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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
The hives I bought recently have a fair number of what I learned are brood frames, the plastic ones with the pockets down the sides of the end bars where lots of beetles can hide.

Two things, why the open edges on the end bars giving beetles yet another place to hide? And secondly, what's the point if the queen lays workers in them and drones wherever the hell she wants or they get filled with pollen and honey.

I'm just curious why others do or don't use them and if you see the same thing I do. Thanks.

Hunter
 

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Beetles can hide in the spaces, its just a manufacturing method to make the frames stronger while using less material to make it. It is pretty common to see in lots of injection molded plastics. Most people use the drone frames (they have larger diameter hexagons than regular frames) for passive Varroa mite control. The mites prefer drone brood over worker brood so you can get get the queen to lay an entire frame of drones, the mites move in, and when the drones are capped, you remove the frames and freeze them killing everything inside. Put it back in, the bees clean/cannibalize the old larva out, and start the cycle over again. Eventually the drone season ends and they will probably start to back fill it with honey until spring comes around.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry for not explaining better, I know what they're intended for, but my queens don't fill them with drone brood, they lay them full of worker brrod or they get filled with pollen and nectar. Out of the dozen or so I inherited with the purchase I've yet to see one with even 10% drone brood. For that matter I've yet to see any frame with 10% drone comb.

I'm wondering if other's observe the same thing. In my limited experience with them they seem pointless and given the hiding places they provide beetles, counter productive
 

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I think you may be conflating drone frames and plastic worker frames. What color are they?
I have been using drone frames, which are light green, for four years. The queen always lays a drone in them. At the end of the season, they are filled with nectar.
I have a few plastic frames which are black and they will contain worker and drones. J
 

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I stopped using green drone frames for drones and moved them all up into honey supers. It is a pain to get the drones out of them, much easier to use foundationless frames. Green frames work very nicely in honey supers and are much easier to extract.
 

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They do seem like they would be easier to extract from without all of that capillary action holding the honey in.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I think you may be conflating drone frames and plastic worker frames. What color are they?
I have been using drone frames, which are light green, for four years. The queen always lays a drone in them. At the end of the season, they are filled with nectar.
I have a few plastic frames which are black and they will contain worker and drones. J
You are correct, the ones I have are black or yellow. I wasn't aware of green ones but in talking with an employee at the supply house he assumed what I had were drone frames. I was *****ing about beetles hiding in the pockets on the end bars and that I thought they should be outlawed. There is decent comb built on some but the bees take much more quickly to a foundationless frame it seems. Not a fan of plastic and I will be cycling them out.
 

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Yes, plastic does not belong in brood chamber, but bees will use them when they have no choice... In the supers I never noticed any hesitation to draw them out when there is a flow (or feeding).
 

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You are correct, the ones I have are black or yellow. I wasn't aware of green ones but in talking with an employee at the supply house he assumed what I had were drone frames. I was *****ing about beetles hiding in the pockets on the end bars and that I thought they should be outlawed.
I h


I have to agree. Hive beetles should be outlawed!

Really, strong colonies without a lot of extra space is the way to deal with hive beetles. The bees can't keep them out of the hive; however, they can control them if they don't have a lot of extra space where the beetles can and will hang out waiting for an opportunity. IOW, beetles are opportunists.

I found it interesting in another statement that, "most beekeepers use plastic drone combs".

Maybe they do and I'm just unaware of the fact. I really don't understand why beeks don't just use a foundationless frame at the side of the brood nest. It will get filled with drone brood if the hive is strong. No special foundation is necessary to accomplish this.
 

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I h

I found it interesting in another statement that, "most beekeepers use plastic drone combs".

Maybe they do and I'm just unaware of the fact. I really don't understand why beeks don't just use a foundationless frame at the side of the brood nest. It will get filled with drone brood if the hive is strong. No special foundation is necessary to accomplish this.
My guess would be marketing? Bee supply stores don't advertise "foundationless frames for drone control" instead they sell and promote green plastic frame that does the same thing but is more profitable?
 

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The only way to go if you use plastic foundation is with wooden frames. They are sturdier and you don't have hive beetle hiding areas. J
 

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The partial sheet of plastic with space either side for foundationless drone is the option I presently use. Lots of posts on it by "Lauri". Not for freezing and culling but for breeding and test site for mites plus preventing rogue drone between boxes. It could be cut out and culled as it gets redrawn in a very few days. Keeping wax makers busy is a help in swarm control. One or two such frames in each brood box.

Entire frames of foundationless drone can be produced in about a week. Below are pics of the bees work in foundationless fashion on frames strung with monofilament fishing line.
 

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