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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Location
    Andover, KS
    Posts
    54

    Default Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Okay, so I spent too much time reading and listening to podcasts instead of getting with beekeepers in my area with lots of experience. I bought into the whole "natural" beekeeping aspect that spoke poorly of things like permacomb and even plastic foundation. Well, I must say that after visiting a huge apiary that uses permacomb almost exclusively, I must say that I am pretty much sold on plastic. I just installed a package of bees today in a hive that I set up a week ago, complete with wooden frames and wax foundation that was wired in place. When I arrived at my site today, excited to install my package of bees, I ended up spending the first 30 minutes pulling all of the foundations out of the frames and straightening them out and putting them back where they belong. I guess a few days of heat had caused them to sag completely out of their frames.

    So yes folks, I am over my infatuation with wax if this is the norm. While visitin the large apiary, I saw strong bees that were in a deep that had both plastic permacomb frames and wooden/wax frames, and the bees had actually vacated the wax frame and had eggs, larva, and stores in all of the permacomb frames. It gets very hot here in KS, and I don't see this large apiary losing any bees because the plastic is "gassing off" inside of the hives. His success speaks for itself. The only downside that I see to permacomb is the need for an extractor, and a way to clean the comb such as a pressure washer. Any ideas, arguments, or input?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Arlee MT USA
    Posts
    548

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    'Natural" beekeeping doesn't use foundation.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Location
    longton, kansas USA
    Posts
    606

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Aerindel View Post
    'Natural" beekeeping doesn't use foundation.

    we are in southeast kansas and have no trouble with foundationless frames. simply run a bead of melted wax down the top bar as a guide and install. if you want some plastic frames let me know because we have tons of it at a great price or trade. southeast Kansas.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
    Posts
    300

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    I live in the heat of Mississippi, and my favorite combination is wooden frames with plastic foundation. Here it seems to be the best of both worlds. I use the black plastic foundation. The bees have no probs drawing it out after I add another coat of beeswax, but I love the handling better of the wooden frames.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    1,976

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    I can't use plastic or styrofoam in my hives. I don't have any idea what those things are really made up of, and I have no idea how any of it might be affecting the bees. Not that it does have any adverse effects - I just can't get my head around it. Wood and wax seems to me to be the simplest.

    However, I was working with a friend who uses plastic, and to watch him pop in 20 frames of foundation from the back of the truck in about 60 seconds while we're at a yard really impressed me.

    There's no doubt that each thing has its benefit.

    Adam

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Baytown, TX., USA.
    Posts
    651

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Beesource helps me all the time! I have been trying to decide which foundation to use ( me with 5 hives and one year into beekeeping.). A search led me here and Viola! Choices! Many choices. Seriously, thanks Beeks for the discussion. Right now? Wired wax with hooks and wire.
    Julysun elevation 23 feet. 4 Hives, 2 years.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    St. Albans, Vermont
    Posts
    5,472

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by jwhiteker View Post
    I ended up spending the first 30 minutes pulling all of the foundations out of the frames and straightening them out and putting them back where they belong. I guess a few days of heat had caused them to sag completely out of their frames.
    I use wired wax foundation with cross wires, exclusively. I don't see the issue you are having. If you can remove the foundation, straighten, and re-install, I have to wonder...

    How did you fasten the foundation into the frames, and did you embed the cross wires?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Location
    Indianapolis IN 46227
    Posts
    285

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    I bought 80 deeps with fairly new plastic frames this spring. The boxes were worth what I paid, so I thought even if the bees only draw out half the plastic it would be worth using them.

    My bees hate them. They keep drawing out cross comb and building comb in between the plastic frames. I agree that good old wood and wax, even without crosswire, is most agreeable to the bees.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,771

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    I just don't like plastic anything. But I agree sometimes the wax foundation kind of gets wonky. I do cross wire all my foundation (since I often exchange brood and honey comb) and I use only mediums (the deep foundation pieces seemed to get wavy easier). I stack my boxes straight and even in the barn and in the yard and I rarely have a problem. Once the comb gets built out it's all about the same anyway.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Cleveland, OH, USA
    Posts
    475

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    This is the first time I've heard of the "outgassing" complaint; but it should be laboratory-testable if it's true.

    There's a lot of kind of urban legends about plastic. An analogous one goes that you shouldn't re-use plastic water bottles because unspecified "chemicals" from the plastic will supposedly leech into the water, but it's bunkum (in reality, plastic bottles have exactly the opposite problem; they take forever and a day to deteriorate. Very bad news for landfills.)

    So many beekeepers have had so much success with both plastic and natural wax that it's really down to personal preference I think.
    Beeless since 2012; coming back in 2014. Suffering from apicultural withdrawal!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Congratulations on seeing past the garbage..... Funny how its terrible to make honey on plastic but we store it in plastic!
    Yes cross wires and an imbedder.... of course if plastic worked better its your fault for not doing wax right...!!

    Welcome to plastic! works a lot better and faster for those of us in the 21st century and don't have all winter to piddle with wires..

    Don't use permacomb myself.. to heavy and hard to extract. permadent on the other hand is fantastic

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Flora,IL
    Posts
    2,644

    Default Re: Wax foundation... Arrrrgghhhh!!!

    Sorry meant to say uncap, not extract,

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