BEST for the buck? Plastic frames/foundations or not!

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Dakine, May 5, 2012.

  1. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    Sorry but I'm new here and I haven't found posts on which frames/foundations are the most feasible?
    I know plastic frames no doubt have been hashed over to the max!
    So which are the BEST for the buck?
     
  2. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    What does your barn hive have? Wax or plastic?
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I use wooden frames with wax coated plastic foundation. This is one of those questions where you will literally get hundreds of different answers. Bees prefer the real thing wax foundation, however if there is a flow on or you are feeding they will readily draw out plastic as well. It boils down to personal preference. Plastic can be simply popped in wooden frames, no wiring or embedding, or buy the complete frames and just drop 'em in. If the bees make some bizarre comb, simply scrape it off and let them redo it.
    Wax foundation is more readily accepted and is probably cheaper to buy. Some even like to go foundationless, even cheaper yet and it allows the bees to draw the cell size they prefer!
    Get ready for a flood of different responses! :lol:
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    But only the poster of each reply is correct. :thumbsup: :lol:
     
  5. Slowmodem

    Slowmodem New Member

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    All I have are plastic frames, and the bees are doing fine. I guess if that's all they have, they deal with it. However, I haven't used them for a whole year, yet. I don't know how they would act in an extractor, for example. It was easy to scrape the honey off of the one I pulled the other day.
     
  6. Flyman

    Flyman New Member

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    Perry, Dakine is in Hawaii !! Isn't that the land of perpetual flow? He could get popsicle sticks to work. :thumbsup:
     
  7. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    Thanks you guys. I'm mainly concerned about what to use on the deep brood frames when I do swarms, traps or cutouts as I can't buy bees or queens here on Molokai.
    No mites here yet.
    It's a LOT easier for me shipping frames with plastic foundation. Easier to install also.
    Looks like I may try deep black plastic foundation ?
    Plan ONE for now is doing shallow box comb honey above the brood box.
    May use Ross comb method or something similiar. Haveen't figured that out yet tho.
    Thanks for the advice!
    HOW ABOUT USING THESE??
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Beekeeping-Supplies/products/107/
    http://www.brushymountainbeefarm.com/Comp10-Frm-Ross-RndSuper-w_NO-Foundation/productinfo/151/
    Dakine guy
     
  8. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    In my collection are: 1.wooden frames, 2.plywood frames, 3.all plastic frames, 4. combination wood and plastic frames.
    My bees use them all. All have advantages. All have disadvantages. To detail them all would require a book.:confused:
    Try them all and come to your own choices deciding what's best for you for each of your different purposes.....:wink:
    Start with whatever is best for you, for whatever reason you decide.:think:
     
  9. Eddy Honey

    Eddy Honey New Member

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    My bees in order of preference or which one they draw out first: I have all 3 in my hives.

    1-Hive body w/No foundation
    2-Wax foundation
    3 Wax coated plastic foundation
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Dakine:

    If you want to go with cut-comb honey, I would suggest just going with a 5 3/4" super with the thin beeswax foundation to start (or even go foundationless). All that's required for harvest is a 4" comb (cookie) cutter (cheap) and you are in business. Nothing against Ross Rounds but to begin with I would be hesitant. If the bees do not draw out and fill all of the rounds, you can end up with a bunch of partially filled ones that you will be unable to sell or reuse. Just MHO.
     
  11. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    Frames

    Sounds like I'll go with thin foundation or none at all foundation.
    So what do I do? Just put a wooden frame in ? No starter strips or anything else?
    I'm planing on using one 9 5/8" deep box for brood with a queen excluder on top. Should I plan on putting another deep brood box when the first bottom one fills with brood?
    Am I close to doing it right?
    Should I do one like the Warre hive and just put bars across the top? Will that work. Looks pretty simple. It looks like I can make the bars easily on my table saw.

    I'm VERY new at this but thanks to you guys I think I'm learning fast.
     
  12. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Deep brood box is right, leave the excluder off for now, add supers after that, if you want two deeps that is fine too , but my guess is you don't need two brood boxes where you are. No matter what size box the bees will work is as needed.

    As for foundation, wax or plastic, or none, anything will work, you get to decide what you want to do,
    I use wax foundation exclusively , and when I ran short recently, I cut single sheets into 3x strips to give the bees a starter, works well too. I wire all my frames so I can spin them out and it makes it more stable in the heat too.
     
  13. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If you don't have foundation or starter strips, the bees will build comb in 3 or 4 different directions. Even with starter strips, they may still do it. I HIGHLY recommend foundation the first year.

    If you use the excluder, place it on the hive at 90 degrees from the way it fits. The bees will go up each end, but the queen won't, as a normal rule. If you place it correctly, the bees may never enter an empty super.
     
  14. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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  15. Omie

    Omie New Member

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    I think you should just take one step at a time. Don't worry about Ross rounds or warre hives for now- you can't learn and experiment with everything all at once. Just start with a deep box or two and get some bees and maybe some plastic frames and get comfortable with doing inspections. Do a little reading in your extra time.
    Ross rounds are expensive and require knowledge of exactly how/when to work the bees to get them to fill them properly- not for a brand new BKer. Once you are at the point where they might be ready to give you extra honey, I think you are better off letting them draw normal shallow frames and cutting the honeycomb yourself until you get more experience.
     
  16. Bens-Bees

    Bens-Bees New Member

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    There are a million opinions on plastic foundation. This is my opinion:

    With wax you have to buy new foundation every time you need to rotate out your wax, with plastic you just scrape it.
    With wax you have to extract slowly or have frames blow out, with plastic you can extract quickly and never have to worry about a blowout.
    With wax, a wax moth larva will kill brood on both sides of the frame and the only way to get rid of it is to replace the foundation, with plastic the moth larve can only kill the brood on one side of the frame and to get rid of it you just scrape it off the plastic.
    With wax you have to buy gromets and wire and a frame wiring jig and a wire embedder, with plastic you don't need any of that and it takes half the time to install in a frame.
    Wax lasts a while, plastic lasts forever.

    By the way, I use UNWAXED plastic foundation, someone must have forgotten to tell my bees to not draw it out, because they do just fine without me having to wax it for them.

    So that's just my opinion. Plastic works for me, but it might not work for you or others. My best advise is to try a bit of both and form your own opinion about what works best for you.
     
  17. Dakine

    Dakine New Member

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    Buiild it

    Thanks Zulu. Great site for me as I build a lot. Hve to here as shipping cost BIGTIME for me.