Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner

1 - 11 of 11 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
136 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I have a couple of questions about this. First, has anyone found a good way to clean old black foundation. Also, I've heard that bees won't take to old foundation no matter what. But it seems to me if they were clean and then was was brushed on it would work. I hate to throw away foundation that could be reusable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
If you mean old black drawn comb then you're better throwing it out, using it for firelighters or as the lure in a bait hive. Pathogen build up means it's not worth saving. There's also little wax left in it so extracting is hardly worthwhile.

If you're meaning black plastic foundation, not drawn out, then someone else will know.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
I have seen a youtube video recently called Soak and save. The guy scrapes off all the old wax then soaks the plastic foundation in a tub filled with 50 quarts of water, add 2 cups of chlorox and 1 cup of dawn detergent soap. Let this stuff soak the foundation for at least 2 weeks then pressure wash the foundation on a flat board starting in the middle of the foundation working outwards, The foundation he did in this way ended up clean. It will then need to be dried and re waxed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
825 Posts
I started with wax foundation and when plastic was more available switched to that.Then when it came time to burn a couple of AFB colonies it became a problem.The first one looked and smelled like burning a tire.The second got double bagged and into the trash.I still wonder if any honey leaked out and spread the AFB.
When it comes to comb renewal,plastic is a real pain in the rear.Any time saved in installation is lost in scraping,dipping or pressure washing.Scraping causes the cell depressions to fill and I noticed a larger percentage of drone cells the second time around.I think most people just trash it and add new plastic foundation.Not very environmentally friendly.The best results I have seen in cleaning plastic are wax moths.
I am now back to wax foundation.I built a solar melter that holds a box of frames and a few days bake removes all the wax and the cocoons go on the compost heap.Not much wax produced but enough to save.Nice bright yellow if strained through paper towels.
About 10 min per box to remove the cleats and give a quick scrape and maybe 15 min or less per box for new foundation.
 

·
Super Moderator
Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
Joined
·
5,788 Posts
Slightly off the topic but still on subject, I have stopped using foundation, wax or plastic for my brood chambers (other than what I already have in service). Plastic Acorn for the honey supers. Plan is that there will be no scraping of old brood foundation, just melt and go. Supers should last a long time before I need to worry about dark comb, if at all.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
6,176 Posts
When I used plastic and I HAD to clean the black foundation, I scraped and pressure washed. Rubbed wax onto the (fairly) clean foundation and I was done. I expected the bees to accept it more slowly and I wasn't wrong. They didn't prefer plastic to wax but ultimately they accepted it once they really needed the space. I don't think I ever had a colony that refused to pull wax on old, black plastic. They just didn't want plastic unless they had no choice. Me neither.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,908 Posts
i built brushes and a water heater element into a plastic container, the brushes were bolted into the vessel bristle to bristle and covered with water when the water got pretty hot the dirty foundation was pushed into the brushes and scrubbed a little then the foundation was reversed and scrubbed. This cleaned up the foundation well enough for me to roll on new wax when all had dried off but it was not really as clean as I would like. I will try this soaking method and pressure wash and see how that turns out. I have heard of guys pressure washing with hot water and may take a look at that some time.
 
1 - 11 of 11 Posts
Top