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Are there any downsides to using wax vs. plastic frames for honey extraction?

3306 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
My bees seem to hate plastic frames so I'm tempted to use wax foundation for honey supers. Would wax frame honey supers behave any differently in honey extracters than plastic frames would? Or do they hold up well during extraction?
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Over time, the top bar on wooden frames with wax foundation can get pulled up. If you don't fix it, you can end up with a frame a little too tall for the box. Those frames can be a pain to work with. The top bar doesn't try to pull off of plastic frames.

If mice get in your stacks of supers, they can tear up wax foundation combs. Plastic frames are easier to fix.

If you ever use your frames in the broodnest and get pollen or cocoons in them, you have to worry about wax moths. Wax moth damage is easier to fix with a plastic frame, while it can completely ruin a wax foundation comb.

I haven't seen a plastic frame blowout like wax foundation combs can.

If the bees have built much burr comb between boxes, and your frames get a little age on them, sometimes when you remove a box one of the wooden bottom bars will tear off and stay attached to the box below it.

Fresh wax combs can tear very easy. Once your wax foundation combs are mature, you can extract them without much worry.

A lot of honey has been extracted from wooden frames with wax foundation. A lot of successful beekeepers over the years have used these frames. This should tell you something.
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