Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    51

    Default Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    How is it that I purchased a case of 100 Permadent foundation 3 months ago for $78 and today it is $110? Same with Rite-Cell, frames, and the list goes on and on. Does anyone have experience with Dadant's economy line frames?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    7,845

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Companies run sales and it pays to follow the market and buy at the best price. The plastic foundation is all much the same with the premium varieties having more wax and better molding. I use bars of wax and rub them on foundation soon to go in service and it helps get the bees working and drawing them. The secret to drawing any brand of foundation, it to put it on the bees when they are expanding and there is a strong honey flow. If the bees are not expanding and there is no honey flow, no brand of foundation gets drawn well. BTW ML does not have a monopoly. They are just the survivor of the low price war or the leader. Excellent service and a good product got them there.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    51

    Default

    I understand how to get foundation drawn, that wasn’t my question. I was asking how a product can go up 41% in cost over a 3 month timespan and not cause concern? And also if anyone has experience with Dadant’s (now cheaper) economy frames. And yes ML used to have low prices and decent quality and that might be what got them to where they are. My concern is with the (coincidental) major increases in their pricing soon after acquiring several of their former competitors along with a noticeable reduction in quality of product (I’m talking about box joint fit specifically here).

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
    Posts
    1,783

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Quite frankly I have been using Mann Lake frames for some time and they have always been a pleasure to put together, however this year I have found that the quality is declining as the milling on the top bars and bottom bars requires reworking to make them fit and if I get another box of 100 like the last 100 I will need to look elsewhere. I have also gone on to buy the premium or heavily waxed ritecell foundation which puts the price up quite a bit and when I take a good look at the extra wax it looks like 2 X 1/2" strips of extra wax down each side. I guess I will take a look at acorns foundation.

  6. #5

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    I bought Dadant economy frames last fall and no complaints so far. Wood was good quality. Had a fellow beekeeper look at them and I think that is what he will buy next time.

  7. #6

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    In quantities of 100+ I buy assembled wooden frames with plastic foundation from Mann Lake for $2.65 per frame. Last year, I believe that they were $2.60.
    Dadant lists theirs in their catalog for the same price.
    I was putting together an order a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. I went to the Dadant website but was unable to figure out how to get the 100+ discount….they kept charging the $3.40 per frame regardless of the quantity. I went to the Mann Lake site and entered an order and it automatically adjusted the price for the quantity discount. Guess who got the order.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
    Posts
    4,190

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    I also have a bone to pick with Mann Lake. Late one afternoon I was placing an order for a few pallets of sugar with them. I do not like surprises, so I inquired about the freight costs from Minnesota to Wisconsin. They did not know, so I asked which carrier they used. First thing the next morning I contacted that carrier and got a quote. When I called Mann Lake back to confirm the order, the price had changed by about 10 percent. I told them to keep it. The Dadants never treated me that way.

    Roland Diehnelt
    Linden Apiary, est. 1852

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    In quantities of 100+ I buy assembled wooden frames with plastic foundation from Mann Lake for $2.65 per frame. Last year, I believe that they were $2.60.
    Dadant lists theirs in their catalog for the same price.
    I was putting together an order a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday afternoon. I went to the Dadant website but was unable to figure out how to get the 100+ discount….they kept charging the $3.40 per frame regardless of the quantity. I went to the Mann Lake site and entered an order and it automatically adjusted the price for the quantity discount. Guess who got the order.
    Just for future reference and I can't guarantee that the pricing will remain in effect - I ordered 320 medium wooden frames assembled and 100 deep wooden frames assembled. With shipping included to Chattanooga, the price per frame averaged $2.36 per frame. This is with heavy wax. Dealt directly with Nick at Acorn.
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  10. #9

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Quote Originally Posted by Spur9 View Post
    Dealt directly with Nick at Acorn.
    Earlier in the season I called Acorn. It was early in the morning their time. I left a message and my phone number but never got a call back.
    I was looking forward to trying their stuff.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Chattanooga, TN
    Posts
    477

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Too bad, maybe it was your accent . I emailed him on 5/13 with quantities desired and he emailed me back on 5/14 with pricing.
    Zone 7a - 1650ft

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,331

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Quote Originally Posted by beemandan View Post
    I left a message and my phone number but never got a call back.
    we use an answering machine at my place of business dan. sometimes the name and/or phone number left on the machine are just garbled enough to not decipher and make returning the call impossible.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2018
    Location
    Northern Lower Michigan, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Quote Originally Posted by squarepeg View Post
    we use an answering machine at my place of business dan. sometimes the name and/or phone number left on the machine are just garbled enough to not decipher and make returning the call impossible.
    +1 I often cannot make out the number in my messages. I prefer to email, then set a reminder to check back in 2-3 days. or web order.

    I have ordered from Dadant and Kelley, have no issues with either. I generally get un-assembled 100 packs and build them myself for around 2.00
    GG

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Location
    Kansas
    Posts
    51

    Default

    Thanks robber and GG. I’ll give it a shot.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,169

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Are dadant economy unassembled medium wedge top frames comparable to Mann Lake medium frames?
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  16. #15

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    any number of perfectly innocent reasons they might not have returned the call.
    All the same...I was ready to buy and able to do so.
    Next year.
    Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. - Emerson

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Dan, I have dealt with Nick and found him to be be very responsive and easy to work with. I was only buying one box and I felt like I was his only customer. Give him another shot and yes communicate by email initially.

    I have commented before about the poor fit of the ML finger joints but my last order was not bad. The frames I have gotten, about 500 so far, have all been first quality and identical to the Brushy Mountain frames I had been getting. Price with drilled side bars when on sale is less than .90 per frame in lots of 100. Customer service and shipping speed have been outstanding.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Jul 2017
    Location
    NW Florida
    Posts
    1,169

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    JW, are you referring to ML frames? The Dadant look less expensive, but I'm not sure of the quality. I'm looking for better prices on the frames and boxes.

    I recently opened a ML unassembled box and one of the sides had a huge 'gash' that looks like a rot spot with slivers of wood remaining that goes 2/3 of the way through the box. Quality has gone down!
    Beek since 2016: Hardiness Zone 9a: in NW Florida

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,527

    Default Re: Ugh. The Mann Lake Monopoly

    Yes, the ML frames are the only ones I buy now. Groove top, groove bottom with drilled end bars for the fishing line. I had a Kelley box that the finger joints did not even line up, they replaced it no charge. I had a ML box that one of the end boards was split through and through. I just glued it back together. I expect some issues when buying the commercial grade boxes so I had no beef. In your case, call customer service. I bet they will send you another box if you send them a photo.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

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