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Adam O'Sullivan

pre waxed plastic frames.

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Hey guys.

I employ all home made frames with wax, but with the price of wax and the extraction lads not too happy with the odd frame breaking, I'm going to start introducing plastic and eventually have all the honey frames plastic. I still want to keep wood and wax in the broods. How are the pre waxed frames from Ecrotek? I have read previous posts on here from 2 or 3 years ago and people were not happy with bees avoiding or not drawing them properly. Have they changed since then?

I'm not floating in money and don't want to buy a thousand or so and have issues with them. 

Many thanks for your time and help!

 

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When I had plastic frames I found that the more wax you put on the better the results and I would generally have about the same amount of wax as you would get in a sheet of manuka special. I don't like plastic frames and while I prefer wood wire and wax you might like to try wooden frames with plastic foundation. These have most of the strength of a plastic frame  and do not get glued into the box in the same way that plastic frames do. I could never work out why bees do not respect the bee space when using plastic frames but this lack of respect makes them very difficult to get out at times.Wax the plastic foundation before you put it in the frame

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wooden frames with inserts will still break like any other wooden frame. part of that is the wood, how well its been machined and then assembled. most of the time its assembly issues.

having the wax blow out is either extractor issue or weak frame wiring. if the wires are slack the wax will get torn off. but still its only a minor nuisance to the extractor. having frames break can be a big problem.

having said that plastic do also break, just not as often.

 

your not going to keep just the wooden in the brood boxes. damage, age and frame rotation will see to that.

 

plastic frames wax them very well. i think someone offered a light coating of wax which i think is poor economy as thats where most of the bad drawing out problems are. its probably more of a disservice. 

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My preference is wooden frame, plastic insert , if you have wax melter coat the plastic sheets yourself with your own wax its a nice job for a ####ty day.

 

years ago I used pierco plastic frames and the bees treated them the same as wood frames, but these locally produced frames seem to get exceptionally waxed to the boxes 

I suspect the plastic is outgassing some chemical that is encouraging the bees to produce this extra wax on the frames.

 

 

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On 7/05/2019 at 8:08 PM, john berry said:

. I could never work out why bees do not respect the bee space when using plastic frames but this lack of respect makes them very difficult to get out at times.Wax the plastic foundation before you put it in the frame

 

We have wood and wax foundation frames with very few plastics but we always notice there’s so much more buff comb on top of the plastics than the neighbouring wooden frames.

The plastic frames sit are ever so slightly lower than the wooden ones and I think this mil or two difference is enough for the bees to want to fill the gap.

I remember many moons ago Stuart Ecroyd talking about the importance of the correct bee space when it came to manufacturing frames.

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I started out with wooden and foundation starter strips.

When I finally managed to get plastic frames (Small cell so imported, meaning unwaxed), I applied what I thought was a good amount but they didnt build it out very well. Just the middle bit.

It was only when I literally finger-painted the wax, heavily (from honey plus brood comb) they did build it out full.

So now its heavier the better.

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buy unwaxed mate and wax them yourself...then you get good thick coverage.I think its worth it inthe long run.

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Roller brush with foam roll and the plastic frames go well. One kg of wax will give a good 18-20 frames waxed.

Yeah, there is a bit of wax on top and if I do not open the hives on regular basis I will end up with a lot of propolis too at the ends and that will glue the two boxes hard as.

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i use both,  about half and half in the brood box and cannot wait to dump all thats wood.

I only dip my frames these days,, I use a 50l  keg with top cut out filled with water and gas fired(not sure of temp, i feel my way on that one but not simmer or boil, thats to hot) throw pieces of wax in to make a skim on top water (thicker the skim thicker the coat) dip frame as the pieces of wax melt only halfway and quickly re-dip other end(stops warping issues doing each half separately) put in box as ya go so frames stay straight, sometimes you might get a warpy one from double dipping but slotted in the box sorts that.   faster then any kind of brushing.

i use both,  about half and half in the brood box and cannot wait to dump all thats wood.

I only dip my frames these days,, I use a 50l  keg with top cut out filled with water and gas fired(not sure of temp, i feel my way on that one but not simmer or boil, thats to hot) throw pieces of wax in to make a skim on top water (thicker the skim thicker the coat) dip frame as the pieces of wax melt only halfway and quickly re-dip other end(stops warping issues doing each half separately) put in box as ya go so frames stay straight, sometimes you might get a warpy one from double dipping but slotted in the box sorts that.   faster then any kind of brushing.

 

buying the pre-waxed has always been disappointing.

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Hi - Willow here from Ecrotek.  Just thought I'd respond to some of the comments on this topic.

 

On 8/05/2019 at 11:11 PM, olbe said:

My preference is wooden frame, plastic insert , if you have wax melter coat the plastic sheets yourself with your own wax its a nice job for a ####ty day.

 

years ago I used pierco plastic frames and the bees treated them the same as wood frames, but these locally produced frames seem to get exceptionally waxed to the boxes 

I suspect the plastic is outgassing some chemical that is encouraging the bees to produce this extra wax on the frames.

 

 

In reference to Olbe's comment regarding chemicals, the Beetek frames from Ecrotek use certified food grade resin and do not emit any chemicals whatsoever.

 

12 hours ago, Shane said:

i use both,  about half and half in the brood box and cannot wait to dump all thats wood.

