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So when you are recycling wood frames whats your process for the plastic foundation? Do you simply scrape off the wax or scrape and rewax or replace with new plastic foundation.

Also if your removing a patch of drone comb what do you brush on some extra wax?

Thanks!
 

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Why are you trying to recycle the frames? Are they old (4+ years), did a hive die out, or something else? This will help us tell you the best course of action.
 

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I got some in a nuc i think are now 4 plus. No die out. Also had some LW so several frames have larger cells on was relatively new comb. Just havent been in long enough to know the plan for plastic foundation or its life expectancy..
 

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I got some in a nuc i think are now 4 plus. No die out. Also had some LW so several frames have larger cells on was relatively new comb. Just havent been in long enough to know the plan for plastic foundation or its life expectancy..
I scrape old wax off, use pressure washer to clean off foundation. let dry then recoat with wax
 

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We inherited thousands of wood frames with plastic foundation. We are slowly replacing the contaminated plastic with crimped wire wax that is free of pesticides. We get 1.7 lbs of wax from 10 frames, which gets recyled into foundation. The plastic goes to the landfill. I find it hard to comprehend why anyone would buy plastic foundation, it does not recycle once contaminated..

Crazy Roland
 

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We inherited thousands of wood frames with plastic foundation. We are slowly replacing the contaminated plastic with crimped wire wax that is free of pesticides. We get 1.7 lbs of wax from 10 frames, which gets recyled into foundation. The plastic goes to the landfill. I find it hard to comprehend why anyone would buy plastic foundation, it does not recycle once contaminated..

Crazy Roland
I'm not questioning your process or motives, but I'm curious what you find it contaminated with? Beekeeper introduced or environment or bee disease?
 

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"We are slowly replacing the contaminated plastic with crimped wire wax that is free of pesticides".

Where do you get that?
 

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To process old dark combs on plastic foundation I use a plastic 8 gallon barrel wrapped with insulation. Have a inversion heater, I think from Kelley mounted in the bottom of barrel. I crank it up in the morning and come back at noon. Combs are dipped in the heated water and scrapped clean. I do about 10-20 deep boxes at a clip. Its a messy job rubber apron and gloves are a good idea. Turn the whole thing off when done let the slum and wax cool off over night. Scrap off as much slum as possible from cake there will be allot. Save up slum cakes put in pillow case with rock or brick. Heat up in barrel again scoop wax off top and laddle into wax molds. For first cleaning. Wax press would recover most amount of wax. I haven’t fit one into the budget maybe someday. Toss your slum.
 

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Texan.. - Ag chemicals.

Risky The process of melting and filtering the wax to make foundation removes the pesticide residues, per Dadant. Data to follow when I get it.

Crazy Roland
 

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I scrape the bulk of the wax off and then steam the frames (or sheets of plastic foundation) to remove even more of it. (I steam because I have a steamer, but is slow going.) I am thinking of getting some kind of hot water dipping tank set up like Clayton Huestis describes. Then (barring infection issues) I just re-wax and reuse the plastic foundation. (I once called Pierco to ask about the max temps or the frames and sheets of foundation - IIRC, is about 170-180 F, but I recommend checking with them yourself as I may be misrememberig the number.)

So much less risk of pesticide contamination from commercial wax, if you use less of it by starting with plastic foundation. For me, one of the main reasons not to use wax foundation is the contamination issue.

Because of my EFB issues, I am not yet self-sufficient with wax. I have burned a lot of it.

Completely removing pesticide residues from wax takes more than a melt and simple filtration, particularly for the ones that are fat-soluble. Indeed, melting contaminated wax would probably serve to spread the contamination around in the melted wax.

Nancy
 

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So when you are recycling wood frames whats your process for the plastic foundation? Do you simply scrape off the wax or scrape and rewax or replace with new plastic foundation.

Also if your removing a patch of drone comb what do you brush on some extra wax?

Thanks!
Frames with plastic foundation....UGH

I pop out the foundation, give the frames a quick clean-up, and give them away to anyone who wants to use plastic.

Never had any luck with it except in a super-strong honey flow, otherwise ended up with half-built-bees-won't-finish-it combs, or if spacing was not PERFECT, combs crossways between the sheets.
 

