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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    874

    Default Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    I bought some of Mann Lakes PF-120s and dont want to put contaminated wax in my hives. First off would the amount of wax that they coat them with matter. Is it enough to contaminate the comb the bees build on top of it? I have read alot about contaminated foundation and dont know if the wax coated plastic foundation falls in this catagory. If it does I would like to take it off of the foundation, and put some of my own wax from my foundationless frames on them. How would you attemp to get it off. I am thinking maybe run them through the dishwasher, but not the drying cycle.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Stevenson, Washington, USA
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    181

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    I've never tried to take it off intentionally, but I have left some black plastic foundation in a hot truck and it permanently warped it. I would go easy and gently with the heat. AN

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    I have heard that the black gets hot quick. I bought natural colored.
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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Lititz, PA, USA
    Posts
    708

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    I don't think I'd risk the dishwasher for the dishwasher's sake. A power washer possibly? Or maybe put a paper towel on it and then warm it gently w/a heat gun do the wax will melt and be wicked up into the paper towel. But warping it might be a real possibility. You'll know after the first sheet.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    4,844

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    You are worried about the contamination in the wax but not concerned about the off gassing from the plastic frame, the toxins from the paint you are using on the box, lead from the nails in the super, the spray your neighbors are using in their garden, the exhaust from the traffic near your house or from the jets flying over head? Were you to have your body tested for contamination the results would send you to curl up in bed under the sheets. Miticides break down on their own, then are destroyed more when heated to over 145 degrees to melt the wax. Have you read proof that the minute traces in that thin layer on your artificial frame are really that harmful? If I were you I would be more concerned about the next possible terrorist attack by al Queda that might effect your life.
    Why don't you build boxes and foundationless frames from virgin lumber sawed by a water driven saw and glued together with organic glue and let the bees make their own wax combs? Of course you will have to also make sure they will not come in contact with any contamination as they fly about their busy day.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS, USA
    Posts
    82

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    I have never done this but some ideas...

    If you have a container that is large enough to place a frame into, preferably upright, then I would try to heat water to a temperature that would melt the wax but (hopefully) not melt or warp the frame. A big canning sterilizer maybe? i dont know if the frame would melt/warp in boiling water and if so, temperature control could be dicey, if not then heat to just barely boiling. I would try to submerge the frame and let the wax float to the top, skim it off, and remove the frame. I have heard of people painting melted wax onto plastic foundation. Again, I have not done this, and don't burn yourself. The dishwasher would likely be destroyed or your plumbing clogged when the wax cooled and solidified, wherever that was in the system.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,747

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    Don't worry about it Steve. There isn't very much wax on those frames and it isn't contaminated to a degree worth your concern, imo. I'm not saying it is purely pure wax any more than that turtle we ate last Spring, but it coulkd be less so.

    Remove the wax and you might as well toss the frames because you won't like the resulting comb they build on bare plastic.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    Mark is right, there isn't enough wax on there to worry about. These companies get by with putting on as little as they can get by with. If you clean it and recoat it with your wax it is going to have a certain amount of conatminants anyway. If I have extra wax, I put on an extra coat.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    930

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    IF you really feel like you need to remove it, vegetable oil is a solvent that will take it off. Then you could wash it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    26,747

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    hilreal reminds me that a few of my friends add wax to already coated frames. It helps get them drawn out better. Melt wax and use a small paint roller to add wax to the frame.
    Mark Berninghausen "That which works, persists."

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Auburntown, TN USA
    Posts
    233

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    Mann-lake sells unwaxed frames,and I believe they are cheaper. Sell what you have and buy some more, or see if you can exhange them.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    874

    Default Re: Getting wax coating off of plastic foundation

    Thanks everyone, I am just going to paint some of my wax ontop of them, I heard it helps them draw them out better. I didnt think the thin wax coating they put on them was enough to matter. But I am reading so much about all the contaminated foundation that I didnt want to add it to my hives, if I didnt have to. I figured they are pretty much talking about the all wax foundation being contaminated. My hives are all foundationless but they are still drawing 5.4 comb and I want to get them smaller, to see if it helps the bees. I am cutting the plastic foundation out of the plastic frames and snapping it into my own wooden frames.
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