A bee colony can’t flourish without a healthy and sustainable hive. Bee hive frames are a crucial component of the hive that will allow your busy bees to stay healthy and produce sweet, quality honey.
Mann Lake is a very well known and respected company within the beekeeping industry. They supply high-quality frames catering to varying budget options. These wooden frames come in a 10 pack in 2 different sizes.
Mann Lake assembled wooden bee hive frames are constructed using wooden materials and are both glued and stapled to ensure maximum frame integrity. They also have standard outside frame and foundation dimensions that come in 6-1/4-inch and 9-1/8-inch variants. What’s great about Mann lake frames is that they are budget friendly, and come with their unique and very popular natural wax-rite cell foundations already installed on the frames.
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The Mann Lake commercial frames are a great option for a budget or entry-level beekeeper. These bee hive frames are easy to install with a quality foundation already attached to the frame. That means that all you have to do is put it straight into your roundup box with no assembly required. The included was-rite cell foundations are also high quality and easy to use to start your working colony.
These frames are unfortunately only available in two size options, so they may not be useful for all hive setups. These frames are also quite basic with no special automatic flow features or handle options. Due to these frames coming already assembled, they do cost a little more than the do-it-yourself wooden alternatives but still sell at a competitive price for basic frames.
- Great for entry-level beekeeper
- Easy to Install
- High quality and easy to use
- Available in two size options
- No special automatic flow features or handle options
These bee hive frames are available on Amazon or directly from the Mann Lake website. A set of ten, fully assembled wooden frames with plastic foundations will cost between $$ and $$.
Mann Lake provides a 30-day money-back guarantee for all of their beekeeping products. That means that if for some reason you want to exchange your bee hive frames, all you need to do is pay to ship the products back to their factory and receive your money back.
Another bee hive frame option from Mann Lake is the plastic version of assembled frames. Similar to the wooden variety listed above, this 10-pack plastic variant contains already assembled frames complete with foundation installed.
Although bee hive frames traditionally use wooden materials, many commercial and hobbyist beekeepers are switching to plastic varieties. This particular plastic bee hive frame is covered in 100% beeswax coating to create a more natural environment for your bees. Beekeeping enthusiasts can also enjoy these frames in natural beige and black color options.
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Although many traditional beekeepers still prefer to use wood for their frame materials, many are starting to use plastic. A plastic frame means that your bee hive is impervious to wax moth or rodent damage. Similarly to Mann Lake’s wooden variety, Waxed Standard Plastic Frames come already assembled, saving you time and energy.
Similarly to other bee hive frame variants from Mann Lake, the Standard Plastic Frames are only available in two sizes; 6 ¼-inch and 9-1/8 inch. It is important to consider this to ensure that this bee hive frame will be suitable for your hive box. Furthermore, some traditional beekeepers prefer wooden frames as they are a natural material. With plastic frames, you miss out on the sweet combined aroma of pine and honey when opening the box for extraction.
- Waxed Standard Plastic Frames
- Plastic Frames
- Suitable for your hive box
- Only 2 sizes
- Rodent damage
All Mann Lake bee hive products are available directly from their website or from Amazon. These frames are also slightly cheaper than their wooden counterparts, costing between $$ and $$.
The Waxed Standard Plastic bee hive frames from Mann Lake also fall under Mann Lake’s 30-day money-back guarantee.
The Flow Frames from Flow Hive are revolutionary bee hive frames that simplify the honey extraction method. These frames are becoming very popular for beekeeping enthusiasts due to a much cleaner and simpler beekeeping experience.
These bee hive frames are a revolutionary new technology invented by Stu and Cedar Anderson. The high-quality plastic design uses cell technology that automatically drains honey into collection pots. With a simple turn of the flow valve, a beekeeper can collect pure honey straight from the hive with minimal disturbance to the bees.
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Using Flow Frames allows a much easier and pleasant beekeeping experience by eliminating the need to open the hive box to extract honey. Using Flow frames also means that there is no need to purchase extra equipment for honey extraction since the frames do the job for you. This revolutionary technology is also much cleaner to use, meaning a less sticky and messy honey collection experience and of course — less sweet, delicious honey gets wasted. Flow Frames also come in all four standard bee hive box sizes. That means that Flow Frames can be an upgrade in existing hives or to create new hives.
Although honey extraction is much simpler with the Hive frames, there is still a need to use protective gear when working with or around bee hives with Flow frames. Many beekeepers also prefer traditional wooden frames and collection methods. Eliminating the need to open the bee hive box also means that beekeepers will not be able to inspect the health of their hives when collecting honey. Installing Flow Frames to existing hive boxes means you’ll need to modify your existing box. That can take between 1 to 2 hours of time. The Flow frames also come at a much steeper cost than traditional wooden or plastic bee hive frames.
- Flow frames are easier
- No need to purchase extra equipment
- Clean to use
- Need to use protective gear
Flow Frames are becoming widely popular all over the world. However, they do come at a cost. These frames cost $250 to $270 for a set of three frames, and $$$ – $$$ for a set of seven and come directly from the Flow website. However, due to the high demand worldwide, some of the bundles and sizing options do temporarily go out of stock. Make sure that you contact Flow to ensure that they have your size in stock.
Flow Hives are building a strong reputation for a quality product and quality customer service. All of their bee hive frames and beekeeping supplies include a 30-day money-back guarantee. You will also benefit from a 12-month warranty period whereby they promise to replace your frames if there are any unexpected defects.
Honey Keeper Beehive Frames are a popular frame option for budget beekeepers who want to assemble their own frames and foundations.
These bee hive frames are made of New Zealand pine wood and include a kit for installing a foundation. This frame kit requires assembly, meaning that you will need to screw and glue the frames together yourself. Inside the kit includes the frame, foundation, screws, and instructions on how to assemble them.
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Pros And Cons
Many beekeepers prefer a DIY approach to building their hives and colonies. Honey Keeper Beehive frames are easy to assemble with finger joints and included screws. They are quality New Zealand Timber at a fraction of the cost of other frames on the market. They can also make excellent replacements for broken or damaged frames.
Of course, building your own frames isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. Although the assembly process is simple with pre-cut joints, there is still room for error and accidental damage. The included foundation is also unwaxed, which means that it may be harder for bees to take to the hive. Therefore the Honey Keeper frames would best be suited for beekeepers on a budget who want the bare minimum.
- Easy to assemble with finger joints and included screws
- Replace the broken or damaged frames
- Building frames prone for error and accidental damage
- The foundation unwaxed
These frames are available internationally on Amazon, eBay and at Walmart. The 10 pack of frames at any size will cost anywhere between $$ to $$. Therefore, this budget option comes close to the higher quality Mann Lake versions but is still the cheapest wooden honey frame on the list.
For a budget price, you often miss out on warranty perks. That is still very much the case for these particular frames. You will need to rely on your re-seller’s warranty and returns policies for any potential defects.
Although all of the frames compared in this roundup are great options, it is clear that the best option for you is dependent on your own personal budget and application. For entry-level beekeepers on a budget, the Mann Lake Waxed Standard Plastic Frames are a great option. These are easy to install and the cheapest frames available. For experienced beekeepers, or for those who want a less invasive honey collection method, the Flow frames by Flow Hive are a great option if you are willing to spend the extra money to save time and effort.
So, what do you think? What are your favorite bee hive frames on the market? Or do you prefer to build your own frames? Let us know in the comments.