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I thought I was treatment free because I do not use any chemicals in my hives. In addition I live in an area where generally there are no field crops that are treated with insecticides or other adverse chemicals. I can not account for the locations that my bee travel so that is always an issue that is out of control. Today I read a research article about the contaminants that are found in commercially produced bees wax foundations. I was not surprised because I purchase a substantial amount of bees wax to make candles and I have observed the poor qaulity of some wax and recognize that some wax is from the lower brood boxes used by many commercial beekeepers and others, and it is this wax that probably finds its way into the foundations made by the major companies that sell hives and related beekeeping material. So although I may not desire to treat my hives with chemicals it is very possible the so called store bought frames and foundations are already contaminated and the honey I produce and thought was clean of chemicals could e exposed to contaminated foundation bees wax. This is like a viscous cycle where it seems impossible to keep clean hives. From now on I will the folks that I sell honey to that I do not use any chemicals in my hives, but that does not mean my hives are chemical free. I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter.
 

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Start your own wax cycle. This way your wax gets cleaner, little by little, if you don´t treat.

In Finland my "beeswax factory", Lahtisen vahavalimo http://www.lahtisenvahavalimo.fi/, can make separately your own wax (cleaned and as foundations) if you have a lot of minimum 150kg. If you don´t have the quantity needed, then you can use solar wax melters and make foundations yourself. Solarwax melter you can even do yourself, too. Just some windowclass and plywood.
 

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Juhani,

I'd love to make my own foundation out of my cappings. Is there a way that is not too expensive for a hobbyist beekeeper?
 

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You can do without foundation.

I've really enjoyed my foundationless hives. The comb is beautiful, and the bees get to make exactly what they need. You still can't control what the bees bring in, but at least you're starting with the cleanest wax available-- right from the bees.
 

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I use foundation-less as well, and try to rotate out my foundation on a three to four year schedual.. but I live in farm country so the dangers are more prevalent.
sd I understand it, there is NO SOURCE of wax, either in foundation form or block form that is completely free of contamination. Wonderful world we live in huh?
I am not treatment free by any measure, but try to limit as much as possible what i put into my hives.. then of course... I read about how Older fopundation.. four to five years has been shown to increase the survivability of brood... sigh.... Sometimes i wonder WHY I decided to be a beekeeper.
 

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Even if you don't put any chemical pesticides in your hive the bees will. They pick it up from the environment.
 

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Yes there may be some contamination in the wax you purchase but the amount is small - as Mark writes your bees will pick up more from the environment.

Read up on the CNG standards - they may make sense for you.

I am alarmed by what is allowed under USDA Organic standards - some of the synthetics pose much less hazard to the bees and the applicator.
 

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You could also buy plastic foundation without wax coating, and use your own wax from foundation less hives to prep it. But of course then the evil gets in your hives by way of plastic. If you do succeed in producing contaminant free honey and the price doesn't make you blush and stammer when you say it - it's too cheap.
 

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We have a guy in our association with a press. If you bring him wax he will return you sheets from the wax you gave him in whatever size you want. He keeps a percentage of the wax for himself. I have started letting my colonies draw some of their own comb. I just insert a frame with a double strand of fishing line between two nicely drawn frames. In a strong colony it will be drawn out and laid up in 24 hours.
 

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What about unwaxed plastic foundation? You can coat it in your own wax, and that would be far easier than pressing your own foundation, if the foundationless frames are not for you.
 

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Yes there may be some contamination in the wax you purchase but the amount is small - as Mark writes your bees will pick up more from the environment.

Read up on the CNG standards - they may make sense for you.

I am alarmed by what is allowed under USDA Organic standards - some of the synthetics pose much less hazard to the bees and the applicator.
Andrew, maybe the standards are an indication that what is allowed can't be lower? There is no way to get to zero or below detectable levels.
 

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I thought I was treatment free because I do not use any chemicals in my hives.
If you would kindly read the definition of treatments for this forum, you would find that you are treatment free and you are asking a question relating to a different subject perhaps better falling under the headings "organic" or "natural."
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I have read the definition very carefully and I respectfully disagree. Since I read legal documents and definitions almost everyday aim satisfied I am in the right place. What is the purpose of your comment other than tone argumentative? I have learned a great deal from this thread and I am certain other have also found this subject to be informative. In particular I will be very careful about expelling the possibility of chemical pollutants in my hives even though I do not personally introduce them.
If you would kindly read the definition of treatments for this forum, you would find that you are treatment free and you are asking a question relating to a different subject perhaps better falling under the headings "organic" or "natural."
 
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