Beekeeping Frames - Plastic or Wood? What's Better?

Published: 18th October 2010
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Like a picture frame, the beekeeping frames are originally created from wooden rectangular structures that give support to the honeycomb foundation. This then gives the bees a comb-like surface to build their honeycomb. The frames allow spatial requirements within a beehive known as the "bee space". The size of the frames can be determined by your preference and the type of honey you want to be produced.

The beekeeping frames are readily available from beekeeping supply vendors. On the other hand, you can make the frames at home also. The top bar would be the longest; the end bars would be the shortest and the bottom bar would be of the normal size with a precut slot running lengthwise. All beekeeping frames are assembled in the same manner and the parts are sold with predrilled holes and precut notches.

In current times, the beekeeping frames are actually available in either wood or plastic. Traditionally, beekeepers want the bees to store their honey in rectangular wooden frames enclosed with wooden bars on all sides. The frames require assembly in which approximately ten frames fit in a box. There are two negative aspects of these wooden frames. Firstly, they are expensive and secondly, they are difficult to assemble. Not only are these the only problems, sometimes the wood splits or breaks, posing a threat to harvest of honey.

Plastic beekeeping frames are very convenient and much cheaper to use than the wooden frames. They can be slotted into the boxes; they last longer and are resistant to moths, rots or molds. However, still there are a few drawbacks to plastic frames also. They are not rigid; they bend with the weight of the honey. Bees do not prefer them for which they can fly off to different location rather than building honeycombs on these frames.

Due to ease and convenience, the beekeepers prefer the use of plastic beekeeping frames. The reason they do this is to make them bee-friendly, they coat the frames with beeswax and sometimes, feed the bees with plenty of syrup to encourage them to start building their honeycombs on plastic frames.

Keeping in mind that plastic beekeeping frames can hamper the bees from building their honeycombs, some beekeepers have developed fantastic modern wooden frames they are pre-assembled, can be unwrapped and dropped right into their slots in the box. These frames are made durable with reinforced corners and protective paints that in turn, increase their longevity.

ShakD is a beeekeeping expert. For more great tips on beekeeping, visit beekeeper hive

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