My bees seem to hate plastic frames so I'm tempted to use wax foundation for honey supers. Would wax frame honey supers behave any differently in honey extracters than plastic frames would? Or do they hold up well during extraction?
I have not had many problems using wax in my honey supers, but then I am all wax (I don't have any plastic frames at all). My biggest problem has been using comb foundation that is designed for cut comb (very thin and not wired) in my extractor. I have found that it can be done, but you have to begin the spin a little more slowly. My wired wax extracts like a dream, especially when the honey is warm.
Use crimp wired wax foundation and you won't have any problems. We use grooved top and bottom bars with no-hook foundation, but you can also use the hooked wire foundation with wedge top bars and grooved bottom bars. If using deep frames you'll need to run 2 cross wires in the 2 center holes; no cross wires needed on medium frames. That's all I've ever used; hate plastic and have never had good results with it. :thumbsup:
Over time, the top bar on wooden frames with wax foundation can get pulled up. If you don't fix it, you can end up with a frame a little too tall for the box. Those frames can be a pain to work with. The top bar doesn't try to pull off of plastic frames.
If mice get in your stacks of supers, they can tear up wax foundation combs. Plastic frames are easier to fix.
If you ever use your frames in the broodnest and get pollen or cocoons in them, you have to worry about wax moths. Wax moth damage is easier to fix with a plastic frame, while it can completely ruin a wax foundation comb.
I haven't seen a plastic frame blowout like wax foundation combs can.
If the bees have built much burr comb between boxes, and your frames get a little age on them, sometimes when you remove a box one of the wooden bottom bars will tear off and stay attached to the box below it.
Fresh wax combs can tear very easy. Once your wax foundation combs are mature, you can extract them without much worry.
A lot of honey has been extracted from wooden frames with wax foundation. A lot of successful beekeepers over the years have used these frames. This should tell you something.
Thank you so much for your replies! I think I'm not going to bother forcing my plastic-hating bees into using plastic honey supers and just go with the wax and hope for the best when it comes time for extraction
I have used beeswax and Pierco plastic for years. I used all natural back in the 60's and 70's. I wired horizontally and embedded electrically. That was 50 hives with a tangential extractor. First run frames need more care the first time, especially in tangential.
I use Pierco plastic foundation, and some Pierco frames, in the teaching hives. The teaching extractor is radial and Pierco is solid enough I just spin!
I think I've used everything from no foundation, to just wax foundation, to wired wax, to plastic, to fully drawn plastic. They all extract fine if you treat the with respect. You can't just crank it up with new soft wax heavy with honey.
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