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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
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    238

    Default reusing frames vs trashing them

    Hello commercial beekeepers,

    I currently have 10 hives (Knock on wood) so assuming they make it through this vicious winter I plan on splitting them all at least once to make 20 plus hives. I am trying to think in all things beekeeping from a business rather than hobby standpoint in terms of costs and time utilization. So my question is for all the commerical guys out there, when it is time to replace comb be it in the supers or in the brood nest, do you clean and reuse frames, or just burn them and buy new? It seems that the time to make all new frames and slap in a foundation (especially the plastic kind) is quicker than trying to clean the frames, and when you buy them in bulk they are much cheaper. What do you think?
    Last edited by xcugat; 02-13-2014 at 03:50 PM.
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Hello commercial beekeepers,

    It seems that the time to make all new frames and slap in a foundation (especially the plastic kind) is quicker than trying to clean the frames, and when you buy them in bulk they are much cheaper.
    Anybody who has time to reuse frames is welcome to come to my burn pile and help themselves to anything that will help them get a major case of all the jollies he or she can gain by picking off and recycling them.

    When someone talks about redoing things like frames I get bad headaches from recalling dealing with or talking to guys who built equipment on a 30's style depression era budget.

    Not I said the frog..........

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Bertie County,NC
    Posts
    870

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    deleted by newjoe

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Hartford, CT
    Posts
    607

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Nothing wrong with old comb unless its been treated. Pesticides could perhaps also build up too.

    http://beeinformed.org/2012/05/natio...mb-management/

    Rather then replace I think I may cycle out my older comb into nucs to sell. getting new frames services 2 purposes then.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,211

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    I usually burn them after 30 to 40 years. But I clean and re-use them a time or two along the way.
    DarJones - 44 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Westchester NY
    Posts
    238

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
    http://www.peekskillnurseries.com
    Specialists in Ground Cover plants since 1937. Talk to me about ground-covers!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
    I don't reuse them, doubt that many commercials do. New wood is around .70, about as much as the foundation that goes in it. I suppose if the frame wasn't too old and flimsy.....
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Think about it this way, that newly drawn wax is going to be held in a 30 year old frame, which is going to break its tab off, and your going to be removing that comb and snapping it into a new frame anyway. I alway consider the biggest part of the frame investment to be the wax that is drawn on the frame. I always put new wax on new frames.
    Just my thoughts
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    2,689

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Your pocket book will make that decision for you.

    Crazy Roland

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    yup, re using old frames will buy you some time, if you have the time
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    >when it is time to replace comb

    I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,363

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    We are already assuming the old comb is unusable. For the sake of this conversation I think it's a distraction to get into WHY it's unusable.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,354

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >when it is time to replace comb

    I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.
    Partially OT: Think the question at large was in regard to FRAME reuse.... Fixing them up and reusing old ones VS tossing and starting over.....

    Even though you are commendably treatment free I would love to see your protocol that keeps mice, wax moths, and everything else out of hives as well as your technique to never produce a broken ear or two.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Broken ears, I fix. A wood screw in the end will do. The only ones that get throw out are when the wax moths have weakened them too much or the mice have chewed through them. Of course sometimes a frame gets thrown out, but not very often.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    5,906

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by xcugat View Post
    Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
    I have to admit, I have spent the time myself doing exactly that. Scraping up the old wooden frame, repair, and snap a new sheet in. Sometimes the two ends that meet, dont meet!
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    601

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >when it is time to replace comb

    I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.


  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    bridgewater , nova scotia
    Posts
    687

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    I suppose if you had the time to clean the frame properly and the integrity of the wood was good , then it is your decision .

    From a business point of view,
    I plan to rotate 20-25% of my comb/frames out of my hives each year as a pest management strategy. Selling nucs will keep the frames rotated , I would never sell someone a nuc with garbage frames though . That is a recipe for disease spreading .
    Ben Little <The Little Bee Farm> https://www.facebook.com/TheLittleBeeFarm
    Nova Scotia Canada

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    948

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Last year I ramped up my comb culling program.
    Since we use wooden frames with Permadent black plastic foundation, I found it really fast and easy to press out the old and snap in the new.
    We got into the habit of always having a case of foundation with us wherever the trucks are, whatever we were doing.
    Of course, there were frames that we decided to toss due to pethy wood or something, but most were a snap!
    Not using chemicals in the hive is a very sorry excuse for not replacing old comb.
    Unless you are keeping bees on mars, your comb builds chemical residue more and more as time goes on.
    This includes right down to car exhaust in the area.
    Of course, there are no cars on mars.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    444

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >when it is time to replace comb

    I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.
    Mr. Bush, I've been to several classes that recommend replacing all brood comb from 1 to 3 years depending on the instructors opinion. Not because the beekeeper treats, but because the farmers treat their crops. I was thinking maybe 5 years. No way I'm changing comb every year. So did your statement include brood comb, or just honey supers?
    Thanks

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,084

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    I don't know that it's a bad idea to change combs, but I never change combs. By far the majority of chemicals in most hives is from the beekeepers and they should be changed if you are putting chemicals in, especially lipophilic chemicals like fluvalinate, cumaphos, thymol or other oils. I'm sure some pesticides gets brought in from time to time by the bees, but it also breaks down eventually. Most of the approved pesticides (other than the neonics) have fairly short lives these days.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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