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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    443

    Default Thought I was Treatment Free

    I thought I was treatment free because I do not use any chemicals in my hives. In addition I live in an area where generally there are no field crops that are treated with insecticides or other adverse chemicals. I can not account for the locations that my bee travel so that is always an issue that is out of control. Today I read a research article about the contaminants that are found in commercially produced bees wax foundations. I was not surprised because I purchase a substantial amount of bees wax to make candles and I have observed the poor qaulity of some wax and recognize that some wax is from the lower brood boxes used by many commercial beekeepers and others, and it is this wax that probably finds its way into the foundations made by the major companies that sell hives and related beekeeping material. So although I may not desire to treat my hives with chemicals it is very possible the so called store bought frames and foundations are already contaminated and the honey I produce and thought was clean of chemicals could e exposed to contaminated foundation bees wax. This is like a viscous cycle where it seems impossible to keep clean hives. From now on I will the folks that I sell honey to that I do not use any chemicals in my hives, but that does not mean my hives are chemical free. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Start your own wax cycle. This way your wax gets cleaner, little by little, if you don´t treat.

    In Finland my "beeswax factory", Lahtisen vahavalimo http://www.lahtisenvahavalimo.fi/, can make separately your own wax (cleaned and as foundations) if you have a lot of minimum 150kg. If you don´t have the quantity needed, then you can use solar wax melters and make foundations yourself. Solarwax melter you can even do yourself, too. Just some windowclass and plywood.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Juhani,

    I'd love to make my own foundation out of my cappings. Is there a way that is not too expensive for a hobbyist beekeeper?
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  4. #4

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by heaflaw View Post
    Juhani,

    I'd love to make my own foundation out of my cappings. Is there a way that is not too expensive for a hobbyist beekeeper?
    In this page the cheapest molds are made from silicon:

    http://www.swienty.com/shop/default.asp?catid=1121

    There is also a little solarwax melter:

    http://www.swienty.com/shop/default.asp?catid=1123

    There are propably similar products in the US beekeeping shops.
    Treatment free, honey production, isolation mated queens, www.saunalahti.fi/lunden/varroakertomus.html

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Fort Walton Beach, Florida
    Posts
    1,256

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    You can do without foundation.

    I've really enjoyed my foundationless hives. The comb is beautiful, and the bees get to make exactly what they need. You still can't control what the bees bring in, but at least you're starting with the cleanest wax available-- right from the bees.
    Ray--1 year, 7 hives, TF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lincolnton, NC
    Posts
    1,118

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Thanks, I'll check it out.
    Lawrence Heafner
    15 hives; 15 years; TF for 10; Zone 7B

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Location
    Richland Iowa USA
    Posts
    189

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    I use foundation-less as well, and try to rotate out my foundation on a three to four year schedual.. but I live in farm country so the dangers are more prevalent.
    sd I understand it, there is NO SOURCE of wax, either in foundation form or block form that is completely free of contamination. Wonderful world we live in huh?
    I am not treatment free by any measure, but try to limit as much as possible what i put into my hives.. then of course... I read about how Older fopundation.. four to five years has been shown to increase the survivability of brood... sigh.... Sometimes i wonder WHY I decided to be a beekeeper.
    www.outyard.weebly.com 8 yrs aiding 40+ hives 3 yrs personal. 40+ of my own now (T, TF Goal) Zone 5a

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
    Posts
    6,070

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by SS1 View Post
    then of course... I read about how Older fopundation.. four to five years has been shown to increase the survivability of brood...
    What is that SS1?
    44 years, been commercial, outfits up to 4000 hives, now 120 hives and 200 nucs as a hobby, selling bees. T (mostly).

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,063

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Even if you don't put any chemical pesticides in your hive the bees will. They pick it up from the environment.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Washington County, Maine
    Posts
    2,960

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Yes there may be some contamination in the wax you purchase but the amount is small - as Mark writes your bees will pick up more from the environment.

    Read up on the CNG standards - they may make sense for you.

    I am alarmed by what is allowed under USDA Organic standards - some of the synthetics pose much less hazard to the bees and the applicator.
    Master Beekeeper (EAS) and Master Gardener (U Maine CE) www.beeberrywoods.com

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Cookeville, TN, USA
    Posts
    4,141

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    You could also buy plastic foundation without wax coating, and use your own wax from foundation less hives to prep it. But of course then the evil gets in your hives by way of plastic. If you do succeed in producing contaminant free honey and the price doesn't make you blush and stammer when you say it - it's too cheap.
    Since '09-25H-T-Z6b

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    >This is like a viscous cycle where it seems impossible to keep clean hives.

    Not impossible. I recommend foundationless. It is much less work than making your own foundation, which is really the only other way to keep the wax clean.

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoundationless.htm
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesfoursimplesteps.htm
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia, PA
    Posts
    144

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Juhani Lunden View Post
    In this page the cheapest molds are made from silicon: http://www.swienty.com/shop/default.asp?catid=1121
    Can't read all of it, but Google tells me "1859 Danish Krone equals 341.57 US Dollar." For the full foundation press Tavlestøbeform(?), "8850 Danish Krone equals 1625.02 US Dollar." In that neighborhood, depending on which item.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Several of the US suppliers have presses. They aren't cheap...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Belfast, Ireland
    Posts
    464

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    We have a guy in our association with a press. If you bring him wax he will return you sheets from the wax you gave him in whatever size you want. He keeps a percentage of the wax for himself. I have started letting my colonies draw some of their own comb. I just insert a frame with a double strand of fishing line between two nicely drawn frames. In a strong colony it will be drawn out and laid up in 24 hours.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Baker Oregon
    Posts
    2,462

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    What about unwaxed plastic foundation? You can coat it in your own wax, and that would be far easier than pressing your own foundation, if the foundationless frames are not for you.
    Dan Hayden 4 Years. 12 hives. Tx Free. USDA Zone 5b.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,063

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Dewey View Post
    Yes there may be some contamination in the wax you purchase but the amount is small - as Mark writes your bees will pick up more from the environment.

    Read up on the CNG standards - they may make sense for you.

    I am alarmed by what is allowed under USDA Organic standards - some of the synthetics pose much less hazard to the bees and the applicator.
    Andrew, maybe the standards are an indication that what is allowed can't be lower? There is no way to get to zero or below detectable levels.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    28,063

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    Several of the US suppliers have presses. They aren't cheap...
    Barry has one he isn't using.
    Mark Berninghausen
    Squeak Creek Apiaries



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Denver, Colorado
    Posts
    5,113

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    Quote Originally Posted by woodedareas View Post
    I thought I was treatment free because I do not use any chemicals in my hives.
    If you would kindly read the definition of treatments for this forum, you would find that you are treatment free and you are asking a question relating to a different subject perhaps better falling under the headings "organic" or "natural."
    Solomon Parker, Parker Farms, ParkerFarms.biz
    11 Years Treatment-Free, ~25 Colony Baseline

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Lake County Ill
    Posts
    443

    Default Re: Thought I was Treatment Free

    I have read the definition very carefully and I respectfully disagree. Since I read legal documents and definitions almost everyday aim satisfied I am in the right place. What is the purpose of your comment other than tone argumentative? I have learned a great deal from this thread and I am certain other have also found this subject to be informative. In particular I will be very careful about expelling the possibility of chemical pollutants in my hives even though I do not personally introduce them.
    Quote Originally Posted by Solomon Parker View Post
    If you would kindly read the definition of treatments for this forum, you would find that you are treatment free and you are asking a question relating to a different subject perhaps better falling under the headings "organic" or "natural."

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