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Author Topic: Making starter strips out of paraffin?  (Read 3332 times)
bayareaartist
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« on: June 16, 2005, 08:35:19 PM »

Making starter strips out of paraffin?

Ok, I am new here and I don’t have any beeswax yet, unless someone wants to send me some that is.
I was thinking, I have to build some new frames and I want to go with starter strips.
But with no beeswax around I thought, why not take paraffin and melt it and add some vegetable oil to soften it and make it less brittle and then cast sheets of this to make the starter strips.
I know what I am going to hear but instead of debating the issue of why it’s wrong can I have ideas of whether it might be a good idea that it might work?

Thank you.
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Donn
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« Reply #1 on: June 16, 2005, 08:46:52 PM »

I have no idea if they would work a petroleum based product like parafin.  However, being in the bay area, I would think you are overnight mail from several major bee supply houses.  I'm pretty sure Dadant has outlets in Chico, Modesto or Fresno, and probably a mess of smaller stores around.  If you need beeswax, why not go to a candle store??  I'm sure most of them have bricks of it for sale.
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #2 on: June 16, 2005, 09:10:39 PM »

I know I can order beeswax, I think if I am going to go to the trouble of orderinbg beeswax I will opt for the foundation and call it a day.
But what I am talking about is canning wax, the kind you put on the top of jams.
Wax the food industry uses in the production of food.
The kind of wax we can eat.

I have seen pictures of bees making thier homes in a lot of wierd places, I saw one photo of bees that had made thier home in an old car gas tank.

It's about the idea "can it work"
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Donn
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« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2005, 09:29:02 PM »

ohhhh... parafin.... the distilate used to lubricate the bolt rope on my sailboat.. the material I rub on my bow string,    that stuff.
According to Root in the ABC and XYZ of beekeeping, parafin will not stand the temperatures that are routinely reached inside the hive.  It will melt, warp, collapse, etc.  He calls it a poor economy.  He claims they will work it, but will cost you down the line..  Having passed that on, I did not read the entire chapter to see if he mentioned using it only as starter strips.  However, if the starter strip is not sound, I would think the problem is obvious.
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2005, 09:32:40 PM »

now that reply rocks

thank you
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Donn
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« Reply #5 on: June 16, 2005, 09:40:01 PM »

Alot of my posts get expanded on, restated.  I guess I don't go into enough detail, mention my bonefides, site my reference material.  I'll have to consider that before I attempt to nudge in the right direction.  bahahahahahah
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Jerrymac
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« Reply #6 on: June 16, 2005, 10:44:09 PM »

Here is what you do. You gorrila glue some popsicle sticks in the grove where the wax woould normally go. You can get bundles of these at a hobby store. While you are there go to the candle making section and pick up some beewax. You rub or melt this along the edge of the popsicle stick and you got a starter strip.

Or you can just put a beed of the wax along the top bar where you want the combs to start. They will build from there
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« Reply #7 on: June 17, 2005, 03:43:28 AM »

And I've made the wooden starter strips (not popsicle sticks, but just strips of wood), and used no wax on it. They still used it. Smiley

Beth
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Finsky
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« Reply #8 on: June 17, 2005, 05:05:44 AM »

During years paraffin have mixed to foundations. I remember that kind of 30 years ago. Was it in Australia? They sold such foundations.

Bees instincts got all mixed up and the drawn upp cell size was not normal.

Beekeeping will not succeed if you cannot use money or you do not have time to make things as they should be. To learn beekeeping is difficult enough and takes many year to learn it.

Sorry. In this forum that "to use own brain" against experience is more than usual  Tongue
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2005, 09:46:34 AM »

Thanks for the comments.
I am a potter and I have been doing it going on 20 years now

http://www.geocities.com/clayincal/pottery_Donn_Buchfinck.html

I have found to question things and ask if there is a different way to solve problems, I will be buying beeswax today; the candle making idea was a good one.

The Popsicle stick idea is cool too, but the question for this is is the stick going horizontal in the grove or vertical?

And Finski, I am confused by the comment Sorry.
"In this forum that "to use own brain" against experience is more than usual"

Are you saying people do not go with experience but try to think a new way to do things?
Or to use ones brain is unusual here on the board?

Thanks
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Donn
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« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2005, 09:54:49 AM »

The popsikle Or is it popcicle Or popsicle or cycle ..... Anyway...

