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Foundation Thickness

1747 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Michael Bush
Has anyone done any measurement of the differences in thickness of different manufacturers' foundation?

I began thinking about this when I was installing some crimp-wired foundation in medium supers this spring. It seemed thin and brittle. It was light colored, and I remember wondering whether it had been bleached, and if that had affected it in some way. The other thing I thought about was that it seemed as though it might have been adulterated with paraffin. I'm pretty sure that that wouldn't be the case...

This weekend I got a package of crimp-wired deep foundation from my brother, who had found it at his home. We had kept bees there in the mid-late 1970s. This foundation, from Dadant, was much more substantial and much yellower.

When it came time to electrically embed cross-wires, the thinner (new) foundation was much less forgiving than the thicker (old) foundation. It was easy to melt out a thin seam and leave a naked cross-wire in the frames with the thinner foundation.

I am wondering whether there have been any evaluations of different manufacturer's foundation. It is conceivable that 10 sheets from one manufacturer could contain a lot more wax than 10 sheets from a different manufacturer, just as a function of how thinly the foundation was pressed. There are obviously situations where you'd want a thin comb (cut comb honey), but for deep and extracting supers, I'd be willing to spend a bit more to get more. I might have shopped price this past time, but I am not certain I would do that again, given my experience with embedding wires this weekend!

Should we as the purchasers know what we're getting (how many sheets per pound, or what the thickness of the foundation is in fractions of an inch or metric)? Will the vendors provide us with that information so that we can consider it as we contemplate a several hundred dollar purchase?
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Mann Lake does list the approximate number of sheets in 25 LBS box.
Thanks, RAL. I am hoping for some independent confirmation relative to what's listed.

On my review of the webpages for Dadant, Kelley's, Brushy Mountain, and Mann Lake, about 7 sheets to the pound was described for both wired and unwired deep foundation sheets. Kelley's didn't have the information on numbers of sheets per pound anywhere that I saw. I would have thought the wires were denser than the wax, and that it might make a difference in a 25 (or 12.5) pound package. Not according to some of these websites.

I still would appreciate some information from the vendors on the thickness (and tolerances). Trying to compare deep and medium sheets per pound to try to get a handle on thickness is something I might have been put through in high school math. Just at the edge of where my math skills begin to peter out.
Paraffin glows in UV light. Otherwise, find a manufacture you like and stick with them, but check the box manufacture's stamp for where the box came from, your foundation may not come from where you think it does.

Crazy Roland
It used to be there were several designations available from all the suppliers but in recent times it seems to only be "medium brood".

4 to 5 sheets per lb = Heavy Brood
5 to 6 sheets per lb = Light Brood
10 sheets per lb = Thin Surplus
11 to 12 sheets per lb = Extra Thin Surplus

In theory the designation should tell you how thick it is.

I haven't looked at Walter T. Kelley's catalog lately but they used to have the most variety of foundation and you might even be able special order some "heavy brood" if they don't have it listed (and I don't remember seeing it listed in recent times...).
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