Bridging wax and plastic frames

Rob McInnes

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yes, twice

and


so I'm not entirely sure where the backtracking has come from,



The only thing I can think of is that Rob sees it as a north/south divide, rather than an extractor plant divide, but this hasn't come across clearly in other posts.

However, by everyone's admission, there is clearly a difference somewhere. Whether it's by the plant or by the regions it happens, and it maybe funny, odd or whatever else, but I don't see the need for the defensive attitudes. It's a thing, get over it.

Now the let's revisit the bottom line.



So I think there lies the answer really. Plastic frames.
Cheers @Grant, the thread has got way off track. You are so correct. It does seem to be a north/south thing, and yes it also seems plastic are more prone to bridging than wooden frames.

Thanks for your mediation input
 

FlightBee

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Hi team.
So I have a huge issue with bridging wax between frame side bars and box.
I run 10 frame supers, as this is what the extractor wanted.

At first I thought it was just that the bees had run out of room. This is not the case, i assume they just don't like the boxes?? Dunno

The boxes are not dipped, just painted, hives are south waikato and are just pumping.

Its causing the extractor a headache as the box breaker cannot lift the frames out. I now need to do this on site pre harvest during my afb checks.


Thoughts pls
Hi Rob, have you checked your box & frame measurements - if incorrect this will cause the bees to bridge the Endbars to the end of the Box. Your Boxes should be 508mm in length using 21.5mm thick timber & your Frames should be 449/450mm long, Endbar to Endbar, giving an 8mm gap between Frame & Box each end. If this is correct, then bridging between Frame & Box should be minimal. Cheers, FB.
 

Wknz

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Hi Rob, have you checked your box & frame measurements - if incorrect this will cause the bees to bridge the Endbars to the end of the Box. Your Boxes should be 508mm in length using 21.5mm thick timber & your Frames should be 449/450mm long, Endbar to Endbar, giving an 8mm gap between Frame & Box each end. If this is correct, then bridging between Frame & Box should be minimal. Cheers, FB.
Were do you get 21.5mm timber? Most pine is 19mm or 25mm that bunnings, mitre10 etc seem to have
 

Trevor Gillbanks

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Were do you get 21.5mm timber? Most pine is 19mm or 25mm that bunnings, mitre10 etc seem to have
When 25mm Rough Sawn timber is put thru the thicknesser for furniture grade timber it comes out 19mm thick.
To get 21.5mm timber you need to dress 25mm or 28mm rough sawn timber (usually by a specialist) timber dresser.
Or you can do it yourself with a domestic thicknesser.
However, then you have the problem of the edges.
 

Sailabee

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According to Practical Beekeeping in NZ, and my boxes, the usual length is 505 mm, if made with 20 mm timber - some of those made of 22 mm timber are correspondingly longer.
 

Dansar

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I don't think its the plant is making you set the number of frames,
Example:- when at uni in my late teens I was working in a pack house, they ran 2000 hives and all 10 framers, this was in northland. While I had extended family in southland also running 10 frames, while mid Canty they were running 8 - 9 frames, maybe your not correct in your assumptions its the pack house and its historic. After all this is an industry that hasn't changed a whole lot in the last 20 years. My original question is about wax and side bar build up. Would contributions to the question was great, arguing about the number of frames in a box is something for another thread please
I have found that our South Waikato hives, due the exceptional flow packed in honey any old place. That included extending the edges of the frames out to the box ends and “locking” the frames in tight. This was effect was reduced when honey was pulled a couple of weeks ago when we blew the bees out and had to pull a frame out and shuffle frames across the box to clear all the bees out.
 

