plastic, wax, wires, wood: which?

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Paul Wheaton, Dec 23, 2004.

  1. Paul Wheaton

    Paul Wheaton Well-Known Member

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    missoula, montana
    first, I'm a wannabe and I'm trying to figure out what to order.

    So I'm looking through the dadant catalog and the "Western Bee Supplies" catalog. For the frames, it seems there are lots of ways to go. I'm guessing that the most popular way is the plastic with a wax coating. The old way was to take some wax and press it into sheets with the hex pattern, then heat the wires and press the sheets into the frames.

    Now I'm really curious .... When you have harvested the honey, do you just put the complete cell back in the hive? If you want the wax, do you scrape some of the wax off and leave some of the wax?

    Do you ever take the frame apart?

    The only Dadant catalog I have right now is for 2003 and they say "new this year" a frame and the plastic part, all one solid piece. Worth considering?
     
  2. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    North Salem, NY
    Paul, if you look at the prices for the cheapest frame you can buy and the cheapest foundation you can buy, add these together, and then look at the cost of the one-piece pierco plastic frames and foundations, you will find that the one-piece frames are cheaper. not only that, you will also find that they are a LOT less work, as you don't have to put them together. These frames are also very high quality. I will be buying these from now on, unless i need shallow frames, which they do not make :( you can learn all about harvesting honey if you search under extracting. better yet, go to beemaster.com and check out the beekeeping course there. it's great for beginners!

    good luck,

    justgojumpit
     

  3. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I use wood frames and install foundation with wire and then wire the frames and embed the wire. I have tried the plastic on a few different hives and haven't had much success. The bees didn't seem to want to draw out the cells and when they did it was spotty. When they get bored the scrape the wax off of the plastic and then will never build on it. The one very positive about the plastic was I tried black which made it very easy to see eggs.
    You can either destry the wax cells to get the honey or you can extract the frames using a spinning extractor and just removing the cell caps. You can then save the bees a lot of work by giving them the cells back to refill and all they have to do is cap them.
    Frames usually don't have to be taken apart. they sometimes will come apart by themselves from wear. There comes a time when it is good to replace the foundation in the frame,The wax will get very dirty and irregular. In the brood cells there is a cocoon in the cell that will build up after numerous uses. If you ever rip apart wax from a brood chamber it will have crunchy little cocoons in each cell. If you melt the wax down you will find all of these floating in the wax. They look like little pill capsules open on one end.
     
  4. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    North Salem, NY
    if they don't draw out the wax, spray the frame with sugar syrup or paint on some melted beeswax. as always, bees will only draw foundation during a honey flow, or while you're feeding. also, if you offer the bees both plastic and wax, they'll choose the wax, but if you only give them plastic, they don't have much of a choice, do they. they will work it just fine.

    justgojumpit