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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Are there any preferences for all plastic frames? Pierco, ez frame, rite-cell pro frame?The catalogues do not say what size the cells are (4.9, 5.0) however Betterbee claims Pierco are made in the good ol USA. I need to change to all medium hives because of the weight of loaded deeps but want to make the right choice on equipment.
While i got your attention how about the plastic hives (medium Supers), where are they made? Are they as good a wood for colonies?
Thanks a lot.
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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From my observation smaller cells have less mites. Here's my measurements, but I don't have any of the newer frames from the other manufacturers:

Cell sizes:
Natural: 4.6 to 5.1mm
Turn of the century foundation: 4.83mm
Lusby foundation: 4.8mm to 4.9mm average 4.83mm
Dadant Small Cell foundation: 4.9mm
Wax dipped PermaComb: 4.95mm
PermaComb: 5.1mm
Pierco deep frames 5.25
Pierco med frames 5.35
Pierco foundation 5.2
RiteCell 5.4mm
Standard Worker Wax 5.4 to 5.5mm
7/11 5.6mm
Drone 6.4mm to 6.6mm

I have only tried some of the foam hives (from Betterbee) for nucs this last winter. They didn't do well, but then neither did the ones in wood. I haven't decided what I think about them yet. I don't know where they are manufactured.

If you want to cut down more on weight, how about eight frame mediums? I'm only buying eight frame boxes now. But I still have a lot of ten frame boxes, so I often mix them up.

Here's pic of an eight frame super on top of some ten frame boxes:

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/TenFrameToEight.JPG

And some eight frame boxes on each side of a ten frame box:

http://incolor.inetnebr.com/bush/images/EightTenEightHives.jpg

A full ten frame deep weighs 90 pounds. A full ten frame medium weighs 60 pounds. A full eight frame medium weighs 48 pounds.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the excellent info on the plastics. I thought about the eight frame mediums but was concerned that they would fall over mush easier due to their smaller footprint. The lesser amount of weight is quite tempting to me though.
thanks again.
 

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"Are there any preferences for all plastic frames? Pierco, ez frame, rite-cell pro frame?"

I've only used Pierco, which work great, but I would suspect ez frame and rite-cell pro are exactly comparable. I think the very first prototypes of all-plastic frames had some warpage issues, and some of the ears broke off- but those issues have been designed out of all the new ones.

Now GETTING all-plastic frames may be an issue. I just got off the phone with a buddy of mine who ordered from Mann-Lake, and has been waiting many, many months. He finally gave up and is coming over to my house to pick up some extras that I had.

I think within 5 years, everyone but the sentimentalists will be using all-plastic. They're just too easy, cheap, and durable to do anything else. The plastic inserts for wood frames are just a way to move traditional beekeepers into the 21st century... a step toward what will be the standard (all-plastic).
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Why not go the whole way and go to FULLY DRAWN plastic. PermaComb is no harder to get the bees to use than any other plastic and they don't even have to draw it and the wax moths can't destroy it and the SHB can't burrow through it.

That or let the bees do what they want and just give them foundationless frames.
 

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>>Now GETTING all-plastic frames may be an issue. I just got off the phone with a buddy of mine who ordered from Mann-Lake, and has been waiting many, many months.

Mann Lake has a new type of plastic frame designed for auto-load extracting frames. They are built much stronger. I tried to get some of those a year ago. The keep showing them in their catalog but don't even have any.

They should have plenty of their standard plastic frames. I ordered 210 standard med frames a few weeks ago and got them within a week.

Dan
 

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I just did a reverse of two deeps yesterday where the top was old foundation and the bottom was ez frames (plastic). Not a single frame of the plastic was drawn out,and this super was put on last spring. They made it through the winter on one deep.
I've got a nice block of wax on order which I'm going to melt on top of a oval galvanized tub of hot water using my turkey fryer burner. I'll drop a couple of frames into the water for 60 seconds or so to bring them up to temp and then slowly pull them out through the melted wax. I'm interested in seeing what the bees do with a fresh coat of wax on the plastic frames.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello Ricko--supose you already tried giving all the plastic frames a good spray of sugar/water mix. Just a thought.
 

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>...and the bottom was ez frames (plastic). Not a single frame of the plastic was drawn out

I had trouble last year with getting waxed EZ frames drawn. I had no trouble with Pierco or Ritecell. I don't know why they didn't like my EZ frames but that was just my experience.

Dan
 

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Power- I can't really remember if I sprayed them or not. I usually do. I have noticed though that the coating of wax on these frames is very light which is probably a result of material and time costs. I'm hoping that since I work for nothing LOL, I can dip the frames and put on a good coat of wax that should grab the attention of any worker bee! Now since I was going to float the hot wax on top of the hot water,I'm wondering if I limit the stiring action, if I could add some honey to the wax. This way as the frame is pulled up and through the wax,it will also take on the smell of the honey. Just a thought!
 

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If your looking for good quality Plastic frames try HoneySuperCell.com . They are a little on the expensive side but I think you'll get your moneys worth.

APK
 
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