I came across someone saying that he/she was concerned about using sheets of commercially made wax foundation, but on trying to find a thread I couldn’t go back to re-read it. Does anyone know if a disease of eggs, what ever, can remain after the wax has been melted and processed to make new foundation?
I sometimes wonder about AFB spores?
I think I once read AFB spores can be in wax, but are somehow encapsulated and therefore are unlikely to cause an AFB outbreak.
So, wax foundation should be safe.
I would worry more about pesticides stored in the wax.
I wonder if those cheap black plastic foundation frames are always food grade plastic. Nobody seems to worry about that.
I would think that if there was a pesticide on the nectar or pollen, in the case of nectar having ingested the nectar it would only kill that bee and not get to be in the hive honey.
An interesting point about the black plastic foundation. The cheapest black plastic would be from recycled black plastic we all throw in our garbage bins and I would be amazed if it even were food grade then, let alone by the time it got to a place like China where any plastic that was black would do. That may sound cynical but might be right too.
Hi Peter, I haven’t heard of any disease coming from wax foundation. You’ll find lots of anti foundation beekeepers. I first discovered it while looking into top bar hives, then again in this forum. People forget that wax foundation, or plastic foundation is predominantly added onto. Not mixed with new wax or honey. Especially if it’s used for brood first. Those leftover cocoons would insure that the honey makes no contact with the foundation.
A lot of people are intimidated by wax foundation purely because of the challenge of having to learn how to fix it into the frames properly. That’s what I think.
If wax is pure beeswax it’s safe.
There was an outbreak of hive deaths in Europe last year put down to cheap Chinese wax adulterated with paraffin wax so you have to be careful about sourcing a cheap product
I understand and agree with your logic. I had not come across the dislike of bees wax foundation. I have always used it as it was how I learned from a mentor, he explained it that the cost of the foundation was more than covered by the quicker use of the frame by the bees and of course the need for wire in an extractor to hold the comb from breaking.
Cheers mate brr cold nights…
If the foundation is bought cheap then there is always the lick test, paraffin wax still has the kerosene taste to it. With the increase in price world wide for bees wax I would suspect any foundation coming from China.
Here’s one article (of many) that explains this concern that beekeepers in countries with varroa mites do well to be aware of.
Thanks for that link Eva, it makes for interesting reading. There is more than a ‘ground swell’ of councils and farmers against using chemicals on flora unless they need to, but I guess the hardest to convince is the home gardener. Chemical companies ‘bomb-bard’ the home gardener with claims that he needs to use their products.
There is Chinese foundation advertised for sale in Australia considerably cheaper than foundation that is Aussie produced and their price includes air freight !!!
That should make alarm bells ring loud and clear but there will always be people who are deaf.
I live up here in Puget Sound near Seattle. Some of my hives I use re-Enforced foundstion (wired) n other hives I use only plastic foundation. There’s a flash (very thin) coat of beeswax in them but seem too work great anyway.
I’ve got a few frames of natural comb in a couple of my honey supers so if I want true honey comb I have those all natural drawn bees wax frames for comb honey. !
These are examples of new wax on plastic foundation (and yes ! I see the wax moth trail )(and it’s in the freezer being treated) … one frame is a shallow … since I have limited shallow drawn frames I usually drop a couple shallows in between deep n get the bees to draw me some out. Then I have drawn wax frames to bait the bees upstairs into new frame shallow supers. The third was drawn comb on plastic foundation with honey n nectar.
I do stay completely away from wax, wax foundation or plastic waxed frames that are way too good of a deal ! A deal isn’t a deal if it causes me problems or issues.
Ooooh ! I added several pix’s to show my girls collecting H20 at my small pond.
Thanks for the insight Gerald, the pond looks like bee heaven. I guess you have a short period of good flow and lots of snow come winter.
June is the start of winter here, if you call it winter, 14-16c of a night and still 23-25c of a day. it is our dry season and lots of nectar and pollen from the natural bush(forest) being foraged but the girls have become late starters but come home at last light. We are having a heavy flowering of wattle and paper bark and a few eucalyptus and there will be plenty of stores in the hives should they decide it is a bit too cool.
We get approximately 7 months of some kind of flow (but no more) … our winter is cold, damp n usually cloudy gray. That why we need to boxes up here to get out girls thru. I tried to have 60 to 80 lbs of honey in each colony to winter over.
We are about to start our one big yearly
Blackberry harvest. If the crop is good I’ll gave extra (me honey) n if not the bees hopefully will have their portion to winter over. It’s a pot shoot each year. But that’s it in the Burbs of Puget Sound 20 miles SE of Seattle in our foothills. Usually more rain than snow at our 500’ above sea level.