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What do you guys think about the plastic frames? They don't look like they cost too more than reg. frames if you did not have a bunch of hives. I'm talking about the one piece frames dipped in bees wax.
 

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Decided 2 years ago that I wanted to give them a shot. I've got a super of them and a brood chamber. I did not have them on the same hive, though. I'm still on the fence as to how much I like them.

Just my opinions...
The positive...
1. Definitely easier to work with. Just drop in the box.
2. Harvest was easier. Just uncap and drop in extractor. No worries about falling apart.
The not so positive...
1. Definitely need to either dip or roll with an extra layer of wax
2. Standard rack grippers just do not hold these racks well. I find myself picking up the rack with the grippers and then holding the racks with my hands. Can be an absolute pain in the rear sometimes.
3. The bees did take a little bit longer to draw out these as opposed to wood frames w/wax foundation.

So, am I going to get rid of what I have? No
Am I going to keep using what I have? Yes
Will I buy new plastic frames? Doubt it
Do I think they are terrible? No

Just my opinions based on my experience...
 

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I bought all one piece Pierco(great folks to deal with) frames for 10 double deep hives and enough medium one piece for 30 honey supers. All were wax coated. The bees were very slow to draw out both the deep and shallow frames, but that could have been due to a number of reasons. The one thing I did notice is the burr comb everywhere, especially between the boxes which makes separating boxes a pain.

I asked the same question you did on this forum. Some like the one piece, others do not. Some commercial beeks I talked to said their experience was all plastic frames caused the bees to build lots of burr comb...which is what I experienced. The beeks who do this for a living I talked to say they use plastic foundation in wood frames, which is what I am switching to.

I will keep the one piece and eventually rotate them out. I am going to all wooden frames with plastic foundation.
 

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I don't count! My Bees just do not like the things, period!! I takes forever to be drawn out, if at all, and burr comb.
That's my experience.
 

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I don't count! My Bees just do not like the things, period!! I takes forever to be drawn out, if at all, and burr comb.
That's my experience.
If you roll on wax that problem goes away. We rotate ours 10 frames at a time as the bottem deep. They draw it out fine.
 

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I am not an expert in any form, and I considered buying the all plastic. I have used the plastic foundation with no problem. But I'm afraid that we can change too much. Kelleys makes wooded frames that the plastic pops right in. There is also the extra cost of the all plastic. I'm staying with wooden frames & plastic foundation.
 

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My three colonies all have Mann Lake PF-120's in them and my bees have drawn them out nicely without adding additional wax...

They're easy...

I'm not an expert either...
 

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My experience with the ML PF-120s has been similar to BeeCurious. I've rolled on extra wax and used as-is and haven't seen much of a difference. They took to the extra wax better, but that could have been for a whole host of unrelated reasons.
 

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I don't like them either, my experience has been that 1)they don't draw them out very well. 2)the draw them slow 3) they do not draw them consistently across the frame lots of burr and holes for the queen to hide under. I know a few guys who use them ONLY on a very strong flow and they say they will draw them fine then but they still use wood and wax foundation most of the year. For me wood frames and foundation fill my boxes. Thats my 2 cents.
 

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:scratch:
If you roll on wax that problem goes away. We rotate ours 10 frames at a time as the bottem deep. They draw it out fine.
I have tryed that and "washboarded" wax, added extra wax anyway I can and MY bees just do not like the things! Howerver; I have had fairly good sucss with wood frames w/plastic foundation + extra wax.
 

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Just a thought, but as folks move to "foundationless" is the extra cost of plastic worth the extra time and effort to encourage the bees to work it? :scratch:
 

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I don't like the plastic stuff because of all of the above plus one. My plus one is the molded frames and the grooves in these top, bottom, and side bars I hate them. I live in SHB area here in south GA and have fought them for a long time. One of the things we do is to close all possible cracks and crevases the SHB may hide in. So adding a place for them just flat seems wrong to me. Now with that said I'll admit we have some of that junk in our hives that I'm culling out and have been for 2 years. My dad and I were looking at them today and BSing if each crevase would hold ten SHBs then 1 frame would hold over 200 beetles. I'll also mention I don't see any problems with these frames in supers. Because we usally use them only during honey flows and take them off and store them most of the year.
 

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I'm also using the mann lake frames on 2 hives, & the bees built them out fine. Didn't add any wax to them.
My green Pierco drone frames are another story. Got some funky come built on them.
 

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I'm a big plastic fan, especially the one-piece frame/foundation. But I still have a bunch of wood frames so I'm not adverse to inserting the plastic sheet of foundation, or even wiring the horizontal supports and inserting wax foundation.

Your success with plastic foundation will take extra management. You need to have a strong, healthy hive, a good flow, and the extra coating of melted wax rolled on to the foundation.

It has been my experience that plastic does work well with new colonies, either packages, nucs or swarms. Once the hive is established, the bees are much less reluctant.

It also helps to insert plastic between two frames of open brood. BAM! They're drawn out.

I would also point you to:

the Feb 2008 issue of Bee Culture, page 49, "Overcoming Resistance to Plastic."

and the March 2008 issue of the American Bee Journal, page 253, "Accelerating the Acceptance of Plastic Foundation."

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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>>>>>>>the Feb 2008 issue of Bee Culture, page 49, "Overcoming Resistance to Plastic."

>>>>>and the March 2008 issue of the American Bee Journal, page 253, "Accelerating the Acceptance of Plastic Foundation."
>>>>>>>>>
I wrote something about this in '06. I'll see if I can post it.

dickm
 

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I rarely see a completely drawn out plastic frame in our area. Our flow is long, slow and intermittent , they probably get drawn out better where the flow is heavy and fast.
 
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