Jamo

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plus it costs the extractor the same to process the same amount of honey regardless of what box it comes out of. ie 10 ton out of 8's cost the same as 10 ton out of 10's.
In my plant I process 16 frames every 5 minutes regardless of how much honey is in them so that's 24 8 FM boxes per hour or 19 10 frame boxes per hour. That's why I charge 25% more for 10 frame boxes.
 

tristan

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In my plant I process 16 frames every 5 minutes regardless of how much honey is in them so that's 24 8 FM boxes per hour or 19 10 frame boxes per hour. That's why I charge 25% more for 10 frame boxes.
but, you also have the cost of processing the honey. it cost to heat, to run through spinfloat/filters and that all takes time. which is why we charge more for small runs because of the downtime waiting for the honey to go through the system.
typically 8 framers are 3/4 boxes and have similar honey volume to FD's. but 8 framers bridge a lot more, so that slows things down.
also many beeks have an unknown number of 9's thrown in the mix, especially when they have a mix of frame sizes.


however the biggest issue is that it becomes an excuse to haggle over the price.
same problem with charging by the frame. eg you don't extract the empty frames and some beeks expect not to pay for those frames. yet it takes time to sort them etc.
its just simpler to charge by the box, regardless of size or how much honey is in them. that way everyone gets treated the same regardless of what they run and what condition its in.
 

FlightBee

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According to Practical Beekeeping in NZ, and my boxes, the usual length is 505 mm, if made with 20 mm timber - some of those made of 22 mm timber are correspondingly longer.
It’s sad that they printed Practical Beekeeping in NZ with the incorrect dimensions - when I heard I tried to have it corrected, but it was too late. Fortunately I got to “Starting With Bees” on time, and the dimensions in that publication are correct.
Langstroth box dimensions are & always have been 16” x 20” (x 25.4mm per inch) = 406mm x 508mm - end of story.
 

NickWallingford

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When NZ first went metric, beekeeping equipment faced a lot of issues: thickness, width of the 'new' timber. And trying to maintain that damn beespace... Imagine the permutations/combinations: old box with metric frames, new box with old frames, metric frame above an old frame, old frame above a new frame - and then add in old and new boxes for those last few, too. Trying to find a series of compromises that might actually remain workable. But have a quick scan of this, and you'll see why the 'official' measures were adopted back in the middle 1970s.
 

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FlightBee

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When NZ first went metric, beekeeping equipment faced a lot of issues: thickness, width of the 'new' timber. And trying to maintain that damn beespace... Imagine the permutations/combinations: old box with metric frames, new box with old frames, metric frame above an old frame, old frame above a new frame - and then add in old and new boxes for those last few, too. Trying to find a series of compromises that might actually remain workable. But have a quick scan of this, and you'll see why the 'official' measures were adopted back in the middle 1970s.
Hi Nick, I have to disagree - they were never "adopted" - Ecroyd, Alliance, Tunnicliffe, Tumu, Mahurangi, etc. never adopted those sizes - if any of them made a 20mm thick box, or a 405mm x 505mm box, or a 238mm deep box and supplied them to commercial beekeepers they'd be rejected. The reality is that all of the current (2021) commercial producers of bee boxes run with 406/409mm x 508/509mm x 240/243mm (deep) x 21.2/22mm (thick) - so, in my view the Industry never adopted what MAF came up with!! Cheers, Stuart.
 

Sailabee

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Hi Nick, I have to disagree - they were never "adopted" - Ecroyd, Alliance, Tunnicliffe, Tumu, Mahurangi, etc. never adopted those sizes - if any of them made a 20mm thick box, or a 405mm x 505mm box, or a 238mm deep box and supplied them to commercial beekeepers they'd be rejected. The reality is that all of the current (2021) commercial producers of bee boxes run with 406/409mm x 508/509mm x 240/243mm (deep) x 21.2/22mm (thick) - so, in my view the Industry never adopted what MAF came up with!! Cheers, Stuart.
Most in Auckland are using boxes made with 20 mm timber now, rather than 22 mm and so the 505 X 405 is as Practical Beekeeping in NZ wrote the outside dimension.
 

NickWallingford

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Sorry. What I was meaning was those dimensions were arrived at over a several year period in the middle 1970s, and yes, they were adopted by the industry. As near as I can tell, these sizes (as based on 20mm dressed timber) have always been considered a 'standard' - even if, as you say, you are not cutting to them now.

In 1974, the NBA put forward 3 exec members and 2 others - see the article attached - Kevin Ecroyd to represent the manufacturers, and someone from Arataki to represent comb honey producers - to come up with figures and 'adopt' them - the figures from Graeme Walton's article is what they arrived at.

