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Author Topic: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation  (Read 237 times)

Offline JR4AL

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Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« on: February 14, 2019, 01:38:51 am »
Your thoughts, experience, why?


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Offline CoolBees

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2019, 02:37:35 am »
I've been pretty happy with the way things are going Foundationless. The bees seem happy. Haven't had any trouble so far. The bees have drawn out 80+ (medium) frames to date. Works fine in the extractor.

I started with waxed plastic - originally. The ladies seem to draw the empty frames faster than foundation.

Just a thought.

Alan
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Online Ben Framed

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2019, 05:14:09 am »
I've been pretty happy with the way things are going Foundationless. The bees seem happy. Haven't had any trouble so far. The bees have drawn out 80+ (medium) frames to date. Works fine in the extractor.

I started with waxed plastic - originally. The ladies seem to draw the empty frames faster than foundation.

Just a thought.

Alan

Alan I have heard this also, " The ladies seem to draw the empty frames faster" Thanks for your conformation. I also go the foundation-less  route. But I haven't tried the plastic to compare and probably won't.  .

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2019, 08:33:34 am »
Wax coated plasticell works real well for honey frames. I prefer not to have it in my brood nest. I do have lots of plasticell in my hives. The ones that I have are large cell. If I was starting out, I would definitely try to get small cell plasticell.  When I make up my swarm traps, they will only have one drawn comb, the rest will be foundation less with a waxed wood strip in the top. Swarms really prefer open voids to having and type of foundation. A large swarm will fill 2 medium boxes in 2 weeks.
Jim
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Offline Waveeater

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2019, 05:24:12 pm »
Same as Sawdust.

Offline robirot

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #5 on: February 15, 2019, 04:43:49 pm »
All 4 work and have there pros and cons.

Waxfoundation needs to be embedded vor nailed to the top.
If you just nail it (hooked foundation) thats a quite nice way, sometimes you break a wedge during replacement.
If you use groved top and bottom bar and just snap the foundation in, thats the easiest way, sometimes leading to warped comb. The main problem with wax foundation is not the inserting, but the removal and cleaning. If you can just cut it out like foundationless, thats the beat way.

Foundationless got the problem, that bees draw foundation towards the gravity, if your hives are a little out of balance they draw the end of the comb right beside your bottom bar or into the next frame. Sometimes they just draw multiple frames into one block.
It takes a lot if tweeking. But if you have the time to do so it is a very convenient way.

Plastic frames vor plastic foundation, is very convenient.
The frames have lots of holes for SHB to hide, plastic foundation is very easy to be die coated.
But apart from that, it is wax, put in, enjoy. Don't get the cheap stuff, but get the man lake, Acorn or Pierce with deeper cells and it is fun.
But plastic really only works perfect if you have strong hives. Sometimes weaker hives struggle, --> make new hives by creating shook swarms.

Today i would always go, foundationless, wired fountion to snap in or plastic.

Offline Joe D

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2019, 02:16:11 am »
Foundationless takes watching to make sure they draw it straight and where you want it.  Be careful with the first slinging after that it usually works pretty good.  I had a few hives that just didn't want to build on the waxed plastic foundation, all my frames are wood.  I have some wax foundation but have never used it, yet anyway.  Use what ever you like and works best for you and your bees.  After I moved the plastic foundation to a hive that would draw it out then I could put it in any of the hives.

Good luck to you and your bees,

Joe D

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2019, 02:46:14 am »
If you use plastic foundation, make sure all frames in a super are the same. If you mix plastic and wax foundation, they will only build on the wax. Same with plastic and foundation less. 
Jim
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Offline JR4AL

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2019, 01:05:37 pm »
Thank you all for the great information! I had no idea about any of this.

It appears the consensus is overwhelmingly:

Wax foundation is superior to all else, particularly when dealing with frames in the brood chamber. Then foundation-less, then plastic coated with wax, then plastic alone (being the least desirable). Also to not mix and mingle different foundation in the brood chamber.

From what I can tell, the industry does not offer up (or)sell pre-made frames with pure beeswax foundation or at least I can not find them. Now why is this?

Y?all go easy on me here and please understand that I do not even have my bees yet and I am doing as much as I can to try to understand and do the very best I can in starting this new venture.

But I must rant a moment because every box I have purchased up to this point has came with frames with plastic cells coated in wax!!! (The third desirable foundation setup)! Now I am wondering what in the heck am I going to do with all those frames? And who can I get locally to teach me how to put together a frame with beeswax but I digress.

I know this is an industry built to make money but geez, it seems disingenuous to not even offer the more superior product pre-made.

Am I missing something? Am I not interpreting this right?

Sincerely frustrated.


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Offline TheHoneyPump

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2019, 01:50:04 pm »
Acorn black one piece plastic frames in the brood chambers. Easier to work with, bees to not glue everything together as firmly, easy to clean up burr comb, easy to see eggs - patterns - etc. Easy to renew when the comb gets old and dark.

Standard wood frame with wax foundation in the honey supers, wired re-enforced.  Cheaper for large the quantities needed.  No concern about breakage, chipping, or shavings of plastic in the machinery nor into the harvested hive products (wax, honey).  Easy to process and melt down when comb is darkening or mangled or frames get broken.  On the cycled out frames, the wax coated wood sticks make spectacular fire starter and party time bonfires.

That's how I roll.
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Offline AR Beekeeper

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2019, 03:15:41 pm »
JR4AL;  Be very careful making management decisions based on what you read on honey bee forums.  You would be better served by finding a good honey bee association and attending their meetings.  Find successful hobby beekeepers and evaluate their operations and copy the ones that go from season to season with few losses and consistent honey crops.

Plastic foundation is just as good as all wax, and is much faster/less work to employ.  As with other aspects of honey bee colony management it takes experience to be able to properly utilize the product.  I have used all forms of techniques for drawing comb and I prefer wooden frames with plastic snap in foundations.  As with all comb drawing functions in honey bees there must be a strong adult population of bees of 5 to 14 days old, and there must be a good nectar flow or they must be lavishly fed sugar syrup. 

Much of what is presented on forums is just personal preference.  You will also form preferences as you gain experience in managing your bees.  That experience comes in the form of making mistakes and learning from them.  Go to your public library and have them get the books "The Hive and the Honey Bee" and the "ABC and XYX of Bee Culture."  These two books will give most of the answers to the questions you will have.



Online Ben Framed

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2019, 04:42:17 pm »
Mr Claude, did you come up with a satisfactory solution to cleaning old wax from the plastic foundation?
Thanks, Phillip

Offline Michael Bush

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Offline cao

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Re: Wax or plastic or plastic with wax foundation
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2019, 08:53:39 pm »
From what I can tell, the industry does not offer up (or)sell pre-made frames with pure beeswax foundation or at least I can not find them. Now why is this?

But I must rant a moment because every box I have purchased up to this point has came with frames with plastic cells coated in wax!!! (The third desirable foundation setup)! Now I am wondering what in the heck am I going to do with all those frames? And who can I get locally to teach me how to put together a frame with beeswax but I digress.

I know this is an industry built to make money but geez, it seems disingenuous to not even offer the more superior product pre-made.

The reason there is no premade frames with wax foundation is because wax is temperature sensitive.  Too cold(brittle), too warm(melts or at least will sag).

So as far as the industry is conserned, it is better having the plastic foundation.

I started out using wax foundation,  have experimented with plastic foundation,  but have started transitioning to foundationless with starter strip.  The main difference between the options is how well and how fast they draw out the frames.  Once drawn, there is little difference in there use. I've found that they will draw foundationless first then wax foundation then plastic.