My bees didn't like my wax foundation

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by bamabww, Sep 9, 2013.

  1. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    I had ordered some beeswax foundation for my medium honey supers but needed enough for 4 deep foundation pieces to finish out a deep I was preparing to place on one of my small hives. I stapled two of the medium size pieces together and used fishing line to support it in the middle. I melted wax and poured in the top and bottom groove of the frame to hold the foundation top and bottom. Notice the bees did something over the fishing line but didn't draw any comb on the 100% beeswax. However on the plastic foundation right beside it they did / have started drawing it out. The plastic foundation is just like it came from the wholesaler without any additional wax or coating. Since the bees didn't prefer the wax foundation I have pulled it out and replaced it all with plastic.

     

    Attached Files:

  2. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Ya Jack! Uh huh, Uh huh! :Dancing:
    Explain that buddy!
    Bees drew the plastic before the wax. :lol:
    Thanks Wayne! :thumbsup: :mrgreen:
     

  3. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

    Messages:
    2,683
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    4 out of 5 bees surveyed prefered plastic (couldnt help it) :grin:. Usually its the other way around. Maybe thats why its been said never mix wax with plastic foundation when pulling comb
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wayne, place one sheet of medium wax in a deep frame and leave the bottom open and see what happens. Fishing line, staples, double thick foundation, no wonder they didn't like it.
     
  5. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    OK, I'll try that. I've seen The FatBee Man use fishing line to support the foundation before so it must work for some people.
     
  6. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

    Messages:
    5,829
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Or just use plastic! :wink: :lol: :thumbsup:
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    I think he embeds it into the wax.
     
  8. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

    Messages:
    8,996
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Perry, why not use embossed tin? It would last longer.
     
  9. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

    Messages:
    3,276
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Wayne, i agree with iddee's #4 post:thumbsup: The bees on the plastic foundation in the above pitcher shown only drew out a small portion for the brood,that was the problem i had when i tried it, they rarely drew the whole frame out unless there was a heavy flow going on.:roll: The reason the bees covered the plastic fishing line on the wax foundation, is because it was smelling up good wax foundation. uh huh, uh huh, uh huh.:lol: Jack
     
  10. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    I do not anticipate buying wax foundation ever. My bees draw out plasticell just fine, and they draw out empty frame with fishing line just fine, so I'm good with that. Thanks for backing up my results. Plasticell seems to make them feel secure...
     
  11. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    When I took those pictures both frames had been in the hive almost 2 weeks. All 6 of the plastic had drawn comb, some more than this but none completely full. The 4 wax had just what you see here, they covered the fishing line and chewed holes in it but not much else.
     
  12. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

    Messages:
    6,487
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    did I just mention 'proper timing' in another thread?

    I am surprised you got any comb drawn on either and I would guess if you had left the frame on the left hand side* in longer you would have seen holes chewed into it all along the four edges of the sheet of foundation <this is reflective of 1) lack of flow and 2) more importantly lack of young bees to produce bees wax. IMHO if you had placed either or both in a hive at the proper time of year you would have had a hard time distinguishing which frame was more beautifully drawn into comb.

    *at this point one obvious advantage of plastic based foundation is the bees are not capable of chewing it up like they will pure bees wax foundation.
     
  13. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    2,752
    Likes Received:
    11
    Trophy Points:
    38
    were you feeding?
     
  14. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

    Messages:
    1,021
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    These frames were in a hive where I put a swarm I caught very late in the season, the 13th of August to be exact. I had no drawn comb for them and had to make up a deep with foundation while they were still in the cardboard box I captured them in. That is the reason I mixed the beeswax and plastic. Everyone always says that swarms will draw comb and so I gave them the opportunity. After I had the wax moth problem a couple of weeks ago in one of my last year swarms, I started going through all of my hives from top to bottom to see if the wax moths had done any damage to them. Thankfully I found no other sign of wax moths in the other 6 hives but have gone through them twice a week apart just to make sure I didn't miss anything. It was on one of these inspections that I found these frames and thought it was interesting enough to share.

    Since it was so late in the season when I captured this swarm, I was feeding 1 to 1 sugar water.

    In another swarm I captured 2 week later, I put 5 yellow and 5 black plastic foundation to see if they showed a preference. I'm feeding them as well and will check them at the end of this week. Should be interesting.