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SK, I know it doesnt make a lot of sense, but the rewaxed rite cell I used last year had many of those issues. All the Acorn heavy wax foundation I put in this year is being drawn out rapidly and perfectly. I am using the black in my supers and it is super neat to see it turn to white as the wax gets built.
 

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Roland, did you find the ag chems in the wax or the plastic? If the plastic, do you think it was there when new? What brand foundation if you happen to know?
 

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Never had any luck with it except in a super-strong honey flow, otherwise ended up with half-built-bees-won't-finish-it combs, or if spacing was not PERFECT, combs crossways between the sheets.
I have only had two that were not drawn out correctly. Both of those were connected to the side of the brood box with burr comb where I leave a little extra space.

Alex
 

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Nancy - When I contacted Dadant, they said that they repeatedly have had their wax tested AFTER filtering, and found no significant pesticide levels.
The gentleman I spoke to is looking for the data.

Bdfarmer. I have not had the plastic tested, but it would be a logical jump to assume that since both beeswax and poly polypropylene or other plastics are oleophillic(oil loving), that both would absorb pesticides. Look up the chemical structures of both. Long chain straight hydrocarbons.

My point is that the plastic will become a reservoir for the pesticides, and after waxing, will begin to diffuse back out into the new wax. With wax foundation, I can remove everything but the wood, send half of the salvaged wax to Dadant, and get new foundation to install.

Crazy Roland
 

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Bdfarmer. I have not had the plastic tested, but it would be a logical jump to assume that since both beeswax and poly polypropylene or other plastics are oleophillic(oil loving), that both would absorb pesticides.
I doubt that the foundation producers are starting with recycled frames to mold new frames. They may be using some recycled plastic, but most or all of the plastic they are using is probably new.

I am not quickly finding the material that plastic foundation is made from but my gut feeling is that it is ABS or polypropylene. I think a lot of consumer plastics are PET (pop bottles, ect) or HDPE (milk jugs, ect). Since I think the frames are made from a different material then you would find in most recycled plastic, I dont think the recycled plastic would contain many pesticides.

I did find that part of flowhives are made from polypropylene, but I have not found what normal plastic foundation is made from.

sources:
https://forum.honeyflow.com/t/the-plastic-used-for-the-frames/1606/8
https://www.almanac.com/content/which-plastics-are-recyclable-number
 

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...why anyone would buy plastic foundation, it does not recycle once contaminated...
I did it. And it saved my beekeeping business. Because the wax got contaminated with stearin and paraffin and god knows what else. I don't know it. Bee larvae died on my wax foundations. In Europe a lot of wax is contaminated with bee brood killing substances. I couldn't buy any wax without risking my operation again. I switched to plastic foundation and replaced all wax combs. I mean ALL combs in all of my hives. A brutal work. Costly. But it saved my darn as s. Bees recovered quickly, once they were off the contaminated combs.

I don't think plastic foundation is the way to go for the future. But please don't think you are on the safer side when using beeswax only. Contaminants build up in wax as it does in plastic.

So in future we cannot recycle neither wax nor plastic. All of it will and does hold huge amounts of "stuff". All you can do, is to make a lot of candles. Make the wax go one way, not cycling it. Burn it. If this strategy will last in the future is most doubtable.

Side note 1: Isn't it sort of "funny", that Bayer invented a wax cleaning process to filter out all the pesticides out of beeswax?! They already build such a system in Germany. Beeswax gets heated up, pressurized to high pressure and trickled through active char coal. Wow, you get so clean beeswax, hooray...

Side note 2: I already warned you repeatedly, that there are new pesticides coming or already in use, that will kill insects in the larvae phase. And this stuff is fat soluble. Again: fat soluble. Kills larvae. Hmmm...beeswax, fat soluble...hmmm.... 1 + 1 = ?
 

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Elmer - I believe the plastic is getting contaminated by Ag chemicals brought into the hives by bees.

Bernhard - I understand what you have done and observed. I am not sure I agree with your conclusions, and if they are applicable to the U.S.A. It is possible that Dadant has the proper equipment to "clean up" the wax they make foundation out of. We have seen that hives started on foundation outperform those on old comb. We have also seen hives started on foundation over inter better than those old comb. Both are contrary to old time wisdom.

Crazy Roland
 
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