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Author Topic: Reusing Plastic Foundation?  (Read 2142 times)
MnBill
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« on: April 06, 2009, 03:37:17 PM »

I am newer to beekeeping,
I have bought a bunch of used hives and have some 3 pounds bee packages on the way.

I have been advised to not use the drawn out comb, in my used hives, do to the fact that it has sat for at least 2 years, most of it is quite brittle, and I don’t know the standards of the previous beekeeper which owned the equipment (use of chemicals) not to mention the worry of AFB spores W/I the old comb.

So, I am planning to use all fresh foundation for my bee packages.

That means I will be scrapping (melting down) about 250 deep frames and 210 med frames of comb.  Most of this comb was built out on those plastic foundations.

Question: Are plastic foundations designed to only be built out only once?  Are all these foundations now junk/scrap/waste?  Or can they be recoated or otherwise reused?

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Bill
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Robo
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« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2009, 03:52:59 PM »

Most plastic foundation can be reused with the exception being duragilt.
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dpence
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« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2009, 04:31:02 PM »

I have reused plasticell just fine.  I would advise you to re-coat it with beeswax. 

David
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MnBill
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« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2009, 04:46:14 PM »

I have reused plasticell just fine.  I would advise you to re-coat it with beeswax. 

David
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How do ou recoat it then?  Spray? Dip? 
And would you clean them all the way down, such as placing them in a solar melter?  Or just scrape with a hive tool?

Thanks
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dpence
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« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2009, 04:51:48 PM »

I dip it.  Some guys brush it on. 

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Robo
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« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2009, 06:15:41 PM »

such as placing them in a solar melter? 

DON'T put it in a solar melter,  trust me, I tired it with pierco frames once,  they came out looking like someone crumpled them up like newspaper.
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asprince
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« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2009, 06:53:31 PM »

I scrape them off and then if necessary I clean them with a wire brush on a drill. I then apply wax with a 3" foam trim roller.

Steve
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« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2009, 08:32:32 PM »

Robo:  Why not?  I do not use that product, but I am curious why it is different from other plaastic
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Brian
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« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2009, 08:43:35 PM »

duragilt has a smooth plastic core with no cell impressions.   That is why I don't recommend using it.  If you aren't careful with your timing, and the bees aren't in the mood to build comb and decide to chew off the wax,  they will never built comb on the plastic.
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Brian D. Bray
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« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2009, 11:55:55 PM »

Duragilt was the 1st plastic foundation put out by Dadant back in the early 60's.  It was cursed much more than championed because of the cell impressions were only on the wax not on the plastic core and once the bees ate the wax off the plastic you had frames with some of the wierdest designs on them.  The bees, used to pulling wax from one place and putting some where else as needed left the exposed plastic bare.  I'm surprized they still make the stuff, as there is better plastic foundation out there. 

IMO, any plastif foundation should have a coat of wax applied to it in addition to what comes on it.  The wax pressed on it is too thin and an extra coat can make the difference of whether or not the bees will use the foundation of not.  Let it air out for as long as possible before using also to get rid of that new plastic smell, that keeps the bees off the foundation.
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