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Author Topic: reuse of plastic foundation  (Read 1405 times)

Offline Caashenb

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reuse of plastic foundation
« on: May 27, 2024, 08:32:45 pm »
I have some plastic foundation that I would like to reuse so I scraped  it down to the top of the plastic cell ridges. I scraped these because they came out of colonies that were poisoned last year. My question is what is the easiest way to clean out the wax that is in the bottom of the plastic sell? Or do you just seal that in by rewaxing? 

Offline BeeMaster2

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #1 on: May 27, 2024, 08:52:18 pm »
When I have a lot to do, I dip them in a tank of wax that I made from 2 4x4 steel square tubes. I dip half of a sheet at a time.
For just a few, I melt wax and brush it on.
It you put it on a little heavy the wax will coat the old wax.
Jim Altmiller
Democracy is 2 wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well armed lamb contesting the vote.
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Online animal

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #2 on: May 27, 2024, 11:48:14 pm »
If you were from south Louisiana, I'd suggest you get your crayfish pot filled to within 2" of the top boiling in the yard, hold a frame down in it till the wax starts to melt (a matter of seconds ought to do it), pull it out and sling it off in the yard .. flip it over and do the the end. When done with all of them, let the water cool before you dump it and the only wax to clean off the pot will be around the top. about 30 seconds with a scotchbrite or steel wool will fix that.
But since you're further north .. IF .. you have a crayfish pot :cheesy:
btw, I pronounce it craw and spell it cray .. always been a stickler on that count  :wink:

and it might sound like a sacrilege to the pot, but no bags of spice or salt. and the frames don't need purging :cheesy:
« Last Edit: May 27, 2024, 11:58:37 pm by animal »
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Offline Caashenb

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2024, 07:13:38 am »
If you were from south Louisiana, I'd suggest you get your crayfish pot filled to within 2" of the top boiling in the yard, hold a frame down in it till the wax starts to melt (a matter of seconds ought to do it), pull it out and sling it off in the yard .. flip it over and do the the end. When done with all of them, let the water cool before you dump it and the only wax to clean off the pot will be around the top. about 30 seconds with a scotchbrite or steel wool will fix that.
But since you're further north .. IF .. you have a crayfish pot :cheesy:
btw, I pronounce it craw and spell it cray .. always been a stickler on that count  :wink:

and it might sound like a sacrilege to the pot, but no bags of spice or salt. and the frames don't need purging :cheesy:


I may try that I do not want to use my "craw" fish pot but I have a very large mixing bowl from a Hobart floor mixer. I was thinking of using it to render wax anyway so I may give it a try - thanks


Online animal

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2024, 11:31:30 am »
A disclaimer here and appeal to other members

I don't have any plastic foundation, have never tried this and don't know how tough the stuff is heat-wise... warping and such.
Wax melts at 150-ish so it doesn't have to be a rolling boil. If I were to try it, I'd bring the pot to a boil, shut off the gas and hold the frames in at an angle to keep from steaming the fingers.. Plus I'm an amateur cook so my pot isn't tall enough to handle the whole frame at once.

It'd be nice if experienced people here would give an opinion on the heat on plastic foundation before you try it  or test it out on one frame first to make sure it doesn?t hurt the plastic.

I just answered as "What would a redneck do" bounded by what do I have and expect others to have. ..and trying to throw in a little humor  :embarassed:

good luck.... and if you try it and it works, please let us know.
also, welcome to the site .. the rest of the members are way more helpful than me.



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Offline Bill Murray

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2024, 09:46:33 pm »
After scraping I normally throw them in a tote, let sit for a season the wax moths help, then I hit them with a pressure washer.

Online Lesgold

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2024, 03:09:23 am »
If the hive was poisoned, I would want to remove the residual wax. Plastic foundation does not respond well to heat so that method could be discounted. I?ve been experimenting with the method that Bill mentioned. The wax moth does a great job of cleaning up residual wax, pollen and propolis. If the poison has some impact on the wax moth you have a win, win situation. Leave it stacked up for a season and you will be surprised at how clean the foundation ends up. Under normal circumstances, a scraped plastic foundation sheet can be put back into the hive for the bees to clean up and reshape. There is normally enough residual wax for the bees to get started. This method will only work on a hive that is actively building comb. At any other time, the bees will clean the foundation and then leave it untouched. A newly hived swarm or a hive  building in numbers during a flow will be your best bet.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2024, 08:54:29 am »
Jeff  > Florida Bee Rancher< is a member here. In this short video, he shows and tells his simple solution to easily clean your wax foundation. After watching the short clip, I don?t know how it could be any simpler or easier to do than this.

https://youtu.be/rDxLA6MKa3k?si=j8AWXQBpChhsFRQA
Matthew 10:16
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Offline FatherMichael

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #8 on: May 29, 2024, 02:13:48 pm »
Jeff  > Florida Bee Rancher< is a member here. In this short video, he shows and tells his simple solution to easily clean your wax foundation. After watching the short clip, I don?t know how it could be any simpler or easier to do than this.

https://youtu.be/rDxLA6MKa3k?si=j8AWXQBpChhsFRQA

I wonder if the soaking is necessary.

