Old comb

Discussion in 'General Beekeeping' started by PerryBee, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Following fatbeeman's topic about rendering old comb.
    I was curious as to how others who run wooden frames but use plastic foundation go about it.
    I was "taught" to try and replace (brood) comb every 5 years or so, actually replacing 20% each year. The idea behind this is that most contaminants are present in the old comb/wax, the older the higher buildup levels. Another benefit, that by removing comb and actually giving the bees the chance to draw new comb, allows them to do something that is natural and necessary during a point in their lifespan.
    So back to my question. Most of my frames are wooden with plastic foundation. It is easy to just scrape off old comb. Is this enough or should a person remove the foundation as well, melt off every last bit, back to the plastic, and then rewax them by dipping in hot wax? (John Pluta video)
    Just give the frames a good scrape, pop in the rewaxed foundation and go, or should a person pitch the woodenware? While the comb may seem old and dark, the frames are in great shape.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    perry writes:
    It is easy to just scrape off old comb.

    tecumseh:
    this past year is my first year with using plastic type foundation.. so I haven't gotten to any recycling with that yet. I have been told you scrape and re-coat. I suspect the re-coating might be optional. I would guess that scraping is easier with the foundation warmed up a bit. warmer air temperature would also likely limit breaking or cracking the plastic base.

    good question...
     

  3. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    What do you do about the old black looking wax on the plastic foundation that you can't scrape off? or do you just leave it and let the bees draw from it :confused: Jack
     
  4. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    Jack:

    Just an idea, I haven't tried it yet, but you might try dunking the foundation in boiling water. Hot enough to melt the wax but not the plastic. Then, just re-coat the plastic foundation.
     
  5. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    Welcome to the dark ages. I still use wax foundation in wooden frames. The National Bee Unit produces advisory download leaflets, one of which is Hive cleaning and sterilization. Forum readers may find it interesting. I have found the recommendation to use hot Washing Soda ( Sodium Carbonate ) solution to work well on gunky wooden frames. The leaflet also has a section relating to plastic hiveware.

    https://secure.fera.defra.gov.uk/beebase/index.cfm
     
  6. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    :thumbsup: :thumbsup:

    Glad I'm not the only one. You folks can keep your plastic. I'll stay with wood and wax.

    Too old to change now. :D
     
  7. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I'm a wood and wax beekeeper to, but with 72 hives, truck garden, selling at the farmers market and cattle, i ran out of time and supers with wax. Thought i would try plastic foundation.After all the ribbing and remarks i made to my club members for using plastic, i can't let this get out. I think i'm safe hear because most of them know less than i do about computers. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  8. rwurster

    rwurster New Member

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    All my frames are foundationless and I don't wire so i just cut the comb out. When I do have to cut comb out, I leave a 1/2" of comb at the top as a guide for when they draw the comb out again. Leaving a strip at the top ensures they will draw the comb out straight again, and it provides a really well attached anchor for new white comb.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    jack writes:
    I'm a wood and wax beekeeper to, but with 72 hives, truck garden, selling at the farmers market and cattle, i ran out of time and supers with wax. Thought i would try plastic foundation.After all the ribbing and remarks i made to my club members for using plastic, i can't let this get out. I think i'm safe hear because most of them know less than i do about computers.

    tecumseh:
    no one is as old as Jack but much of his above statement (-10 years or so) applies here also... most especially what he said about computers.

    actually a year or so ago when I decided to give wood frames and plastic based foundation a try it was more a matter of I wanted to give the stuff a try before I gave it a thumbs up or down to others plus I had a large pile of old recycled wax (a lot of it quite dark) that I wanted to utilize and lastly I had come to hate putting in those little metal grommets in the end bars (and we were talking 1400 frames here X 4 or 8 depending on frame depth). so by and large most of the frames 'out there' are wood horizontally wired frames with plain foundation.
     
  10. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I was born March of 1938, and like i said about computers, not many on here will be able to cypher out how old i am. :lol: :lol: Tec, my beekeeper buddy is 86 yrs, old (will be 87 in July) he can climb a 12 ft. step ladder and stand on the top of it (a feat in it's self) and cut a swarm out of a tree and hand it down to me. How many of you younger beek's would attempt that, not me. :shock: His parents both lived to there mid 90's. Like my uncle always said, if you don't use it you lose it. :roll: Jack
     
  11. BjornBee

    BjornBee New Member

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    I use wax foundation, plastic foundation, as well as foundationless. Each has their advantages. And most of the negatives I hear over the yeas are manufactured by individuals either not knowing how to use one or the other, or is pushing some personalized agenda.

    Wax foundation is great and seems it is drawn very fast. Plastic is nice since I can push comb production to the max each year with nuc building without fear of losing any foundation when they stop drawing comb as seen with wax foundation in mid summer. Foundationles sytems are great for cost and ease of cut comb production. I love chunk honey.

    You should really choose a foundation or method for a reason of benefit, and not due to someone else having issues or perceived problems that are easily overcome.

    I do use all wood frames. I do not like plastic frames. But with foundation, the bees do just as good no matter the offering.
     
  12. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Punctuation can sometimes be a funny thing eh?
    I had no idea tec was 86 yrs old! :shock: From that last pic I saw of him I thought he was 84, tops! :lol:
    Sorry Jack, not meaning to poke at you, (just tec.)
     
  13. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    Good one Perry :lol: ,but tec. can take it.Better be careful though, he said you was his idol and if you make him mad he might switch Perry's. :mrgreen: Jack
     
  14. Zulu

    Zulu Member

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    Same year as my dad ...... Guess it makes me young at 50.
     
  15. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Trust me Jack, the last thing I would want is to have tec mad at me! :shock: :club: :lol:
     
  16. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    trust me Perry, you is still my hero.

    my buddy Jack scribes..
    he can climb a 12 ft. step ladder and stand on the top of it

    tecumseh:
    on one foot while doing the praying mantis pose. black cats can do that...
     
  17. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    With not much going on in the bee yard here in SW. Mo. and not being able to stir tec. up by aligning him with RP, it's going to be a long boring winter. :roll: :mrgreen: Jack
     
  18. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    oh Jack it looks like spring time here...
    a month early but you know us southern bee keepers rarely complain...
    ok so we do whine just a bit....