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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    Tulsa, OK
    Posts
    3,433

    Default Plastic Foundation Questions

    At a garage sale yesterday (which my wife found and actually told me about) I bought what was basically the equipment for a little more than three hives, supers and all and some other stuff like two beesuits, two smokers, two veils and various other things. Got a good deal, even though I did not have anything exactly budgeted for

    I have always used wax foundation. Some of the frames have new, undrawn plastic foundation in them. I don't know the brand, but the outlines of the cells appear to be part of the plastic with wax coating. I have read that it is best to add more beeswax before introducing the bees to the frames. Anybody have a technique for applying the beeswax that they would like to share?

    Second, some of the frames are deeps that were drawn out on plastic. However, wax moths have gone crazy on them and they are a mess. Is it correct that I can just scrape that off and let the bees draw it again? Should I try to leave some of the drawn parts that have not been chewed up by the wax moth larvae or clean it all the way off?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    I use only plastic now and will never go back. Yes adding more wax will get them drawn out faster. I use a cheap double boiler that you can get at Wal-Mart for about ten bucks. And a single burner electric hot plate. Melt the wax and brush it on with a paint brush.
    For the wax moth infested frames scrap them off I found using my uncapping knife works easier than a scraper. I use to pressure washer them ( another good thing about plastic. Try that with wax) but found it don’t really matter. Brush more wax on them for better results.
    Sounds like you found a real gold nugget at that garage sale!
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulare County, CA USA
    Posts
    1,380

    Default

    I am on all plastic frames as well. When I paint on wax I only do it on two or three center frames and then as the bees draw those out, I rotate the outer frames in between them.
    In your situation, I think I would spread the drawn frames out into the rest of the boxes and not worry about adding more wax. That's assuming that all of the frames are the same size. The key is just to give them someplace to start.
    Also, don't even think about a queen excluder until they get at least half of the frames drawn. They will usually swarm before they will cross one to start new work.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Sawyer, Michigan, USA
    Posts
    2,115

    Default

    Cow pollinater makes a good point about the excluder, if I am adding new foundation I will leave the excluder off until they have at least seven frames drawn out. If they have started to rear brood I will shake all the bees off the frame into the brood chamber, then add the excluder. They will pass threw the excluder and tend the brood. Seems like once they have crosse that barrier the excluder will no longer be a problem to them. And you will be able to add new foundation without problem.
    The Busy Bee teaches two lessons: One is not to be idle and the other is not to get stung.

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