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  1. #41
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Manitoba Canada
    Posts
    6,468

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    From those hives exactly 50 frames had old plastic foundation w/comb that I didn't like for one reason or another snapped out, the frame briefly scraped and new Permadent plastic black foundation snapped back in.
    Well there you go, perfect example of a situation where the frame is still worthy of use, and a very simple replacement of the foundation renews the frames life.

    When I think of culled out frames, I think of the 30 or 40 year old wired frames, because those are the ones I'm culling out. In this case trying to re use the frame is not worth the time and effort
    Ian Steppler >> Canadian Beekeeper's Blog
    www.stepplerfarms.com

  2. #42
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jamestown, North Dakota, USA
    Posts
    148

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    I cull old frames that are more than 10% drone comb but sell them to an outfit in South Dakota rather than recycle. I just stack them on an old pallet and store them till I get 4 pallets or so. The place I sell to has a truck that comes here from time-to-time so I just coordinate with them and load them up when they're in town. There is a fellow in Minnesota that will also buy them and I believe he hauls them somewhere in Manitoba but he doesn't pick up here. I think the last time I had a half dozen pellets and several barrels of scrapings, I got a couple thousand bucks if memory serves me.

  3. #43
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Laurel Hill, Fl
    Posts
    471

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    I generally agree with you Cam. I harshly cull older frames if they have more than about 10% surface area that has been rebuilt as drone comb or if there are any structural problems at all. I cant stand trying to pull out a brood comb and end up pulling out nothing more than a top bar. Replacing on some set schedule? Sorry, but I just have a problem with throwing away fully functional comb.
    Been trying to hold my tongue on Robbin's post, but there are "instructors" out there advocating 1 to 3 year comb replacement? Really? All I can say is wow.
    Two of those instructors are State Bee inspectors.... I've been looking for an excuse not to follow that advice. I found it on this thread.

  4. #44
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    FRASER VALLEY, BRITISH COLUMBIA
    Posts
    1,347

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Robbin View Post
    Two of those instructors are State Bee inspectors.... I've been looking for an excuse not to follow that advice. I found it on this thread.
    With comb being the biggest asset of beekeepers next to the bees themselves, I can understand why these "instructors" are instructing. They would not be able to make it commercially. It is expensive at so many levels for bees to draw frames out. They build up slower and store less honey when they have to build more frames.

    We cull pretty hard. We do not have a lot of junk. More than 10% drone comb we cull. Old frames we would cull rather than fool around trying to fix them. If the wood is solid we take the time to snap back in some plastic foundation.

    Jean-Marc

  5. #45
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Amador County, California, USA
    Posts
    138

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Ben Little View Post
    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
    Ben that's a very good way of renewing the wax in your hives.

  6. #46
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,557

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Keith Delaplane's has an interesting column on this vey subject in the March 2014 ABJ thats worth a read.
    The highlights:
    According to the Bee Informed Partnership survey, beekeepers who replaced 50% or more of their brood combs with new combs had 31% colony losses in 2011-12 while those that replaced 10% or less had losses about 10% less

    To confuse the issue he reminds us of Jennifer Berry's research showing that new comb produces more brood and heavier bee weight but old comb produced larvae that survived better.

    Whats the deal? In a nutshell Keith's theory is that because its much less work for a hive to reuse older comb and that new comb building places significant energy demands on a hive he concludes that (and you really need to read the article to get the full picture) "Apparently the energy conserving benefits of using old combs exceeds the brood-maximizing benefits of using new combs."
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  7. #47
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,553

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    >Whats the deal?

    Maybe it's the thermodynamics of comb with a lot of cocoons vs comb with little or few cocoons...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  8. #48
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Location
    Cordova, TN, USA
    Posts
    211

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Whats the deal?

    Maybe it's the thermodynamics of comb with a lot of cocoons vs comb with little or few cocoons...
    Or the resulting smaller bees are less attractive to varroa?

  9. #49
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Hamilton, Alabama
    Posts
    1,225

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    The sample size may not be large enough to yield relevant results, or the beekeepers who are using older comb are simply more experienced beekeepers who are better at keeping their bees alive. In other words, question the assumptions underlying this very broad generalization.
    DarJones - 45 years, 10 colonies (max 40), sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 11 frame broodnest, small cell

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,557

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Whats the deal?