I think where the issue arose was that the timber industry did not ever, ultimately fully adopt the measures that the beekeeping industry had been told to work with, and beekeepers ended up with a small range of timber thickness to work with, and *could* get thicker than 20mm.

I do remember beekeepers being upset when told the only dressed timber they would be able to work with was 20mm - it wasn't a choice. I do kind of remember some issues, but according to Graeme Walton "The timber industry intends milling timber exclusively in metric dimensions in 1975. New Zealand's major manufacturer of equipment has indicated that, as from April 1975, all hive equipment will be cut to the metric hive specifications adopted in this report."

I remember going to Sawyer's Rd in late 1975 and buying a heap (for me) of boxes and frames - but I certainly couldn't tell you the thickness of the timber! So as you tell me they are not being used as that by the manufacturers, I can only say I'm not surprised people may have troubles.

It may not be so critical now. What those 'standards' were trying to sort out was when someone had both old and metric equipment. It simply wouldn't have done to, say, not be able to fit an old lid on top of a new metric box! But now, nearly 50 years later, there may not be much of that old equipment still on hives!

PS - Damn nice to hear from you, Stuart!

metrics.png
 
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I only just spotted this thread.
If you don't want the bees to stick the end bars to the box then get wooden frames. I don't know why bees don't respect the bee space with plastic frames but they don't and this makes for hard work removing the frames. If you really don't like wiring frames then use wooden frames with plastic foundation inserts.
When I make my own boxes I use timber thicknessed to 23 1/2 mm. 20 mm is far too thin. I was always under the impression that 20 mm was chosen because it was a nice round number but just because it's a nice round number doesn't make it sensible. Look at the hassles that 50 mm towballs has caused when if they just made them all the same size as the old ones life would be a lot easier and safer.
The important measurement in any hive is the distance between the end of the box and the end bar and it should be the same as the height of one bee .
As for how many frames in a honey box I have always used eight except for new foundation when I use nine and cut comb boxes which are 10. I know one large beekeeper who only uses seven frames for the honey box. Fatter frames are a lot easier to uncap properly and eight frames is two less frames to handle . I also only run nine frames in the brood boxes. It makes manipulation a lot quicker and reduces the risk of squashing the Queen. I hate inspecting hives with plastic frames or 10 frames to the box.
I have said this before. The old time beekeepers weren't stupid and if they did something they had a good reason to do it. Every time I have tried to improve on their methods I have found that they were right and I was wrong.
 

gino de Graaf

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I have all plastic, 10 frame honey boxes. My broods are all wood. Brother has all wood.
Plastic frames get a lot more gummed up than wood. Harder to remove top board, separate and slide frames blowing bees.
Though, plastic hold more honey and don't break... Perfect for honey.
 

tristan

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Though, plastic hold more honey and don't break... Perfect for honey.
they still break, but overall not as much as wooden. a lot of wooden fail due to being poorly made in the first place.
plastics will snap the lugs off if given a rough time, or overloaded with honey. ie using 8 standard frames in a box. manly frames typically come with wider lugs to handle the higher weight. wood handles rough handling better.
 
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The principle of the bee space is that if a gap is too small for a bee to crawl through then they will generally propolies it. If the gap is bigger than a bee needs to call through then they will fill it with wax and honey. If the gap is exactly right for a bee to crawl through they will crawl through it and leave it alone. In real life this doesn't always happen but it is the general rule.
Modern beekeeping is based on this very simple principle.
There were some hives with frames before the discovery of this principle but because they will always either stuck up with propolis or waxed to the walls they were largely unsuccessful . Top bar hives rely on a different principle. Where bees can build comb with no restrictions they will build their comb in a catenery(not sure if that's how it's spelt) curve which is the same curve as a length of chain held that both ends hangs. This in theory stops the bees from joining their comb to the walls but in practice the hives are not a true curve so they do get attached to a greater or lesser extent. It is of course perfectly possible to make frames to fit these hives and utilise the bee space principle.
 

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