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I'm always seing post about foundation on here. I know there are those that use this brand and that size, Not going into that with this thread.
What I'd like to see is if anyone has used just a plain flat wax sheet as a foundation?
I know you can't control drone comb, etc.
I'm sure it would have to be wired in someway to account for sag.
I'd like to know if anyone has or does still do this and how the bees react to being given flat wax foundations.

So anyone out there done it?
 

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What is the advantage of using this type of foundation?
 

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What is the advantage of using this type of foundation?
The bees will draw out wax coated plastic foundation quicker when heavily waxed. David Burns a beekeeper in IN did a test where he took plain ritecell foundation and coated it heavier in stages. Then placed it in diff places through a honey super to see if the bees would prefer one frame over another and how quickly they would draw it out. He placed these frames spread out thru the super. Normally speaking the bees would start in center and work their way outward. In his test they actually went directly to those frames with more wax and used what was given to them first, then started on the standard foundation.

This brings me to my thoughts on this type of foundation. I don't really worry too much about how many drones a colony makes. But I also use RiteCell in my brood nests most of the time. However, I do set up many NUC's each year, which draw out an abundace of worker cells due to them needing workers more than drones. So my thoughts are that if the bees would actually use this type of Flat Wax foundation and draw it out like they do using the extra wax on the ritecell, it would give me good worker comb with what the bees wanted for cell sizes, and be cheaper on me too. :)

Here's a link to that youtube video of David Burns' experiment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uljvn0o9MuA
 

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With flat wax foundation the bees are going to drawn out whatever cell sizes they want. It would be a waste of money to buy flat foundation, you can achieve the same results with empty frames and not have to purchase any foundation. Either way they will drawn out "natural" comb with various cell sizes. The only advantage I can think of would be that there "might" be a better chance the comb is drawn in the center of the frame if using foundation rather than an empty frame.

The purpose of "embossed" foundation is more for the beekeepers purposes, to somewhat control the cells sizes the bees draw out.


Found this thread in the archives.
http://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?245815-flat-wax-foundation



 

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Very likely they will ignore it. This is one of the problems with using Duragilt plastic foundation, it's flat plastic with wax on the surface embossed to the cell shape. If the wax is every removed or falls off, the bees treat it like the wall of the hive, not someplace to build comb. They MIGHT build comb on flat wax, but I suspect it will be quite wonky, and you would be better off to simply go foundationless and let them build comb from scratch.

Fun experiment to try someday though, just make a thin sheet by floating some melted wax on hot water (and you can probably "weld" pieces together as well) and re-enforce with crosswires. Put it in a hive during a strong flow and see what happens, but be prepared to clean up a mess if they do something crazy.

Peter
 

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>What I'd like to see is if anyone has used just a plain flat wax sheet as a foundation?

Yes. http://www.bushfarms.com/images/PlainWax.jpg

>I'm sure it would have to be wired in someway to account for sag.

No. If you dip boards to make the sheets they will be thick and the wax will be tough. Rolling it is what softens it.

It does not work well. They will build their own comb without it faster. A foundationless frame is a better bet. Part of that may also be that dipped sheets are tough and hard to rework. It might work better if they were run through a press, but then it's getting more expensive and more work.
 
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