Help of the Plastic Frames

 With this fully drawn plastic frames, it is very simply to get normal bees used to small cells, within a few weeks.. This measure of 4.9 mm is necessary that the bees  can defend themselves against the diseases, without the use of chemicals.

Here we describe how the plastic combs are used.

With the artificial combs it is very easy to accomodate large cell bees (LC) to small cells (SC).

you can order the artificial combs of ResistantBees in our online shop

Without the use of fully drawn plastic frames, this process takes years. They can be replaced with new frames within a short time, once the bees have learned to build this size correctly.

So far, there have been plastic combs from the USA, the HSC, the Rovergarden from Italy and the MannLake from the USA.
Now the Rovergarden company got bankrupt and the MannLake are somewhat too large, namely 4.97mm.

Thus, the idea emerged of producing artificial combs in 4.9 mm cell size and to offer them together with the matrices.

I got suggestions from Matias from Alicante, who used the 4.97mm MannLake combs and these were surprisingly well built by his large-cell bees.
This is described here.

Then came the idea to build them in real 4.9 mm.
Artificial comb still without wax coating:
(click to enlarge)

Kunstwabe 4,9mm
Now I gave these artificial combs into a artificial swarm and after a day the bees had excellently drawn these artificial combs:
(click to enlarge)

von den Bienen ausgebaute Kunstwabe

I think that the solid structure of the 2mm high cell walls forces the bees somewhat to keep this cell size, because they cannot plain them down.

with brood:
(click to enlarge)

artificial comb

The advantages of the artificial honeycombs against the HSC:

– on the one hand the cell density is correct, because we really have 49mm per 10 cells. In the case of the HSC, this is different due to the thick cell walls. In that case the individual cells are 4.9mm, but through the thick cell walls we reach 55mm per 10 cells with the HSC combs.
And greater cell density means higher incubation temperature, which means a considerably shorter incubation time, which is a decisive advantage over the mites.
Thus you can leave these artificial combs with real 4.9mm also longer in the hive, if necessary.

– another advantage is that the artificial combs have the Ys and the 3 rhombs at the cell bottom. This is not the case with the HSC. Thus, the natural comb arrangement can also be used.

This is how the artificial comb of 4,9mm looks like:

Ypsilonanordnung möglich

10 cells measure between 48.8 and 49mm.
Cell wall height: 2mm
Cell wall thickness: 0.5mm
Size of artificial comb: 40,7cm x 19,3cm x 0,45cm
3 rhombs on the bottom of the cells, like in natural bee cells
Color: yellow
coated with wax and some Lemongrass oil for better acceptance

Adriano from Italy has found another factory, who also, I think accidentally,  produces
4.9 mm plastic combs.

Atention - Adriano told us that the italian company Rovera, who built the Rovergarden frames,, went bankrupt. Cheap alternative MannLake from USA or Spain

It seems that they are of good quality and are usefull for our work. Adriano commented that several beekeepers there work with them and it works.
One difference is that the cell depth is greater than in the HSC - how the bees deal with is nice to see on Adrianos page at the bottom.

Here a HSC above and a Rovergarden beneath:




Here are the datas of Mann Lake plastic combs from USA
(now alos available in spain):
The Mannlake plastic comb is a more cost-effective alternative to the HSC.
The difference to the HSC is that the cells are not fully developed and that the cell size is slightly over 4.9mm. Erik Österlund from Sweden reports:
Fast and cheap to small cells

depth of cells: 1,9mm - with rombs at the bottom of the cells
Inner measure of a cell: 4,4mm
10 cells measure 49,7mm - so we have a cell size of 4,97mm
side bar width: 34,8mm - should be grinded to 32mm - so bees will accept this cell siye more easily


MannLake waxed:

cell size 4,97mm:
Mannlake 4,97mm

MannLake waxed:
MannLake waxed

MannLake unwaxed:
MannLake unwaxed

Matías de Alicante just tried out the MannLake plastic frames and his bees worked the cells perfectly. He put a swarm, which he recently caught from large cell bees, in a box with 5 MannLake frames without brood. These are bees apis mellifera Ibérica (Iberian black bee).
The plastic combs were coated several times with a roller with liquid wax, so that they were better accepted.

Matías reported that he also placed MannLake frames in a strong Buckfast hive. There they also built the small cells quickly and perfectly.
The only drawback is that these MannLake plastic combs have slightly larger cells than we need, 4.97mm and that it will be a little harder for the bees to build later 4.9mm foundation..
An advantage is that the MannLake comb also has the higher density of cells, unlike the HSC, which in fact have rather thick cell walls, but with the exact cell size of 4.9mm.
side bar width: 34,8mm - should be grinded to 32mm - so bees will accept this cell siye more easily

Consequently, MannLake combs are a cheap alternative for us.

The results:
MannLake plastic frames built by large cell bees:

MannLake ungewachst


MannLake ungewachst

with eggs :

MannLake ungewachst
MannLake ungewachst

MannLake ungewachst

ou can order the artificial combs of ResistantBees in our online shop

The plastic frames HSC are sold now from this shop in USA:
8,25$ for one Langstroth comb

Simpson Bee Supply
15642 Tiger Valley Road
Danville, OH 43014
Tel: 740-599-7914


MannLake plastic combs in different measures in USA::
3,35$ for one Langstroth comb

MannLake Langstroth comb now for the first time at no bad price in Europe offered in Valencia, Spain - 3,90 € for one Langstroth comb


Atention - Adriano told us that the italian company Rovera, who built the Rovergarden frames,, went bankrupt.

Rovergarden in italy:

ROVERGARDEN Via Boccaccio 11 - 21023 Besozzo
Tel: 0332-970.000 e-mail: