Beeswax from China
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  1. #1

    Default Beeswax from China

    Does someone of you use beeswax coming from China?

    It seems that beeswax (or synthetic beeswax?) made it's way into the European market, by someone mixing it with local beeswax.

    Now we have foundations sagging to the bottom boards and also spooky behavior of the bees. Bees do not use the combs drawn from the adulterated foundations for brood rearing. Or very spotty. Eggs hatch in those combs but the larvae are not fed by the nurse bees. They simply dry out.

    We send in same first samples into laboratories and they find stearic and palmitic acid.

    Anyone else have experience with this so called beeswax? Do you use it in the U.S.? Similar experiences?

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  3. #2
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    I've heard nothing of this.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Me neither, I get foundation from Mann Lake, I know they buy beeswax from beekeepers as well but I know little of the ins and outs of buying bulk wax to mill that much foundation.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Like anything else coming from China, expect problems where profit is involved. The was has specific proportions involving 2 paraffins and 6 olefins. If by any chance wax from Apis Dorsata got mixed in, you can expect problems. A.M.M. does not like Apis Dorsata wax at all. Paraffin was tried by A.I. Root back in the late 1800's or early 1900's and got basically the results you describe. The wax sags off the wires and the bees do not tend larvae in it. Another factor is that China uses chemicals in their hives that may contaminate the wax. Safe wax comes from Africa because it is harvested in large part from feral colonies. Cappings wax from supers of honey that are not exposed to varroa treatments also tends to be clean. Brood combs when melted down tend to contain a lot of residues that are better kept out of foundation, unless you are like me and do not treat at all for varroa, in which case the brood wax is probably usable.


    https://w3.avignon.inra.fr/dspace/bi...09_B5326_1.pdf
    NW Alabama, 50 years, 20 colonies and growing, sideliner, treatment free since 2005, 14 frame square Dadant broodnest

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    More cheating from China. Apparently last year wax a poor honey crop year in China, so wax production was down as well. This is according to a chinese connection I have. You would not know it based on the volumes of their products enterring the USA. Mind you a lot of it is adulterated. I guees because of demand their is incentive to cheat ad some just cannot help themselves.

    Bottom lin, you really have to watch who you do business with.

    Jean-Marc

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Either I am color blind or this looks more like paraffin

    http://www.alibaba.com/product-detai...0.0.Ekhhrj&s=p

  8. #7

    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Just an update on this matter. I too bought a batch of adulterated beeswax - marked and certified(!) as organic beeswax. It wasn't cheap wax but highly prized....I want the best for my bees. But it turned out to be fake. It also turned out to be deadly to brood. The hives died, that received those foundations. At first I did not get the connection to the wax as the cause and melted all combs into the big wax kettle. And made new foundation of it...which were distributed throughout my beekeeping business. All hives that received those foundations showed significant problems and shrinked down and died.

    Only shaking all hives onto plastic foundation saved my operation from going broke. It still created a huge financial loss with all problems coming with it. I think a many professional beekeepers been through similar situations.

    I described the symptoms in this document: http://www.immenfreunde.de/docs/Symp...ienenwachs.pdf

    From studies we now know more. Stearin as an adulteration causes brood mortality. Even if only 4 % of the wax is stearin. (The study looked for mortality when 20 % of the wax is stearin, but the following tests showed, that even 4 % causes significant trouble.)
    https://www.health.belgium.be/de/node/34300
    https://www.health.belgium.be/sites/...o_2018_eng.pdf

    The EU is working on that matter. See the presentation: https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food...op_beeswax.pdf

    Approximately 50 tons of adulterated wax was imported each year for a row of three to five years. Means 150-250 tons of adulterated wax on the market. If you take 60-100 grams per sheet of foundation, that are many many foundations: 1.5-2.5 million foundation sheets that trickled into apiaries all over Europe. I think we'll see major bee problems next years in Europe.

  9. #8

    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    If you see "cloudy" combs like this, you may have contaminated combs.

    PHOTO-2019-05-29-15-58-44 2.jpg

    PHOTO-2019-05-29-15-58-44.jpg

    It also turned out, that wax is carried around in the hive by the bees. If you have one contaminated foundation in the hive, first the two combs on either side of that foundation show symptoms. Later it pops up to a smaller extent on the rest of the combs.

    Bees change their behavior. The turn very very aggressive and also the become runny. When opening the hive, they run off the combs onto the hive walls and there they circle around the hive walls. Pretty crazy to watch. Dark bees/German black bees do this, but for the other like Carnica and Buckfast bees, this is very unusual.

    Hives on contaminated combs do not die out immediately. But get weaker and weaker, the colonies shrink in size significantly. Being so weak it doesn't much to finalize them.

    All gets better if you remove all wax combs, shaking them off onto clean plastic foundation. That helped me save my bees. I shook bees from July to Octobre. It was very devastating. I still have about 15,000 frames that I need to melt. I burned a lot of frames and combs, simply because I couldn't stand it anymore. Ah well, luckily that is history for me. I never want to experience something like this anymore.

    I just want to warn you and point you to look for similar symptoms. Don't buy wax, don't let your wax leave your apiary: there were quite a few cases, where the beekeepers brought their own wax to foundation making facilities and got back adulterated wax which wasn't their own. They brought real wax and got back fake wax. So don't give away your wax.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    According to: https://ec.europa.eu/food/sites/food...op_beeswax.pdf although China is implicated, it's 'beeswax' coming from the Ukraine which is the most seriously adulterated, typically 5 times the concentration of additives found in 'beeswax' of Chinese origin.

    A very serious situation. Bernhard - thanks for posting about this.
    LJ
    A Heretics Guide to Beekeeping http://heretics-guide.atwebpages.com/

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Quote Originally Posted by BernhardHeuvel View Post
    All gets better if you remove all wax combs, shaking them off onto clean plastic foundation.
    Was that foundation waxed at all ? Most of the plastic foundation or frames we can buy here come pre-waxed.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Quote Originally Posted by little_john View Post
    ......... although China is implicated, it's 'beeswax' coming from the Ukraine which is the most seriously adulterated, typically 5 times the concentration of additives found in 'beeswax' of Chinese origin.
    ........
    LJ
    Here is an example video of "foundation" sold in Ukraine.
    Jump to 7:00 and see for yourself what such melted "foundation" consists of - actually some unknown substance (a very small proportion - true wax).
    Jump to ~11:00 and see how the hardened "foundation" after melting looks like (the real wax is shown for comparison).

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=doSdsnv9lKY&t=709s

    All in all - one more reason people should consider natural, foundation-less methods.

    I do appreciate this thread - Beeswax from China.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    I have received ads for foundation from China that was listed as "100% beeswax, 90% beeswax, 80% beeswax, 70% beeswax, 60% beeswax, 50% beeswax..."

    Obviously they are not only contaminating their beeswax, some of them aren't even hiding it...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Bernard - I now understand our difference of opinions on using foundation. I will inquire as to the source of beeswax from my suppliers.

    Crazy Roland

  15. #14

    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    Yes, that is the difference. Be careful. I don't buy any wax at all. Never again. And I recommend not to let your own wax out of your hands unless you supervise the foundation milling yourself.

    I now enjoy the good brood pattern on plastic foundation:

    Plastikmittelwaende.jpg

    Although I know, that is no longterm solution. Plastic is plastic. Not my favorite thing in the environment after it becomes waste.

    As a longterm solution I want a foundation-free beekeeping. Which is easy for the hobbyists, simply letting them draw combs from starter strips. But a different thing for commercial beekeepers, since you move hives a lot, need much more standardization of your combs, less time and room to play, and so on. Which creates the need for very sturdy combs, and reliably building the same standard combs.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Beeswax from China

    That pile of wax get got better looking to me. Might have to dust of one of the foundation mlils from the 1800's.

    Crazy Roland

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