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Saturday, 8 September 2012

Review of Plastic Frames

I have used plastic frames (from Modern Beekeeping) for the last couple of years, on one hive, as a trial.  Here are the results.

Good things.
Easy to prepare.  Just melt some wax, get a paint roller (a small one!), roll in the hot wax, roll onto the frame.  All the while supporting the frame from underneath.

Easy to clean.  Just scrape 'em down, steam them off, and start again.

Bees like them.  See photo below.

You can see that brood has been laid from side to side (see previous entries on the blog).
Remember, this is a Langstroth hive, so that's a lorra lorra bees.

Bad things

They warp.  See photo below.

Where this frame has warped, the concave side has encouraged the bees to make brace comb.  On the convex side (pictured), the frame is not drawn out into comb, because it is too close the next frame.  The bees will always keep at least one beespace between frames (more at the bottom than the top, so that two bees can work back-to-back in the wider places).

They also warp banana-style, along the length, which makes it harder to get them all back in place in the hive after an inspection.


I won't be using them again until I can find a solution to this warping problem.  Pity, because they have a lot going for them.

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