Plastic frames
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Thread: Plastic frames

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
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    Kalispell, Montana
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    Default Plastic frames

    Just purchased a month ago some plastic frame to use next year. However I had someone at a club meeting who keep bees in Texas said that they had a large problem with the plastic frames. It was do to the small spaces around the frame which he said was a great place for small hive beetle to hid. After looking at them can see how that might be a problem. Has anyone else had a problem with the plastic and what did you do to correct it?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
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    Aroostook, ME, USA
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I use wooden ones, but was thinking that maybe you could fill the gaps with wax or something?

  4. #3
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    Jul 2015
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    wnc
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Hot glue can be your friend. Are shb really a problem in Montana?

  5. #4
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    May 2017
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    Hot glue can be your friend. Are shb really a problem in Montana?
    Not really in Montana , but I am now in Missouri and they are a problem. Thanks for the hot glue suggestion.

  6. #5
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    Nov 2009
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    Manning, SC
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by HillBilly2 View Post
    Hot glue can be your friend.
    My guess youíll get tired of hot gluing after 2-3 frames...
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  7. #6
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    Jun 2017
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    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    "Has anyone else had a problem with the plastic and what did you do to correct it?"

    Found someone who didn't know and traded them for wooden ware, taking a small loss on the whole deal - that was maybe 1976?
    Some say - the ones stuck with them, I reckon - dipping the whole frame in wax fixes the prime problem which is where the bees are reluctant to fill the comb body onto the frame structure reaulting in loose combs. Not so bad
    in a broodchamber but horrific in an extractor.
    I still have a very few plastic endbars on wood, I do find that config handy
    in brood chambers at #3 - #7 as rarely are they stuck down solid making working tbrough the broodnest very easy indeed.
    Yes SHB do like to hide in the reinforcing catacombs of the endbars but
    they gotta come out sometime and so overall there is no problem for bees
    at strength.

    Bill

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by eltalia View Post
    Yes SHB do like to hide in the reinforcing catacombs of the endbars but
    they gotta come out sometime and so overall there is no problem for bees
    at strength.
    Bill
    Itís not the SHB in groves, itís the SHB eggs that the bees canít get to, to remove.
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  9. #8
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    Aug 2017
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    Wimer, Oregon
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    129

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I just dumped 100 pierco's due to warping and twisting over the last year and a half, not worth the money imo, wish I would have bought wooden frames. what a waste of bees work. of course I scraped them, but could have gone 5yrs with wooden frames like my others.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Sacramento, CA, USA
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    7,861

    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Why not just cut them out and then reinstall them in the wooden frames?
    Seems like a lot easier than gluing them.
    .
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Suffolk, VA
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by Apis Natural View Post
    I just dumped 100 pierco's due to warping and twisting over the last year and a half, not worth the money imo, wish I would have bought wooden frames. what a waste of bees work. of course I scraped them, but could have gone 5yrs with wooden frames like my others.
    I agree. IMO, plastic frames are not a good investment. Beyond SHB, the frames get weak with age and will eventually fail in multiple ways. That said, I've found that my bees prefer the PF style (Mann Lake designation) foundation that comes with these frames. In fact, I was in a colony last week and took a peek into the honey supers. (We have a decent flow going.) The super is a mix of Rite Cell in wooden frames, but also has 3 PF-120 frames. The super was setup like this: [o o o o o x x o x] o=rite cell, x=pf-120. All frames were previously drawn out. The bees were only filling the PF frames and mostly ignoring the rite cell. That included the pf frame that was near the outside of the box. I've seen the same with brood frames. Having observed this for many years, I've come to the realization that the PF foundation is preferred (at least by my bees). However, this beekeeper hates the plastic frames!
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  12. #11
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    "Great Green Way", Queensland, Australia
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    @snl
    "Itís not the SHB in groves, ití s the SHB eggs that the bees can ít get to , to remove ."
    As put prior.... they gotta come out sometime.

    @Astrobee
    My struggle with understanding (interpretating) @beepro's suggestion to @Apis Natural's "of course I scraped them" aside, your observation could have more to do with airpaths and maybe even access across frames to find the 3 x PF120 being preferred as first choice to work on, filling.
    The way to prove consistency is to move the frames to see if the bees follow the relocation.

    Long have I listened to and digested the "plastic debate" to conclude plastic whatever has it's place. That place is just not in new (starter) colonies and certainly not for new players to be thrown into, as yet another hurdle. The fact many suppliers offer plastic bundles to new players is an abomination, in my view.

