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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been needing more foundation as I've used up my old supply. The Dadant shipping was really high so I finally bit the bullet and ordered a box of Rite Cell deep foundation from Amazon. It was cheaper than even direct from Mann Lake plus free shipping too. It was delivered today and when I opened it, well....!

I've always used Dadant foundation and when you open a box it always has this neat beeswax smell, almost kinda sweet, and very pleasant. But when I opened the Rite Cell, it has this rather nasty plastic smell. Not beeswax-y at all. Not pleasant either.

So my question is ... is this how Rite Cell normally smells? I'm worried the bees will object to the odor. If I air it out, will the smell go away?

:scratch:

Rusty
 

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Rusty,
I'm very new at this and may have"screwed-up", but this was our answer to the same problem. I asked the wife to warm some honey, take a basting brush and lightly coat the frames. So far, the bees I put into the new hive/frames haven't gone looking for a new home. Hopefully, someone will chime in with more experiance. memtb
 

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I've always used rite cell, it has a thin wax coating. It will get on your fingers when you press it into the frames. Has kind of a sweet smell. Perhaps what you have is not wax coated.
 

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I started using some rite cell this year and mine didn't have a bad smell. I was told by some commercial guys to put mad extra two coats of wax on each piece. I did and my by are doing okay with them.
Mine came directly from mann lake so I am sure there was nothing wrong with mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
It does have a wax coating but maybe I'll add more. Can't hurt, right? I've left the open box sitting on the counter and maybe that will help, too. If not, maybe after I wax it I'll go ahead and put some in frames and load them into some spare boxes to see if that helps any.

Thanks for the suggestions!

:D

Rusty
 

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If youre going to take the time to roll wax on it you might as well go with wax foundation. I bought 5000 sheets of rite cell last winter. Theres no way im gonna put extra coats on that many. If yours is already waxed though, if you like plasticell, ritecell is pretty decent from what ive seen with no extra coats. They will try to draw a little drone comb on it but not much, and they correct it sooner than other plastics ive seen and that section can be easily scraped off good as new. The boxes are considerably heavier with ritecell vs wax, if that matters
 

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I started two new hives with rite cell this year and have not had any problems, bees have drawn it out with no problems. I just ordered several new cases for new deeps and mediums I am building.
 

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Mine has always smelled good. New frames smell like pine and bees wax..no plastic smell at all. I get mine from Mann Lake and have opened around 50 cases in the last few years.

Now the plastic queen cages are a different story. They smell horrable and never lose the strong plastic smell. They work fine and I see no problems.
 

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I'm thinking the non-coated theory might be right. I used to use foundation as I've bad experiences with plastic in the past. Alex from Mann Lake gave me 5 frames to try and the bees seem to be happy with it, draw it out good and it does smell nice like foundation.

C2
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hokay. My "better half" took a sniff and said "What smell? Just smells like foundation to me."

So it must be my sniffer. Which isn't too farfetched when you consider that to me most perfume has a positively evil odor while everybody else loves the stuff. So I'm guessing this is just my sniffer again and there is probably nothing in the world wrong with this foundation that a nose job wouldn't cure! ;)

Sorry for the fuss.

:eek:

Rusty
 

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Will bees draw old Ritecell like this one? I scrapped off old, dirty, mothed comb gave them a light pressure washing. Any other suggestions?

 

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Will bees draw old Ritecell like this one? I scrapped off old, dirty, mothed comb gave them a light pressure washing. Any other suggestions?
I bet those don't smell too good:eek:
 

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They smell fine, the bees seem to have propolized the bottom of those dark cells. I think we had an hours labor into each box of ten frames so if one figures one's time is money it might have been a better value to throw them out and buy new ones. Add onto that the time to add wax and it really doesn't pay. Being a 40+ year wax foundation guy I am interested to see if the bees take to these.
 

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When I was trying to get the hair to slip off my deer hide, I put it in a water trough with salt and some clorox to soak for a couple weeks. Salt and clorox to keep the bacteria down. The bees were ALL over it...
So I think if I had some dirty foundation like Franks I would not be worried about soaking it & scrubbing it with a stiff brush with diluted clorox and maybe salt. Rinse well and let it dry. It may or may not help, but I don't think it would hurt and the bees might actually take to it.

Good job for an unskilled youngster that wants to make some wages.... I remember mowing my neighbors entire lawn when I was a kid for .50 cents.
 

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Yes, I think that way you can seal in all the AFB spores and other diseases the pressure washer has left behind.
These were from a newbee who used them for one season, they died, but her topbar hive did not. That convinced her that topbars are superior and she abandoned Langs. I doubt they got foulbrood in one season.
 

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So I think if I had some dirty foundation like Franks I would not be worried about soaking it & scrubbing it with a stiff brush with diluted clorox and maybe salt. Rinse well and let it dry.
Lauri's right. I think that's much better than "a light pressure washing". Ollie, why don't you soak them in that boiler contraption you made for wax melting that cost $300 an hour in propane to run. You can just turn the heat down a bit!
 

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Lauri's right. I think that's much better than "a light pressure washing". Ollie, why don't you soak them in that boiler contraption you made for wax melting that cost $300 an hour in propane to run. You can just turn the heat down a bit!
Steam would melt the thin wax coating off the Ritecell. And heat hot enough to sterilize the frames would warp the Ritecell. I am happy with them if the bees wil be happy with them.
 
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