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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Pope, AR, USA
    Posts
    126

    Default Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    Can someone who has used plastic foundation tell me the pros & cons of it? Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Strafford, NH, USA
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    I use plastic in wood frames.

    Pros:
    Easy
    Quick
    Comes in black, white, or green (I cut out sheets from plastic frames)
    No worries about blowouts when extracting

    Cons:
    Can't cut out queen cells to transfer to multiple hives
    Costs a bit more
    Once plugged with brood castings they suck to clean (almost not worth it for me)
    Can pull the drawn comb away from the foundation when uncapping if not careful with a too cold knife

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Grosse Ile, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,901

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Fishman43 View Post

    Can pull the drawn comb away from the foundation when uncapping if not careful with a too cold knife
    I have not seen anyone mention this before, but a similar thing happens to me when I uncap with an uncapping fork on new combs built on plastic Rite Cell, have to be real careful on the brand new combs of honey, I'm thinking that after a couple years the combs probably toughen up a bit and this won't continue happening, we'll see. A heated uncapping fork may help, guess I'll have to invent one. John

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,452

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by Moccasin View Post
    Can someone who has used plastic foundation tell me the pros & cons of it? Thanks.

    As someone who used to spend every summer evening and basically all winter hand wiring frames and and putting in "real" foundation there is nothing I regret about use of the new plastic foundation.

    Just about done putting the finishing touches on 9000 new wood frames with plastic foundation built this winter to throw on the bees this summer. The speed of assembly and the durability of the finished product in all aspects of beekeeping keep me from even thinking about the "good ol days."

    Only drawback might be that the "free time" and increased productivity caused by its usage makes the MRS. think I'm available for a bigger Honey-do-list than I would really like.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,995

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    >new wood frames with plastic foundation built this winter to throw on the bees this summer.

    Will hives draw plastic foundation this late in Solano? Or most places?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,452

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by odfrank View Post
    >new wood frames with plastic foundation built this winter to throw on the bees this summer.

    Will hives draw plastic foundation this late in Solano? Or most places?

    Very good question Frank. Simple answer is: Some yards YES. Some yards No. With the poor rain situation this year I do have to admit its main the reason over a 1000 gallons a week of syrup is going on each week and the tank levels are dropping like a rock over Vernal falls. No one is more glad that syrup is down 25% since last year than myself. If the dead bees before almond bloom don't kill as guy the current syrup bill will surely finish someone off on a year like this. Thank God we had killer mating weather and the rest of the springs chore accomplishment list gets an A- for the spring of 2013 in Nor Cal.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,785

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    Some of us like to waste time with real wax and wood. The bees seem to like it better, and everything can be re-cycled when it gets damaged. We are still working on cheap ways to reuse 20 year old plastic foundation. The current pressure washer takes too long, and rewaxing is just as bad.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    2,978

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    I've seen chemical bath, but you'd have to pull it from the frame I'm thinking or the wood might dissolve too.... I've inherited some plastic foundation frames, if the bees draw them out well, they get two thumbs up. If they don't draw them out well they really suck.

    I do like how they seem more solid and rigid in hand. They are a little heavier tho and the bees can't create pathways through them like they want too but they do seem to keep comb more level and even as well. Only cons is some bees just hate plastic and if they don't get drawn properly it's tough to get them to do any rework. I'm sure there's tricks to getting them to draw them quicker but it starts making it more time consuming than it's worth. Another pro, is if you don't set them in the heat somewhere, they won't warp like wax or sag in the hive before the bees can attach everything.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Gainesboro, Tennessee, USA.
    Posts
    397

    Default Re: Pros & Cons of Plastic Foundation

    I have used some plastic comb and frames all given to me or acquired thru nucs. The bees will use them just fine and it is quicker on the keeper. But aren't bees exposed to enough man made-chemicals as it is. Between tainted HFCS , hard chemical treatments, antibiotics, agricultural sprays and other contaminates isn't it time beekeepers give the bees a break somewhere down the line?

    Humans (my mother included) are having more and more allergies to all the above chemicals, and why is does not kill, it can surely weaken an immune system. Sure they can take it but where is the fine line, and when do we change? When the bees start dying?..........

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