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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Has anyone used plasticell foundation for crushing and straining?

I'm thinking about a system involving cutting the whole comb off with an uncapping knife, then melting off the rest of the wax in a solar melter,and repainting the melted cappings onto the plasticell for reuse.
Reasons:
1. I don't want to buy wax foundation every year. This system requires no outside purchases.
2. Extractors cost big money for my tiny number of hives
3. I get the relative durability and ease of reuse with plasticell vs going top bar
4. I want to avoid the risks and pitfalls of running top bars,given my small number of hives (2).

Criticisms with this plan?

Thanks in advance!

Doggonit- wrong forum- mod/admin, please move to general forum!
 

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I robbed a frame from one of my hives this summer (wood frame w/ plastic foundation) I used a spoon to scrape the capped comb from the frame, did the crush and strain. Put the frame back in the supper and the ladies cleaned up the left over honey and started to draw new comb. There was enough wax left on the frame for them to start over. Jim
 

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I'm thinking about a system involving cutting the whole comb off with an uncapping knife, then melting off the rest of the wax in a solar melter,and repainting the melted cappings onto the plasticell for reuse.
Sounds like a lot of work to me, not to mention the mess.

Reasons:
1. I don't want to buy wax foundation every year. This system requires no outside purchases.that is why most uncap and re-use the drawn comb next year
2. Extractors cost big money for my tiny number of hivessome of the bee clubs loan them out to members or rent for almost nothing . A five gallon bucket to strain in with a gate is pretty cheaply made
3. I get the relative durability and ease of reuse with plasticell vs going top bar I don't know about ease, having to scrape the honey filled comb off of the plastic, straining by hand, messy clean up.
4. I want to avoid the risks and pitfalls of running top bars,given my small number of hives (2).is two hives as many as you ever expect to have?
Just my thoughts
 

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I find that bees don't "like" plasticell that much to begin w/. So if you do get them to draw it, and they will, it is an accomplishment. Also, I have found that if there is a blank patch on a frame of plasticell, it never ever gets covered w/ comb.

So, I would expect that what you propose will cause more trouble than a two frame extractor. You can get one that has a plastic trash can as a tank. You could build one yourself. There is a Thread just this week on someone who did. Though I haven't read it.

There is even a one frame manual extractor. It is made out of a pole and a "tank" the size of a comb.

I hope if you go the crush and strain path w/ plasticell, that you prove my concerns invalid.

Have fun. I hope when you do this you don't decide that beekeeping isn't for you.
 

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I have an extractor but every so often I'll grab a single frame from a strong hive if we run out. It's just as much of a mess to extract a single frame as the crush and strain but it's less cleanup so I usually just crush it.
Put it in the oven at LOW temp for half an hour. scrape the cappings off and then use a spatula to scrape the honey into a pan. Pour it through cheescloth into you container and you're done.
When I do it there's alot of honey and most of the wax left on the frame and they'll draw it back out in no time.:)
 

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I mentor a few new beekeepers. We all use the plasticell without any problems. With a good flow the bees will draw wax on bare plastic -- no problem. Although I mostly use an extractor it takes less time to scrape the comb off into a bucket/tub. The bees re-draw the comb just fine. We use the flat end of a hive tool to scrape the comb off ( the same end that you use to put between super boxes to pry them apart ).

The down side is you get a lot less honey because the bees burn honey to make wax.
 
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