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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    springfield illinois
    Posts
    29

    Default recoating wax on plastic foundations

    I have had some plastic foundations that I bought at the begining of last year and have not been used yet. They were coated with wax when I bought them but I have heard that the bees will draw it out faster if I freshen up the wax. What is the best way to do this? I dont have enough wax laying around since this was my first year beekeeping. Can I just go buy Beeswax and melt it and brush it on. What is the best way to do this. Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Rankin County, MS
    Posts
    64

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    They will build comb on the wax that is on the frames now. It might take them a little longer to do it.
    Fannbee

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Suffolk, VA
    Posts
    2,273

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    What you suggest is a lot of work. If the foundation is new and not been in a hive before you should be fine. Just add it during a good flow, or feed. Plus you don't have wax, which means you would have to buy wax from elsewhere and may result in other problems. If you can find a trustworthy source, one way is to use a 4 inch foam roller dipped in hot wax and run it across the foundation. You're not trying to fill the cells, but instead get more wax on the cell rims.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    York Region, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    44

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    Last year I bought 4 cartons of pierco one piece medium frames.
    I had good intentions of coating them with wax and even made a start.
    I brushed on melted wax with a foam brush (they don't last, use a small roller) on about 100 frames.
    I tried using hard wax like a crayon and rubbed it on the cells.
    In the end I ran out of time and had to super.
    Some hives got all wax coated frames, some got half waxed and half unwaxed, the rest got straight from the carton.
    ALL the frames were drawn.
    I admit that when the flow slowed down the bees drew bridge comb on the unwaxed frames, I scraped it down and gave it back to them.
    My advice is to just use them.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Jackson, MO
    Posts
    1,858

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    As you can see from the last three responses, results vary. The rate of drawing out the comb is in direct proportion to the amount of wax laid on as AstroBee suggests (which is my method as well). The bees use this wax as a resource for the comb, which is what they do with wax foundation.

    Yes, they will draw them out anyway...maybe. A good strong colony on a good flow is no problem. A package placed on plastic is asking for a slow stagnant start. For a first year beekeeper, especially one starting on packages, I am hard pressed to suggest plastic foundation.

    Bobmarlojill, if you will send me an e-mail to twentyfivehives@yahoo.com, I will send you a PDF document detailing how to get the best results with plastic foundation. It's free. Just put "Plastic" in the sugject line. I cannot figure out how to attach things to PMs on beesource.

    Grant
    Jackson, MO
    Beekeeping With Twenty-five Hives: https://www.createspace.com/4152725

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,582

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    This might be helpful as well:

    Especially since four of the pages are Grant's article...

    http://s275.photobucket.com/albums/j...stic%20Frames/
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Munfordville, Ky. U.S.A.
    Posts
    1,244

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    From someone who has for the last 3 years used pierco plastic. For best results, find a local beek or beeks that may have extra wax that they will sell you. I found it is much cheaper local than anywhere else. Get you a cheap crop pot, then go to Harbor Freight or Lowes or etc., and buy the cheapest chip brush (they are the cheapest anyway) that you can find. They will last a very long time. I think that I have brushed both sides of as many as 75 - 100 frames with one brush. I since have bought a couple of 4" ones that I think will last even longer. The bees will start forming it out way before they actually draw it. The only frames that I have that are not completley drawn is the ones that I didn't brush extra wax on. They will draw it with the wxtra wax but not as quick, or as complete. Oh and you can reuse the brushes over and over again. Let's see them do that with their messy rollers. I can get into the corners along the edges and all, without getting too much on the frame. Good Luck!
    So much to learn, so little time!!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,025

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    I just mist them with light syrup when putting in the hive. I've had great acceptance, about the same amount of mis-drawn frames as with wax foundation.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,487

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    When I buy my plastic frames from ML I get unwaxed because they are quite a bit cheaper. Rolling melted beeswax on a couple hundred frames is a couple hours occupation. I don't like foam rollers. I use a three inch short knap roller. Let your roller get hot in the wax. I set wax temp about 170. let roller drip in pot for a few seconds and tap it on edge to lose excess. Make a quick light stroke lengthwise on the frame, flip rame rapidly and do the same, roll lower protion of frame, flip and do the bottom. Roll two more frames rapidly and pressing harder as wax cools and is depleted. Repeat. It is more art than method but my bees accept it well. Bees won't work anything if the conditions are not right remember.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    springfield illinois
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    Can I just buy some of the beeswax from the Grocery store?
    I don't have very many frames to do. I don't have any
    Body that I know that does any bee keeping to get wax from.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Merced, California, USA
    Posts
    29

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    If your frames were coated and have not been exposed to bees or heat that would melt the coating, they will probably be fine. Syrup / nectar are probably a bigger factor then fresh wax. I have also dipped frames in wax but I have larger tanks and wax available to use so this worked. Raising the temperature of the wax or having warmer frames will thin the coat of wax when applied. I have used very thick coatings and the bees moved it where they needed.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,487

    Default Re: recoating wax on plastic foundations

    go to the for sale section on the forum to buy wax. Several people can help you.

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