and Dee Lusby for sure correct in all they preach?"

    And "Why are there millions of 1 3/8" spaced frames that seem to serve most beekeepers perfectly well?"

    And "Is 1 1/4" spacing really the Gospel Truth?"

    If your answers to these questions convince you that 1 1/4" spacing is a necessity, it doesn't seem so much extra work to convert them. If down the line you come to the conclusion you have been led down the wrong path, who will you blame? Yourself or your advisers? I myself am leery of all gurus who claim to have found a Golden Truth that I myself have lived perfectly well for decades without knowing. Housel Positioning for example.....if they preach that can you believe all else they say?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Clintwood VA USA
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Did I read something about Kelly was going to offer narrow frames??

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    5,113

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    If down the line you come to the conclusion you have been led down the wrong path, who will you blame? Yourself or your advisers?
    Ollie, I don't know if you follow my career, but at this point, I am the adviser. Having done it for several years, it's certainly not the wrong path. It is a path. The question is, is this path worth the work? If I had a planer/jointer, I probably wouldn't be asking this question because the effort would be minimal.


    Quote Originally Posted by Serendipidity View Post
    Did I read something about Kelly was going to offer narrow frames??
    I don't know if you read it, but I read it. However, the examples I have seen have been of particularly unworkable quality. We shall see.






    P.S. HOUSEL POSITIONING!!!! I just love to see the older fellas flip right the heck out when I mention Housel Positioning.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Kellys will sell anything! they could care less of the results or if its decent bee pratice. THEY ARE THE WALMART of the bee suppliers....

    Sorry solomon, didn't realize you did not have a woodshop of sorts already.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,953

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    >Ollie, I don't know if you follow my career, but at this point, I am the adviser.

    What are your qualifications as the "adviser" other than your name "Solomon"? Any research study documents you have produced? College dissertations? Classes taught? Lecture series? Nine hundred people followed Jim Jones to Ghana and drank the KoolAid. How are you more qualified as an adviser than he was?

    And what proof do you have that 1 1/4" frame spacing is better than 1 3/8" frame spacing? My bees die from mites and viruses. Will changing all my frames save them?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Charlie, I do make everything but frames and I have been trimming the frames but it's a bit of work and I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.

    Ollie, I do what I talk about. That's all I got to say about that.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Simpsonville, SC, USA
    Posts
    215

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_fM...e_gdata_player

    I believe. It's not necessary to spend money on foundation. Here's the jig I made in one afternoon. Milling down end bars takes me almost no time now.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    2,401

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    Ollie, I do what I talk about. That's all I got to say about that.
    I do what I talk about too. I guess that makes me an adviser as well!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  14. #14
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie B View Post
    I do what I talk about too. I guess that makes me an adviser as well!
    yes, you are highly qualified to advise us on how to run an apiary on the rooftop of a three story building with no elevator.

  15. #15
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    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    I'm interested in discussing whether or not I should continue shaving frames, with treatment-free beekeepers.
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    San Francisco, CA
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    2,401

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    yes, you are highly qualified to advise us on how to run an apiary on the rooftop of a three story building with no elevator.
    You've been obviously following my career!
    President, San Francisco Beekeepers Association
    www.habitatforhoneybees.org

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Athens, OH
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    2,721

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I have been trimming the frames but it's a bit of work and I'm not entirely sure it's worth it.
    Seems like you're answeing your own question.
    Go to Heaven for the climate, go to Hell for the company. -Mark Twain

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Calhoun Co, Texas, USA
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    1,310

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    >Ollie, I don't know if you follow my career, but at this point, I am the adviser.

    What are your qualifications as the "adviser"...
    Not to involve myself in an argument, but I think this might have been a misunderstanding here...as I read it, I believe Solomon Parker was saying that he's his OWN advisor (in reply to your statement about his blaming either himself, or his advisor). ...but I digress.

    Anywise, about shaving down the frames: I find that, given foundationless, "natural comb" conditions, my bees will try to build their brood comb every 1.25," regardless of the width of the bars/frames I give them. This means that when I gave them 1.375" bars/frames, they started building combs off-center & if I hadn't intervened would have created quite a mess for me. What I gathered from that I rip 1/8" off of the bars/frames that I intend to be in the brood nest areas of my hives, and leave 'em at 1.375" for the honey storage area; the bees may disagree with me on exact designations of the "cutoff" between brood and honey areas, but they aren't gluing all the top bars to each other with stray combs anymore

    If you're using foundation, then I could only guess at what benefits your bees may, or may not, gain from the frames being trimmed down to 1.25", but I think setting up 2 table saws for the purpose would serve VERY useful to you, Solomon. Set one to 1.25", and one to 1.3125" (1 1/4" and 1 5/16"), that way you can assembly-line your end bars through both saws, cutting off 1/16" from each side, so they're still "even" and you don't end up with crooked frames if an end-bar gets put on the "wrong way."


    EDIT: Oops, opened my mouth too soon...now I see that the PF120s are "those plastic things" ... sorry, not sure I can be much help there...table-saw might melt that stuff & make quite a smelly mess
    Last edited by robherc; 04-22-2013 at 12:45 AM.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
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    Denver, Colorado
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    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Rob, the trimming process works quite well on a table saw, provided the blade is sharp. As I mentioned I have done a total of about 300 frames so far.

    Here's some more information to consider: I'm in the process of largely switching to 10-frame mediums. Virtually all my medium frames are PF-120s. All in circulation so far are trimmed to narrow frame standards. Most of my current deep frames are not trimmed and as I sell nucs, I am selling off my existing stock of deep 1 3/8" frames. I will still need to keep hives of that sort due to demand for deep nucs.

    The reasons why I switched to plastic frames are because they are more economical, they require much less labor throughout their lifecycle, and they are much more utilitarian to extract. For drone comb, I use foundationless frames.

    Thus far, trimmed PF-120 frames produce just about wall to wall brood. There are seemingly fewer problems with honey comb extended out, but there is less room for error in that respect. They are also drawn extremely well 90-95% of the time and if something does get goofed, it can be simply scraped off.
    Last edited by Solomon Parker; 04-22-2013 at 07:01 AM. Reason: Typo
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,664

    Default Re: Whether or not to continue trimming PF-120 frames.

    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    I am selling off my existing stock of deep 1 1/8" frames .
    I would advise readers that the above appears to be a typo... I believe that 3/8 " was intended.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

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