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  1. #1


    I went to a bee society meeting a few days ago and one of the guys there makes his own foundation.

    I forgot to as him how he makes it.

    is there an easy way to make it.
    (just out of curiosty)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA


    There's a section in the Lusby's information in POV on this site that talks some about it. There are people who make presses (Hawley honey and Tom's Industries come to mind) and some hobbiests have made their own molds (search the forums and you'll find more info on that). Most people do it to get chemical free small cell foundation. Otherwise I don't think it's worth the labor except for the fun of doing it yourself.

    I make blank foundation for starter strips. I cut a 1 x 6 to the length of standard foundation (don't have a piece in front of me to measure right now) and soak it in brine (salt water) and then dip it multiple times in wax until it is as thick as I want and then I cut the edges off and have two sheets the size of a medium frame and two strips (from the top and bottom edges) that work for starter strips. Then I use either a pizza cutter or a pair of sissors to cut strips out of these and use them in the frames. I haven't tried using full sheets of blank foundation yet, but I intend to one of these days. I like the starter strips for these reasons:

    1. Since the bees make all the wax, except the starter, it is all chemical free.

    2. Since the bees choose the size and orientation of the cells it meets their organizational plan.

    I don't like them for these reasons:

    1. You have to treat the frames like top bars in a Top Bar Hive (TBH) until they have filled them out enough to attach them on the sides. Otherwise the comb breaks and falls out. This means you can't flip them over or lay them sideways.

    2. Sometimes they don't follow the strip and you get burr comb. But then sometimes they don't follow my foundation and the same thing happens.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Suffolk, VA


    I experimented with starter strips this spring and feel reasonably good about the outcome. I used standard embossed foundation cut to about 1/2 inch secured in wedge type top bar frames. I pre-wired the frames using two horizontal wires and the bees have very nicely integrated the wires into their comb (no burr comb at all). Once the comb extends to the upper most wire the frame can then be manipulated without too much concern. I've only used this method for brood box frames so I can't comment on how well frames like this would hold up to extraction, but I'm pretty sure it wouldn't be a problem.


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