Plastic frames
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Thread: Plastic frames

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
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    Rayville, Louisiana, USA
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    11

    Default Plastic frames

    Will someone please tell me if plastic frames are ok to use in your boxes.. I have 75 of them and hate to throw them away...

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2015
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    Champaign, Illinois
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Sure you can use them but once you start comparing them to wooden ones you might decide to phase them out as they fail.
    I've got a handful that I inherited and would be gad to see them gone. Just my opinion but they seem sort of flimsy and full of hiding holes for SHB.
    They sag when full of honey.
    Internet credibility is an oxymoron

  4. #3
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I get many more stings on my fingers due to trapping bees in all the hidey holes in the plastic frames. Excess burr comb and brood between frames, plus harder to uncap.
    Frank

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Knox, Pa. USA
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    5,400

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Preference and technique dictate Viability. They come in cases of 30 I buy about 10 cases a year. I find then easier to remove from hives, with far less damage to the box. Easier to manipulate, and if in supers a 9/10 spacing always leaves ample comb for easy extracting. But then I never lock myself into anything with lateral thinking.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Ridgeville, SC, USA
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    560

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    If you have small hive beetles in your area I would not use them. It's up to you , I prefer to not give them any hiding places. I had a few and didn't care for them. Not as rigid as wood.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    camden, tennessee, USA
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    308

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    I get many more stings on my fingers due to trapping bees in all the hidey holes in the plastic frames. Excess burr comb and brood between frames, plus harder to uncap.
    I purchased 70 or 80 of the acorn all plastic frames this spring and used 40 of them when hiving swarms. Bees seemed to have no problems drawing the foundation but for some reason the bees connected all the plastic frames to the frames above them. Later in the season the brood boxes were almost impossible to separate. Literally lifting all 10 frames in the bottom box when trying to pry the boxes apart. No such issue with the wooden frames. I don't mind handling the plastic frames but after that I will be hesitant to add any more and will most likely use the plastic for swarm traps.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Suffolk Co, NY, USA
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    3,663

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I use lots of them and like them.

  9. #8
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    Aug 2011
    Location
    KC, MO, USA
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    4,646

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I also have lots, many advantages and disadvantages. (beetles are not one of them, if there not hiding in plastic frames then they're hiding somewhere else)

    Will continue using them but will not be buying more.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
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    4,085

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    westtn.......
    I purchased 70 or 80 of the acorn all plastic frames this spring and used 40 of them when hiving swarms. Bees seemed to have no problems drawing the foundation but for some reason the bees connected all the plastic frames to the frames above them. Later in the season the brood boxes were almost impossible to separate. Literally lifting all 10 frames in the bottom box when trying to pry the boxes apart. No such issue with the wooden frames. I don't mind handling the plastic frames but after that I will be hesitant to add any more and will most likely use the plastic for swarm traps.
    I wonder if a guy took a little time to coat the very top of the frames with vasoline if this would happen. I read this as a suggestion for the fixed frame warre hives in the book the peoples hive.

    Any one tried this?
    Thanks
    gww
    zone 5b

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Rayville, Louisiana, USA
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    11

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Very interesting...Some do most do not. The man I got them from said he liked them and was all that he used. So I guess to start off with I will use the ones that I have and see how it goes..Thanks everyone...continued comments are welcome !!!

  12. #11
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
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    5,045

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    If you have them, may as well use them! They can always go into nucs to sell, or swarm traps. I have cut the frames off the last case I had and turned them into sheets of foundation. That was not a well paid job!
    Frank

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
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    6,127

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I agree with Crofter....if you have them then give them a try. I used to use them but stopped. Personal choice. Lots of people use them with great success so give them a chance!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
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    DuPage County, Illinois USA
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    12,001

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    For me, the biggest advantage of plastic frames is that the foundation can be cut out of the frame and installed into wooden frames!
    Regards, Barry

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Grand Blanc, MI
    Posts
    296

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Have the manufactures improved the bee space? I bought some 10 years ago and the bees always put burr comb between the top bar and the frame above it.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
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    2,514

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by spencer View Post
    Have the manufactures improved the bee space? I bought some 10 years ago and the bees always put burr comb between the top bar and the frame above it.
    Great question. I thought the same thing. I noticed that the green drone comb I put in my hives always seemed to have more bur comb than any of the other wooden frames. I also found active Qcells seem to end up on them too. I checked the measurements and found they were identical to the wooden frames. I do have a few plastic super frames that I bought to try. I found the bees will build all types of bur comb on them too. My 2 cents is for whatever reason bees like to build bur comb on these.

    I'm not a fan of them but I continue to use those I have. The bur comb is one thing but what I really don't like is they offer SHB's all type of hiding places.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
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    7,822

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I run mostly plastic frames. I initially got them to regress my bees to small cell when I thought that might help with mites, it doesn't. It is also hard to beat the price. Getting them drawn well requires the same conditions required to draw any foundation. You need an expanding colony needing more space for storage or brooding. That means incoming carbs, from nature or feed. It is best to draw them one frame at a time between two frames of wet brood. Next best is a whole box at at a time with one drawn bait comb.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Clackamas Oregon
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    1,358

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I had some that the bees would not draw.
    I scraped them, power washed them and put a coat of fresh bees wax on them and now I almost think that if I did not have 100 wood frames wired if I should purchase plastic or wood.
    Bottom line, if they are not drawn put a coat of wax to them and use them.
    Do not mix wax frames with undrawn plastic, they will prefer the wax. Don’t give them the choice. I do like the drawn plastic! It is getting it there that is the chore.
    “Why do we fall, sir? So that we might learn to pick ourselves up” Alfred Pennyworth Batman Begins (2005)

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2016
    Location
    Rayville, Louisiana, USA
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    You guys have given me some great input and I thank you very much for it...anyone else just jump in...I did pressure wash the boxes today and got them all cleaned up to give them a bleach bath before I paint them. That pressure washer will really clean them up..also did some of the plastic frames and they clean up nice as well...

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
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    2,569

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I am happy Mann Lake PF's in the brood boxes, but I find they skip about more in the extractor than wooden ones. I read someone, Michael Bush I think, who said that the reason that they burr comb them together at the top and bottom is that they do not see the top bar of a plastic frame as a barrier as compared to the top bar of a wooden frame. Whilst it may be an inconvenience to the beekeeper to pry the boxes apart, in winter it might be an advantage to the bees to have one contiguous vertical comb of almost 20" compared to two stacked combs with a gap of almost 2" in the middle where there is no comb.
    Also, I like the fact that the winter cluster, when at the top of the brood nest, has only a little plastic to cluster around compared to those big top bars the traditionalists prefer. However, what I like is immaterial. What the bees prefer is what matters most, and because we may never know I find myself drawn to Beesource and commenting. It helps to pass a winter evening. :-)

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
    Posts
    7,861

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Don't forget to dip the plastic frames in a bleach bath either.
    I prefer to use the wooden frame either wax or plastic foundation for a lighter hive.
    Those plastic frames are a bit heavy in a deep hive. I rather cut the plastic foundation off to
    install it in a wooden frame.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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