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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was just curious if anyone has come across anyone advertising foundation with manufactured drawn comb made with bees wax. I would think that it is doable. This would be a great product for anyone starting a new hive
 

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It may be doable, but at what cost? and how to store and ship such comb? unless it's molded into the frame.... I'd rather pay for sugar, make syrup, and let the bees do the work. They'll do it to fit their needs.
 

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I imagine it would require some pretty complex machinery to build up wax cells. If I was a betting man (and I'm not, except on sure things) I would suspect that a hive of bees could draw a frame of comb more cost effectively than a machine could create wax combs.

And how do you plan on preventing the wax combs from absorbing who knows what chemicals while the combs are warehoused?

And while they are warehoused, shipped around, etc. how do you propose wax moths be controlled?

I still think the best factory for wax comb production is a strong beehive on a nice nectar flow. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It would be a nice option if you want to start a new hive quickly. I'm just a backyard beekeeper that started last year and liked it so much that I wanted to start a second hive but didn't because it would be too late in the season but if I had drawn comb maybe I would be able to start it late in the season.

Yes letting the bees make their own is best but don't most beekeeper use plastic foundation now? It looks like several patents are out there. Just curious what the industry would think of it.
 

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Drawn comb is not the limiting factor in starting a new hive late in the year, the bees are. They know what time of year it is and are scaling down their activity in the fall. Read more about what bees do throughout the year.
 

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Yes letting the bees make their own is best but don't most beekeeper use plastic foundation now? It looks like several patents are out there. Just curious what the industry would think of it.
I don't think that is a safe assumption, that "most" beekeepers use plastic foundation or variations thereof. Many of us, myself included, will not use plastic foundation, or even plastic frames. Personally I don't want to go thru the hassle of trying to get the bees to draw it out.

In fact, there is a growing movement to go "foundationless", and the Walter T. Kelley Co. is even manufacturing frames for foundationless use now.

If you make a split toward the end of your honey flow, you can still get drawn comb by feeding copious amounts of sugar syrup to replace the flow. But as already observed, at some point the bees realize the season is over, and it's time to switch gears from expansion (comb building) to settling in for Fall and Winter. I made 3-frame splits Aug. 1 here, and fed copiously. By October 1 they had drawn out 15 of 20 deep frames in comb, before shutting down no matter me keeping the feed bag on. Of course, depending on your locale, ymmv.
Regards,
Steven
 

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If you want to buy frames of drawn comb, go talk to an established local beekeeper; maybe someone at your bee club. That is probably your best bet. There is a market for frames of drawn comb, but you may have to buy a used box with frames of drawn comb to get it.
 
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