Extra wax in the hive
I have a question about bees and beeswax.
I know it helps to put extra wax on the plastic foundation and permacomb/SHC for the bees to except the stuff.
I know it takes 8 pounds of honey or SW equivalent to make 1 pound of comb.
So, what would happen if I put a small bar of beeswax in the hive? Perhabs on top of the box with all founation or on the top of the frames just below the box of new foundation.
Will the bees chew this wax and use it to make new comb? :scratch:
My mind is alway churning......guess that's part of have a bad case of ADD. :cool:
I have seen bees chew on beeswax, but I've never noticed the chunk of wax get any smaller.
I interpret that to mean that they would not chew on it to any significant degree unless it were paper thin.
If you can make it paper thin, then it can be used as starter strips. I have done that and it works great. I just used a sheet of glass, with some dishsoapy water on it - then pour on some liquid wax and let cool. It forms a thin sheet that I cut with a razor blade. I wash the soap off and use the strips of wax as starter strips in my hive and it works great.
I think you would have a lot better luck brushing melted wax on the frames. A disposable sponge brush works the best for this.
[B]Is there any danger from using old wax from hives from the 80's when my first husband had bees?
I'm starting fresh with new hives but wonder if heating it to spread on foundation would help my new spring bees get a good start? I will also feed alot but wondered about the wax. Thanks for any help Sally[
I think you could do more good for your bees by providing foundation and sugar syrup so they will produce comb, then you would by putting a chunk of wax into the hive. Bees make wax that they use to build comb. It's one of the things that bees do and do well. They may or may not do it the way we want them to, in straight lines, but they do do it.
I wouldn't waste the wax that way.
Feed your bees and let them draw their own comb. There are bees in the colony who are there pretty much -just- to make wax and do just that. Let them do their job!
That said, I had trouble getting my bees to accept the plastic until I brushed melted beeswax on the surface. After that, they couldn't build comb fast enough. I have a coffee can in a double boiler that I use to melt it, and then paint it on with a really cheap natural bristle brush. Then I just drop the frames in.