Re: "cost" of crush and strain
I`ve never done crush and strain but if you want to figure it out...
It takes about 7 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax. So, weigh one sheet of foundation in whatever size frame you use. Now count the frames you`re gonna do c&s with. Then, after you have done all your straining weigh the wax left over. Subtract the weight of the foundation. The result will be the new wax or drawn comb that the bees have made. So now multiply this weight by 7 and estimate low.
1 sheet of foundation weighs about 4 ounces.
You c&s 50 frames. (4X50=200 ounces=12.5 lbs foundation)
The wax left over weighs 30 pounds.
30 - 12.5 = 17.5 lbs (new wax)
17.5 X 7 = 122.5 pounds.
So theoretically, had you given the bees drawn comb you could have ended up with about 100 lbs more of honey. I estimated low because this formula doesn`t take into account the weight of the cappings. The cappings will be made whether you use foundation or drawn comb. If you can figure out what the cappings weigh then you can get more precise. But in any case you can see there is definitely a cost.
Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!