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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello commercial beekeepers,

I currently have 10 hives (Knock on wood) so assuming they make it through this vicious winter I plan on splitting them all at least once to make 20 plus hives. I am trying to think in all things beekeeping from a business rather than hobby standpoint in terms of costs and time utilization. So my question is for all the commerical guys out there, when it is time to replace comb be it in the supers or in the brood nest, do you clean and reuse frames, or just burn them and buy new? It seems that the time to make all new frames and slap in a foundation (especially the plastic kind) is quicker than trying to clean the frames, and when you buy them in bulk they are much cheaper. What do you think?
 

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Hello commercial beekeepers,

It seems that the time to make all new frames and slap in a foundation (especially the plastic kind) is quicker than trying to clean the frames, and when you buy them in bulk they are much cheaper.
Anybody who has time to reuse frames is welcome to come to my burn pile and help themselves to anything that will help them get a major case of all the jollies he or she can gain by picking off and recycling them.

When someone talks about redoing things like frames I get bad headaches from recalling dealing with or talking to guys who built equipment on a 30's style depression era budget.

Not I said the frog..........
 

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I usually burn them after 30 to 40 years. But I clean and re-use them a time or two along the way.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
 

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Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
I don't reuse them, doubt that many commercials do. New wood is around .70, about as much as the foundation that goes in it. I suppose if the frame wasn't too old and flimsy.....
 

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Think about it this way, that newly drawn wax is going to be held in a 30 year old frame, which is going to break its tab off, and your going to be removing that comb and snapping it into a new frame anyway. I alway consider the biggest part of the frame investment to be the wax that is drawn on the frame. I always put new wax on new frames.
Just my thoughts
 

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We are already assuming the old comb is unusable. For the sake of this conversation I think it's a distraction to get into WHY it's unusable.
 

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>when it is time to replace comb

I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.
Partially OT: Think the question at large was in regard to FRAME reuse.... Fixing them up and reusing old ones VS tossing and starting over.....

Even though you are commendably treatment free I would love to see your protocol that keeps mice, wax moths, and everything else out of hives as well as your technique to never produce a broken ear or two.
 

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Broken ears, I fix. A wood screw in the end will do. The only ones that get throw out are when the wax moths have weakened them too much or the mice have chewed through them. Of course sometimes a frame gets thrown out, but not very often.
 

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Just to be clear I am taking about moth eaten combs that are shot and need new foundation rather than just old comb. I wanted to see if commercial beekeepers cleaned them out and put new foundation to save the price of the frames, or just burn and get all new
I have to admit, I have spent the time myself doing exactly that. Scraping up the old wooden frame, repair, and snap a new sheet in. Sometimes the two ends that meet, dont meet!
 

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I suppose if you had the time to clean the frame properly and the integrity of the wood was good , then it is your decision .

From a business point of view,
I plan to rotate 20-25% of my comb/frames out of my hives each year as a pest management strategy. Selling nucs will keep the frames rotated , I would never sell someone a nuc with garbage frames though . That is a recipe for disease spreading .
 

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Last year I ramped up my comb culling program.
Since we use wooden frames with Permadent black plastic foundation, I found it really fast and easy to press out the old and snap in the new.
We got into the habit of always having a case of foundation with us wherever the trucks are, whatever we were doing.
Of course, there were frames that we decided to toss due to pethy wood or something, but most were a snap! :lpf:
Not using chemicals in the hive is a very sorry excuse for not replacing old comb.
Unless you are keeping bees on mars, your comb builds chemical residue more and more as time goes on.
This includes right down to car exhaust in the area.
Of course, there are no cars on mars.
:)
 

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>when it is time to replace comb

I never put chemicals in the hive. I never replace comb.
Mr. Bush, I've been to several classes that recommend replacing all brood comb from 1 to 3 years depending on the instructors opinion. Not because the beekeeper treats, but because the farmers treat their crops. I was thinking maybe 5 years. No way I'm changing comb every year. So did your statement include brood comb, or just honey supers?
Thanks
 

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I don't know that it's a bad idea to change combs, but I never change combs. By far the majority of chemicals in most hives is from the beekeepers and they should be changed if you are putting chemicals in, especially lipophilic chemicals like fluvalinate, cumaphos, thymol or other oils. I'm sure some pesticides gets brought in from time to time by the bees, but it also breaks down eventually. Most of the approved pesticides (other than the neonics) have fairly short lives these days.
 
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