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Going foundationless: How to get the bees to clean the frames?


Dear lovely people,

Transitioning to natural cell size foundationless frames, I have about a dozen plastic foundation frames with drawn comb, pollen, and nectar. I know the girls work so hard to make bee bread, and I’d hate for any of it to be wasted!

Is there any way to get them to clean the frames out? I’ve tried:

  • putting a frame or two in an empty super above the inner cover of the hive

  • hanging frames out in the open in the middle of the bee yard (no, it didn’t set off robbing… For some reason my (local) bees just don’t seem interested in each other’s hive :wink: )

In either case, I see a few bees on the frames, but by and large they seem to remain full. Any suggestions?

If all else fails, I’ll give them to a local beekeeper who uses foundation - shouldn’t be too hard to find :slight_smile:

All ideas welcome!


How old are they, and how were they stored? If they haven’t been frozen, I would just render them for wax. If the honey isn’t capped, it may have fermented and bees won’t want it. If the bee bread hasn’t been frozen, it is probably full of pollen mites, and the bees won’t want it either. Just my 2 cents’ worth - render it. :wink:


That would explain it! The frames have just been sitting around.