I've some to clean up.  We'll find out, eh?
41 And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?

42 And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.

43 And he took it, and did eat before them.

Offline Salvo

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #9 on: May 29, 2024, 02:14:42 pm »
Hi Folks,

I've tried scrubbing and *solar melting*. They seem to me to have a very low warping temperature. Be careful if boiling. I've seen vids of successful pressure washing. IDK.

Also, I very conscientiously tried to clean and re-coat them, just so I could determine what to tell mentees and students, with a brush and also a roller, thick and thin coats. Thisck was better. My bees preferred adjacent foundationless frames.

I have never been lucky with plastic or even Duragilt foundations. I'll get an odd success with either,.... and a lot of failures. I need consistency. :wink:

Perhaps I shouldn't offer the bees a choice.

Sal

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #10 on: May 29, 2024, 03:50:26 pm »
>I wonder if the soaking is necessary.

I've some to clean up.  We'll find out, eh?


Good question and one I do not have the answer too.
I will say that Jeff is consistent in 'trying' to find a "better way"  Therefore I have little doubt that he has tried it both ways. Let us know how it works out for you without the soaking please...

Phillip
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Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Offline Caashenb

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #11 on: May 29, 2024, 04:29:30 pm »
Jeff  > Florida Bee Rancher< is a member here. In this short video, he shows and tells his simple solution to easily clean your wax foundation. After watching the short clip, I don?t know how it could be any simpler or easier to do than this.

https://youtu.be/rDxLA6MKa3k?si=j8AWXQBpChhsFRQA

That is what I think I was looking for easy peasy

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2024, 04:37:52 pm »
I hope it works as easy as it looks! Let us know please..

Phillip
Matthew 10:16
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Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Online Lesgold

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #13 on: May 29, 2024, 06:46:12 pm »
I used to clean plastic foundation that way. The soaking speeds things up considerably. You can do it without soaking but it is very slow. It is a messy job when you have to clean a lot of foundation. Gum boots help but the best thing to wear would be fishing waders as you do get covered in all sorts of rubbish. Old brood foundation is hard to clean due to pollen, wax and propolis build up. Soaking helps to break this gunk down.

Offline Bill Murray

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #14 on: May 29, 2024, 09:36:19 pm »
Well as said, let the wax moths do their job. Im going to get picky here, the vid didnt actually show a 4 or 5 yr frame. My honest opinion about 6 months.

Online Lesgold

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #15 on: May 30, 2024, 10:51:14 pm »
The wax moths are a great help. I came across this by accident this year. Normally I clean up plastic foundation and put it back on the hive as required but as this year was a bad year, I had a pile of plastic foundation that was given a rough scrape and left in sitting in the workshop to be cleaned up at a later date. The foundation had a lot of propolis, pollen and discoloured wax on each sheet as they all came from brood combs. After about 6 months, I decided to clean up the sheets and store them. The first photo is what the foundation looked like when I removed the covering sheet. Wax moth larvae were present everywhere. Most of the food source had been eaten with very little waxy material remaining. The second shot shows a close up of one area. You can see that it is only cocoon and debris remaining. The third shot was after the foundation was given a quick brush. The results are obvious.
 

Offline Bill Murray

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #16 on: May 30, 2024, 11:09:34 pm »
Dont know how to like this but thumbs up and thanks for the pics les, cause this is the ultimate way to clean these.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #17 on: May 30, 2024, 11:13:18 pm »
Looks good Les!
Matthew 10:16
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Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.

Offline Occam

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #18 on: May 30, 2024, 11:26:27 pm »
Perfect example of a permaculture idea of the problem being the solution. As much a pain and problem as max moths are to weak hive we can definitely harness them to do our dirty work much more efficiently than we can do it, and with much less effort.
Entities must not be multiplied beyond necessity

Offline Jim134

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Re: reuse of plastic foundation
« Reply #19 on: May 31, 2024, 01:27:45 am »
  What i'm about to describe.. I have done thousands. Of plastic foundation like this. Hot water pressure washer.. That one I used to use was aboutwenty twenty 25,000 pounds per square inch.. How about a 250 F.. First thing I did is scrape off the wax.. Save it for the shoulder melter. Now start up the pressure washer.. And Just start washing. Of course there will be a lot of backsplash. No matter what you do... Remember plastics. Do catch a memory at about 150 F.. The reason why it would not catch a memory with a pressure washer. Because.
It happened so fast. Of course the core of the plastic will never Reach that temperature.


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