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Author Topic: Cleaning used plastic foundation  (Read 1115 times)
theriverhawk
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« on: June 05, 2009, 05:17:01 PM »

Hey gang,
I've got some racks with plastic foundation that the wax has really turned dark and hard.  I've scraped them off.  Any tips on cleaning the sheets?  I do plan on re-covering them with a layer of clean beeswax.  THanks for the help and tips.
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jimmy
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« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 09:20:12 PM »

I have heard a 50/50 mixiure of bleach/water with a good dry out period is ok .Others on here will have an opinion also .
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 09:24:14 PM »

How old are they?  All brood comb turns dark.  Wax moths do a good job of cleaning them right down to the plastic. Smiley
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
theriverhawk
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« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2009, 08:43:40 AM »

They are probably 4 years old.  It did come from a brood chamber.  It also has turned really hard.  The Q had gotten to where she didn't like to lay in it.  Pulled it out and she began laying like a champ in the new rack. 
So, how do I expose this and other plastic foundation to wax moths if I'm trying to keep hives and storage areas clear of them?
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2009, 09:48:47 AM »

>They are probably 4 years old.

I've had them that were 30 years old...

>  It did come from a brood chamber.  It also has turned really hard. 

And that is a bad thing?

>The Q had gotten to where she didn't like to lay in it.  Pulled it out and she began laying like a champ in the new rack.

OK.  Just scrape it down and give it back.

>So, how do I expose this and other plastic foundation to wax moths if I'm trying to keep hives and storage areas clear of them?

Wink  there's a dilemma.  Reality is they are all getting exposed to them.  But I'd settle for just scraping them off if that's what you want to do or dip them briefly in boiling water to get the comb to fall off (don't heat too much or the plastic will warp).
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
theriverhawk
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« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2009, 10:25:24 AM »

Thanks for your input Michael.  I've always heard that every 4-5 years, it's a good thing to switch out foundation/racks because the wax gets hard and the Q prefers to lay in fresher wax.  This is the first time in a while I had noticed it.  While I have switched out some over time, I never switch it all at the same time.  Just a rack or two here and there.  It's always been easy with wax foundation...just cut, clean grooves and replace.  This is the first time to do this with the plastic foundation.  I'm thinking this may be a good excuse to get a new turkey fryer pot and use the old pot for the plastic foundation.  A win-win situation!  I get a new pot, this time with a pour spout and the bees get some good clean foundation!
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