I only dip my frames these days,, I use a 50l  keg with top cut out filled with water and gas fired(not sure of temp, i feel my way on that one but not simmer or boil, thats to hot) throw pieces of wax in to make a skim on top water (thicker the skim thicker the coat) dip frame as the pieces of wax melt only halfway and quickly re-dip other end(stops warping issues doing each half separately) put in box as ya go so frames stay straight, sometimes you might get a warpy one from double dipping but slotted in the box sorts that.   faster then any kind of brushing.

i use both,  about half and half in the brood box and cannot wait to dump all thats wood.

I only dip my frames these days,, I use a 50l  keg with top cut out filled with water and gas fired(not sure of temp, i feel my way on that one but not simmer or boil, thats to hot) throw pieces of wax in to make a skim on top water (thicker the skim thicker the coat) dip frame as the pieces of wax melt only halfway and quickly re-dip other end(stops warping issues doing each half separately) put in box as ya go so frames stay straight, sometimes you might get a warpy one from double dipping but slotted in the box sorts that.   faster then any kind of brushing.

 

buying the pre-waxed has always been disappointing.

Shane, please let us know if the pre-waxed frames have been purchased from us and what you have found disappointing.  Around 60% of our plastic frames are now pre-waxed and most customers like the 30g coating.  However, we do offer 50g for a heavier coating if this is more suitable for your operation.  Look forward to hearing from you!

 

^Willow

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7 hours ago, Ecrotek Team said:

Shane, please let us know if the pre-waxed frames have been purchased from us and what you have found disappointing.  Around 60% of our plastic frames are now pre-waxed and most customers like the 30g coating.  However, we do offer 50g for a heavier coating if this is more suitable for your operation.  Look forward to hearing from you!

 

^Willow

i'm not Shane, but i've bought small volumes (several hundred++ from each) of pre-waxed frames from each of several suppliers, including ecrotek, and have been very happy with the results in the hive in all cases.

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On 23/05/2019 at 11:39 AM, Ecrotek Team said:

Hi - Willow here from Ecrotek.  Just thought I'd respond to some of the comments on this topic.

 

In reference to Olbe's comment regarding chemicals, the Beetek frames from Ecrotek use certified food grade resin and do not emit any chemicals whatsoever.

 

Shane, please let us know if the pre-waxed frames have been purchased from us and what you have found disappointing.  Around 60% of our plastic frames are now pre-waxed and most customers like the 30g coating.  However, we do offer 50g for a heavier coating if this is more suitable for your operation.  Look forward to hearing from you!

 

^Willow

 

Regarding Ecrotek's reply to my post,,, Its been a while since i have bought waxed frames from you guys,, would have been the first stuff you lot ever supplied or maybe it was still Beetek, before the two company's merged "all them years ago". But anyway it was a bit scratchy of what I would call a reasonable coating (it was what it was back then i guess)  Since then when I needed such(in emergency's or been lazy) waxed frames were never in stock so I only know what I have experienced.  Saying that all my plastic has been through Beetek or Ecrotek, great company without a doubt.  

The needed wax coating thickness seems very seasonal to me with plastic so Ecrotek dont take it personal, theres really no right amount on bad flows(or maybe bad beekeepers:)

 A fine coat and bad season the plastic might as well have nothing on it.. meaning a very scratchy draw.  Extra thick coatings seems to help in this somewhat(bees will move wax to where its needed.  This is one of the reasons why i have turned off wood & wax foundation, a bad seasons one will find the bees steal whole areas of foundation from the outer edges along the top, bottom, and all corners leaving anything from small to massive gaps between the drawn comb and wood, i presume this was done to cap brood or help draw comb elsewhere when in need. At least with plastic one can force comb draw where the wax has been stripped in the corners in reasonable flows to a 100% drawn comb,  not so can be said for holey wood&foundation for some reason,, just my experience

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2 hours ago, Shane said:

 

Regarding Ecrotek's reply to my post,,, Its been a while since i have bought waxed frames from you guys,, would have been the first stuff you lot ever supplied or maybe it was still Beetek, before the two company's merged "all them years ago". But anyway it was a bit scratchy of what I would call a reasonable coating (it was what it was back then i guess)  Since then when I needed such(in emergency's or been lazy) waxed frames were never in stock so I only know what I have experienced.  Saying that all my plastic has been through Beetek or Ecrotek, great company without a doubt.   

The needed wax coating thickness seems very seasonal to me with plastic so Ecrotek dont take it personal, theres really no right amount on bad flows(or maybe bad beekeepers:)

 A fine coat and bad season the plastic might as well have nothing on it.. meaning a very scratchy draw.  Extra thick coatings seems to help in this somewhat(bees will move wax to where its needed.  This is one of the reasons why i have turned off wood & wax foundation, a bad seasons one will find the bees steal whole areas of foundation from the outer edges along the top, bottom, and all corners leaving anything from small to massive gaps between the drawn comb and wood, i presume this was done to cap brood or help draw comb elsewhere when in need. At least with plastic one can force comb draw where the wax has been stripped in the corners in reasonable flows to a 100% drawn comb,  not so can be said for holey wood&foundation for some reason,, just my experience

Hi Shane, good to hear from you.  We’ve come a long way since the merger years ago – and to be fair, our waxing machine’s consistency wasn’t the best back then but constant tweaking and upgrading has changed this and the waxing job more superior.  Stock-wise we do our best to forecast what we need on hand but can get caught short if someone calls needing stock yesterday – all of this aside, sorry that we couldn’t help you out of those tight spots previously, I will pass this on to the team.  Can you flick me an email on sales@ecrotek.co.nz? 😊 Thanks, Willow

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