I have this old comb frame on plastic foundation, see below, which I scraped as much as i could with a hive tool. I was wondering if this could be placed into the beehive, if the bees will clean it and build up new wax comb?
Or new foundation is necessary?
if a hive is building up and drawing comb they will draw it okay. but I get weird shaped comb on it. I think i have read people power wash them and rewax them them. I have never tried but I have a box of frames like this. I am hoping the beekeeping elves will clean them up for me but it isnt looking promising.
I'd put this into a trap OR give to a freshly caught swarm to clean.
IMO solar melter is also an OK way to somewhat clean it up, but someone recently here stated that the plastic foundation would warp in the solar - I don't know if true or not; I have not tested.
Though I might just test the plastic foundation in my own solar melter - need to clean up and bake off the mice damage and crap. Might as well see how the plastic holds out.
I have had my hives re build on a plastic foundation where I scraped off the comb just fine while a flow was going and they needed it. It looked like the one you posted. If it sets in a hive for some time when there's no wax building going on, they may strip some of the wax off to re purpose it elsewhere in the hive and may not build it too well after that.
After several years of scraping,wire brushing and pressure washing plastic foundation,I determined that the only reliable method to get it cleaned was wax moth larvae.Even then it was a strugle to get nice comb again unless it was a strong swarm or a major flow.
I have since switched back to wax foundation.
I use a power washer and it does a great job of removing cocoons. Just laying the black plastic in the sun warps them here in south east Missouri. After I wash them I use my capping wax to apply a fresh coat... it is the only way I have been successful in reusing old foundation.
Wax foundation warps and produces a mess for me here. I don't plan to try that again. Plastic works well with a good coat of my wax applied.
I have done the same thing (Virginia) and it has worked out well. Just make sure that you don't leave any remnants on the work surface when powerwashing (driveway or whatever) b/c the wax particles will make a a permanent stain once melted by the sun.
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