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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Dudley, Massachusetts, USA
    Posts
    196

    Default Q: Bees canibalizing wax on plastic foundation

    Hi,
    We had a dearth of nectar, and I didn't know it to start feeding (I am feeding now).

    I use black plastic foundation which is coated with beeswax. The bottom brood chamber had pretty much fully pulled out comb. I noticed today a couple of frames with a lot less comb on them than they had in the past.

    I suspect the bees of taking the wax and using it elsewhere. I don't know if they stripped the wax down to the plastic or not.

    Now that I am feeding, will the bees build up comb on the bare plastic? (assuming that they had stripped it completely - I don't know).

    What are others' experiences with this?

    Thanks - Steven

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Barry, TX USA
    Posts
    861

    Default Re: Q: Bees canibalizing wax on plastic foundation

    This is one of the reasons I don't like plastic foundation. My experience is that once it's bald, the bees don't build it out. I've even seen bees build comb in between two frames with plastic foundation they don't like it so much. I've had the same experience with duragilt foundation. Once the bees get it down to bare plastic, they wil not build it back out. Those bald spots also lead to burr comb which I also like to avoid.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Q: Bees canibalizing wax on plastic foundation

    There has to be a flow on in order for bees to make wax. If you are feeding then they will start to make wax again and should build out the comb, but you really have to put the feed on them.

    good luck.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default Re: Q: Bees canibalizing wax on plastic foundation

    I pulled a couple of frames this spring that were surprisingly short on wax near the bottom. Definitely feed. The reasons mentioned are one of my main reasons for dumping plastic frames. I've just had enough of plastic. You can rejuvenate the plastic frames by coating with a layer of wax but it's a lot of trouble in my book.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Snowmass, Colorado, USA
    Posts
    2,496

    Default Re: Q: Bees canibalizing wax on plastic foundation

    We use thousands of plastic frames without problems...as the wood ones wear out we are moving towards all plastic. While there were problems with the first imported ones (years ago) we are having not problems with Pierco frames.
    Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid. John Wayne

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