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I would like to transition to complete plastic frames in order to save hours upon hours of work building frames and inserting foundation. I like the acorn frames but the indentations on the outer periphery of the frames look they would be a haven for hive beetles. Are there any brands out there that don't have these indentations? Is there a reason why every complete plastic frame has these indentations?
 

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All have the hidey holes people worry about storing shb. How much time would it take to fill them all with cheap house caulking? I don't have shb so it is not an issue for me. I like ML PF frames because I can get them delivered cheaper than I can get wood and foundation and shipping. Right now the bees are on a flow and drawing and filling box after box of them. I trim mine down to 1 1/4" so I can put 11 in a box because they get drawn better. As soon as the center frames are half drawn, I pull one or more to spread out the started frames so they get filled wider.
 

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Hey Vance, you said " I trim mine down to 1 1/4" so I can put 11 in a box because they get drawn better" .
How do you trim them? Thanx!
 

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Is there a reason why every complete plastic frame has these indentations?
Yes...
I had an interesting conversation with the Pierco rep about this issue at the ABF Convention in Baton Rouge. Has to do with the molding process, cooling time, warping issues, etc. etc.
He basically said it would be near impossible to do without the indentations, and if you could do it, it would be EXTREMELY cost prohibitive.

Coincidentally, I have a niece that's a mechanical engine and works for a Plastics company...I showed her a plastic frame and had the same conversation...She confirmed that everything I had been told was SPOT ON!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Shame... as a sideliner with a fulltime job, I need to find ways to spend less time in the barn building equipment and more time managing bees. I guess I should look at wooden frames with plasticell inserts. Rossman Apiaries out of Moultrie GA has a pretty good deal on assembled wooden frames w/plasticell if you order in the winter when they have downtime.

Any southern beekeepers want to chime in? Are the indentations as bad as I think they would be for Hive beetles?
 

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I set my tablesaw fence to 1 1/4" and bring the blade up to an inch and a half and trim both ends on the same side. I place the shaved sides all the same way and take my out of date queen marking pens depending on the color of the frame and draw an arrow toward the cut side so I don't have to look very hard later. After the frames are drawn and run 9 or ten to a box and spaced the cut side is not that important. With my 10 year old grandsons help we did 15 deeps full in well under an hour. That is how many I need to put on tomorrow I guess and we have a great strong flow for drawing foundation. They may be brood chambers later after I can't take off deep supers when I am old.
Hey Vance, you said " I trim mine down to 1 1/4" so I can put 11 in a box because they get drawn better" .
How do you trim them? Thanx!
 

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I always envy northern beeks and their lack of SHB.... until I'm standing outside in shorts and a tshirt in January watching full beeflight. We all have our regional struggles I guess.
 

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Any southern beekeepers want to chime in? Are the indentations as bad as I think they would be for Hive beetles?
yes, its as bad as one could expect. I had a couple that came with the nucs I bought. Used them when I moved them into a 10frme box. A month later, i took em out and threw em away. The SHB were literally crawling all over that frame slipping in and out of the hidey holes. Musta been 25-50 on those frames where as my wooden frames I'd built, were SHB free. They gravitated to those frames just for that reason.(to hide)
Note: since, I've built SBB with an oil pan and that has dramatically reduced my SHB population.
 

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>I would like to transition to complete plastic frames in order to save hours upon hours of work building frames and inserting foundation.
Then go Foundationless, save a dollar a frame plus the time.
Bees don't like plastic they will only draw them on a strong flow, and even then they can cross comb them up trying not to build on them.

>Are there any brands out there that don't have these indentations?
Not that I've seen.

>Is there a reason why every complete plastic frame has these indentations?
to save money for the manufacture.

Plastic is a necessary evil if you want to regress your bees to small/natural cell. You can do in one step with PF 100s from Mann Lake.

If you are going to use plastic frames add more wax to the frames there is nowhere near enough wax on them. Use a roller, the thicker the wax the quicker the bees will accept them (don’t use so much you fill in the cells). Even then it will not come close to how quick they will work a foundationless frame.

I've noticed there does not seen to be more beetles in a hive with all plastic. The hiding places in plastic frames are the same as empty cells in comb. A strong hive will keep the beetles at bay. Shaded hives have more beetles. Some place have beetle a lot worse than here.
 

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Is there a reason why every complete plastic frame has these indentations?
I used to work in injection molding in the auto industry. Those "indentations" are needed to reduce material thickness and ensure a properly molded product. There are a lot of problems that can occur when you have thick sections (bar ends) and thin sections (cell/foundation area) near eachother. Thick sections hold heat when molded, can warp, void, and generally are a waste of material (more plastic = higher cost). Thick sections need to be held under pressure longer in the mold and allowed to cool, but thin sections like the hex cells will cool too much, shrinking, and causing sticking on the tooling faces. Been a while since I've worked in plastics... but long story short is that thick sections and thin sections don't mix.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks everyone for your input. Looks like I will be using plastic inserts on wooden frames.
 

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I always envy northern beeks and their lack of SHB.... until I'm standing outside in shorts and a tshirt in January watching full beeflight. We all have our regional struggles I guess.
Whenever winter drags on too much, I just like to think of all the pests we don't have thanks to it. :D
 

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Whenever winter drags on too much, I just like to think of all the pests we don't have thanks to it. :D
During the winter, we moan and complain about cold, and long for the days of warm weather. Then summer comes along, and we moan and complain about the heat and mosquitoes, longing for those nice cold days with no mosquitoes. This is an endless cycle that repeats once a year.
 
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