    Bill

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by eltalia View Post

    your observation could have more to do with airpaths and maybe even access across frames to find the 3 x PF120 being preferred as first choice to work on, filling.
    The way to prove consistency is to move the frames to see if the bees follow the relocation.
    I certainly do not claim to know the reason behind what I have observed, but I've seen this general preference before, but mostly for brood. I know that cell size has been attributed as beneficial for varroa, for which I have serious doubts, but in regards to late season flow management, perhaps the bees were indeed seeking smaller cells to fill? I am pretty confident that (at least my bees) prefer Pf sized cells for brood.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by AstroBee View Post
    I certainly do not claim to know the reason behind what I have observed,
    (edit)
    I am pretty confident that (at least my bees) prefer Pf sized cells for brood.
    My comments were simply to say it would be relevant to prove
    the observation holds for all situations in your colonies. A good chance
    then the behavior would hold true for all bees everywhere.

    Like, my pointer on using the plastic endbars should hold anywhere as
    I have run the few I have across many configs in many colonies to
    find it rare the bees glue down the ears to the rabbet.
    That info has to help those who find themselves needing to use a
    hivetool of these proportions to free up frames;
    https://www.betterbee.com/beekeeping...-hive-tool.asp

    Bill

  15. #14
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    Apr 2016
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    Mogollon Rim, Arizona 85933
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I have a few pierco's I was given by a friend down at the Phoenix Bee club in 2015 in Arizona, in less than 3 months they warped a little. I just remember going out to my Holbrook yard and finding the frames bent and sortta twisted after pulling them out of the hive during inspection.
    I just removed them so I wouldn't worry about the possibility cross combing.
    I also don't like how easy they break when glued into the deeps, and they twist and flex way to flimsy from side to side. and then what about the plastic off gassing, all plastics off gas harmful chems over time, and in heat plastic off gases faster. another reason I pulled them from the colonies and won't use them.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by DavidZ View Post
    I have a few pierco's I was given by a friend down at the Phoenix Bee club in 2015 in Arizona, in less than 3 months they warped a little
    Not much of a friend

  17. #16
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    Jun 2009
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    Pahrump, NV
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I bought out a guy who had a bunch of new self made boxes and Pierco one piece frames. The boxes turned out to be junk just like the frames. My bees made a ton of cross comb and built come in between the frames. 3 years later I'm still paying for it. Something else that's a pain in the butt is having to dig out wax moth larva from the little groves also. And on top off all this is they also warped.

  18. #17
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    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    I'll be the odd woman out: I use almost all Pierco plastic frames, and my bees do extremely well on them. (I do overwax them by hand to get them started.)

    I wondered and fretted about the SHB in the between-rib space on the sides, but don't feel it's a big deal here. I could run a bead of caulk in there, I suppose, but so far I haven't seen the need.

    But as to the assertion that they warp, I have never seen that, except on a frame that accidentally fell off my cart and was left in the sun. (And nothing I've tried has successfully unwarped it.) Hanging within the colony has never produced a warped frame.

    Since my new frames are always overwaxed, I never expose them to the sun in the yard before installing them, because that melts the thin extra-waxed coating in just minutes if they are exposed in the sun. They go straight from a holding box into the hive. And as a rule, I don't have any full-drawn frames out of a box for more than a minute - they always go in a closed-up quiet box when out of the hive.

    I suppose that in the SW air temps are higher, but I'm not sure that translates to significantly-higher temps within the colony, so I can't imagine how plastic frames are warping while in use. And at the other end of the scale, the frames that are off my colonies during the winter are exposed to ambient temps of minus 20-25 F most winters. And I've never had a frame break or snap due to cold.

    I also use wood frames with partial sheets of Pierco foundation, some with full sheets of plastic foundation and some foundationless in wood frames. And when I open a box, and look down on the frames before tackling them, I am always slightly heartened to see a majority of black stripes vs wood frames.

    Nancy

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
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    ayr queensland australia
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    for the future when mankua plantations start in your country its the guys who own plastics that will make all the money . being in a country full of shb the only eggs that will hatch have to be embedded into or on a food source whether plastic or foundation no difference unfortunately

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    For me to start a manuka plantation here I will need plenty of seeds from you to
    mail them over here. How many plants do I need and in what environment will grow best?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Plastic frames

    Quote Originally Posted by ozbee View Post
    for the future when mankua plantations start in your country its the guys who own plastics that will make all the money . being in a country full of shb the only eggs that will hatch have to be embedded into or on a food source whether plastic or foundation no difference unfortunately
    .... must be the suspended clays in that B'kin water clouding the message
    around Manuka and SHB 'cos I am not "getting" the twist, at all.
    Do I "do a Hanson" to comment "please hexsplain".. heh ;-)

    Bill

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