    Maybe it's the thermodynamics of comb with a lot of cocoons vs comb with little or few cocoons...
    Could be a lot of things. I have a hunch that those using a lot of new comb are more "start up" types of bee keepers with little beekeeping experience asking their bees to start from scratch with all new foundation. A challenge for any hive and beekeeper that isn't blessed with an excellent honey flow. Could be sample size doesn't give us a definitive answer. Could be the larger cell size of the new comb together with the additional brood rearing that accompanies it, gives varroa a significant advantage.
    If I might take this last point a step further it might well explain why commercial beekeepers (like Harry and Keith to name two notables) that exchange a lot of comb, and are doing a good job of mite control can consistently come up with strong hives and it might also explain why folks like Michael Bush who don't treat and do little comb replacement (think small......er cell) are able to get by with no treatments.
    One other interesting tidbit from the column. Mr. Dellaplane suggests a 6 year comb replacement might well be in tune with the average age a hive (one that makes it through its first winter) would typically live in the wild based on some of Tom Seeley's past research.
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  11. #51
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Westlake, OH, USA
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    OK. How's this for a crazy theory. If you are using frame with a plastic foundation then the comb size is probably larger than the bees prefer. With each successive use the comb gets slightly smaller. As this progresses the bees are able to cap faster, using less wax because there's less surface area. (faster with less sounds like bee win-win). This would support the "energy conserving benefits" idea. This year I'm beginning the move to all medium deeps with open frames.

  12. #52
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    981

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    Could be the larger cell size of the new comb together with the additional brood rearing that accompanies it, gives varroa a significant advantage.
    In the example of the 32 dead-outs that I scraped down and did some replacing in, there were a few hives with bottom boxes that I could tell had not been inspected in some time.
    2 or 3 frames in the bottom with large patches of drone comb.
    There is no way that the new comb could ever be the varroa generator, of such combs.
    Those are the combs that I mainly target.
    But of course, there were frames that were dissolving, moldy-oldy junk to the lower outside, frames with patches of entombed pollen, etc....
    There is a level of junk frames that new comb will make a certain improvement over.
    As an aside, our total losses from the peak number of 2013 is 10.78947%
    A little higher than usual but, oh well. We'll do better this year.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  13. #53
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Herrick, SD USA
    Posts
    4,557

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryVanderpool View Post
    In the example of the 32 dead-outs that I scraped down and did some replacing in, there were a few hives with bottom boxes that I could tell had not been inspected in some time.
    2 or 3 frames in the bottom with large patches of drone comb.
    There is no way that the new comb could ever be the varroa generator, of such combs.
    Those are the combs that I mainly target.
    But of course, there were frames that were dissolving, moldy-oldy junk to the lower outside, frames with patches of entombed pollen, etc....
    There is a level of junk frames that new comb will make a certain improvement over.
    As an aside, our total losses from the peak number of 2013 is 10.78947%
    A little higher than usual but, oh well. We'll do better this year.
    I may have misunderstood your program a bit as this sounds a lot like what we do as well. So, to clarify, are you saying that you dont cull structurally sound frames that have no drone or other issues, simply because of age?
    "People will generally accept facts as truth only if the facts agree with what they already believe."- Andy Rooney

  14. #54
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Salem, Oregon
    Posts
    981

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    Quote Originally Posted by jim lyon View Post
    ... are you saying that you dont cull structurally sound frames that have no drone or other issues, simply because of age?


    All of our frames are dated. I do take age into consideration when something bugs me about a frame.
    Otherwise, no strictly culling by date.
    We're on a culling kick again this year, so we will be looking things over as best as we can manage.
    I have exactly ONE hive more than you.
    That makes my opinion beyond question.

  15. #55

    Default Re: reusing frames vs trashing them

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q1EVSALw78k

    Old comb holds much more water than fresh comb does. Old comb (because of the cocoons) can hold 11% of its own weight in water. Fresh comb just 3%. So might be a humidity or water thing.

    http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/submitt...ssertation.pdf

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