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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Horry, SC, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default How to clean plastic foundation

    Do those of you who use plastic foundation have an easy method for cleaning your plastic before redeploying it?

    Is it good enough to get it like the one pictured and then just put a coating of fresh wax on it?

    Thanks in advance for the helpful advice!

    framecleaning.jpg

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    I scraped off some disused pf- 120's and put them back into hives without adding any new wax. Four days later I was amazed to see how well the bees were drawing them out.

    If you have the time / patients to add wax that's fine, if not, that seems to be fine too. Try your own experiment...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Ludington, Michigan
    Posts
    638

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Why are you scaping them?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,594

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Quote Originally Posted by danno View Post
    Why are you scaping them?
    I scraped off old dried up cocoons and cruddy wax... Had it been simply wax foundation it would have been tossed in the trash as there wasn't any "wax" worth saving.
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Solano, California, USA
    Posts
    1,356

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Three words to solve your dilemma.

    PRESSURE-WASHER-TIME



    Works great to remove any pupa casings below the midrib lines. If you do so the bees will jump on a frame a whole lot quicker than "dirty" foundation.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    been pondering that myself, got 700 pf's a cpl weeks ago and they are in varioous forms of crappy.... tried boiling (warps them terrible) tried diswasher (wax everywhere and not clean) I finaly so far have been happiest with just air.....

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
    Posts
    875

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    What degree nozel do you use with the pressure washer?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,121

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    When the wax moths are done, the webs just fall off...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Greenville, TX, USA
    Posts
    4,379

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    I remove it and throw it away and make that frame foundationless.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Posts
    940

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Well, if you have investment in lots and lots of frames it might be worth cleaning them. IF you are only talking 20 or less, recycle them and spend the few bucks to buy new ones.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Bartlett, Illinois
    Posts
    217

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    I have used a pressure washer too, worked well. The bees built the frames right out again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Horry, SC, USA
    Posts
    60

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Sounds like the pressure washer is the way to go. I have a lot of frames that use the plastic, and if there's an efficient way to clean them, I'm all for it. Thanks for all the good comments!

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Silicon Valley, CA
    Posts
    1,235

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Cleaning--- Use flat end of hive tool to remove old comb material ( scraping into a garbage bag ). The entire process takes about 45 seconds per side.

    The frame is now ready to re-deploy. It is still lightly covered with wax and bees will draw it out quickly. I suppose that you could add wax with a brush or roller but why bother.

    Fuzzy

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,198

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Pressure washer question. Does the pressure washer have to be one with a gas engine or will an electric work? Is the pressure washer water hot or cold?
    I have never had a pressure washer, and like the idea of a thorough decoccooning. I see a few pressure washers on craigslist, but don't want another gas motor to maintain.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    I have an electric pressure washer and it works fine. Cold water from the hose works. Prepare to get wet.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Hudson, WI USA
    Posts
    2,198

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Thanks Krad - sounds more like a July job than a March one.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Charlottesville, Virginia
    Posts
    80

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    Yes. I did it the other day and was sopping wet and covered in wet hive debris. Cleaned them up good though. I did paint on some wax, but probably could have skipped it.

  18. #18

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    The wax moth answer is the best. Just spend the extra few bucks like hilreal said and redeploy the old frames after the moths have done their work.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    DFW area, TX, USA
    Posts
    1,059

    Thumbs Up Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    A bee guy, that foundation looks pretty good to me, as long as there is some wax remaining on it.

    I saw a youtube video of a beekeeper who dipped his foundation in hot wax (half at at time), swished it a bit and pulled it out clean enough to place back in a frame and put it in a hive.

    I got an electric hot plate, put a stock pot on it with about 7 or 8 inches of water and about half inch of wax, then heated it to about 195 F. Dipping plastic frames in the pot produced a nice even coat of wax for the bees to start with.
    LeeB
    I try to learn from my mistakes, and from yours when you give me a heads up :)

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Auburn, Washington, USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: How to clean plastic foundation

    I am beginning to think that saving wax foundation is only worth the trouble if the cells are only 3-4 years old. Otherwise you put in the labor and get no wax out of it. Worse, you spend time, water and gas pressure washing. It is still kind of dirty when you are done, except you are soaking wet with cocoons all over your head and every unprotected crevice in your body. Now you have to put it in your laundry machine and **** propolis starts staining the drum and your relationship with the spousal unit.

    With younger wax it tends to come off cleaner, you get wax to melt and you don't have to pressure wash it, just return it. Easier to feed them some syrup rather than deal with that mess. Maybe the old frames can be used to attract wild swarms.

    Can the old foundation be placed in the compost file for earthworm to clean them up?

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