You place it in there so it runs parralel with the top bar. Only about a quarter inch or so will be left sticking out. It would take about three I think to go the length of the top bar.

Not sticking downward.  Did I get it clear or just confused you more? My brain is fuzzy this morning.
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« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2005, 10:31:17 AM »

Quote from: bayareaartist

Are you saying people do not go with experience but try to think a new way to do things?

Or to use ones brain is unusual here on the board?


I mean that people like try "new things" , but they do not know that  thousands of beekeepers have tried same things and have seen that it doest not work. Often those beginners  say to be that "you old fool, you just try to prevent new ideas". I have heard this tens of times this year.

Every of us use brains but with dirrenrent results and some has good luck Tongue
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #12 on: June 17, 2005, 12:16:01 PM »

I want to be really clear about what I am about to say here.
I know I did not say or imply
"you old fool, you just try to prevent new ideas".

I make pottery, going on 20 years, and even though it sounds corny I am considered a Master Potter, trust me, people have been making pottery long before they were keeping bees,  Or even thought they could keep bees.
I deal with processes and techniques that go back thousands of years. Back when people first got fire under their control they lined baskets with clay they got too close to the fire burned the basket leaving the fired clay there.
I can see it now, some old fool saying, that clay will never replace a good basket, I learned to make baskets from my grandfather.

But I do question the methods used, Obviously something is amiss, the mites and other problems, just think of the people who say small cell works, where did that come from? That letting the bees draw their own comb is better for the bees. It doesn't fit in with industry, what will happen to those companies that produce foundation.
Someone has questioned some "old fools and their ideas"

I’ve made all my own equipment at this time, I did it to prove I could do it and to understand why it is made the way it is. And I see where I have made mistakes and why a lot of stuff is produced they way it is.

I have plastic frames I have bought but I have read the bees don’t like it, so I cut the plastic out so the bees can fill the frames themselves.
I question how and why things are done the way they are.
But I want to be clear also, I listen to what experienced beekeepers have to say, I would like to see photos of what you do finsky, and hear more about what you do, and people especially Michael Bush I have read and taken to heart.

I know this sounds defensive but my real concern is the education of people not the squashing of an idea, I have found in my teaching that the only stupid question is the unasked one. As I said up above in my original question I am not interested in debating whether it is right or wrong but the concept of does it work? Has it worked? Why doesn’t it work? And that has been answered, but to imply I have said something along the lines of “you old fool, you just try to prevent new ideas" is not respectful to the person who is asking the question.
Thank you.
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Donn
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« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2005, 12:16:07 PM »

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Donn
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« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2005, 01:05:33 PM »

The parafin for foundation has been done.  The old ABC XYZ of Beeculture editions go into a lot of depth about why it doesn't work.  I can't say I remember all of the reasons it wouldn't work, but among the resonts that it's a bad idea is that beeswax is a commodity and it, like our honey, needs to be pure.

Foundationless beekeeping, was, of course, the only method until foundation was invented.  The beveled top bars were invented by (or at least patented by) L.L. Langstroth.  This is not a new idea.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/BeveledTopBar.JPG

Attaching comb to one central frame and spacing the frames correctly (1 1/4") was Huber's method.

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/Huber.1.jpg

Top bar hives have been around since ancient Greek times and are still in use in much of the world.

These are not new ideas, but time proven ideas.
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« Reply #15 on: June 18, 2005, 09:29:28 AM »

Donn, I don't believe Finsky was intentionally trying to insult you. I believe he has good intentions, but things seem a little fuzzy sometimes when English is not your first language. I check this site frequently & everyone here trys to help each other. We are just a bunch of friendly beekeepers, trying to do what's right for our bees.
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #16 on: June 18, 2005, 08:30:04 PM »

I understand that there is a language barrier, but I have read some interesting heated conversations.
I do not think he was insulting me,
it was more that it sounded like he said I was insulting, but I could have gone overboard.

For a begginer what I am looking for is answers not just go and buy some beeswax. That does not explain why using parafin is not the best idea. And finski gave a good reason too.
I need the help in this thing I have taken on.
But what I was trying to say is please do not thing I think wisdom is looked down upon by me.
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Donn
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« Reply #17 on: June 19, 2005, 04:00:08 PM »

Sorry Donn!. Sometimes /Quite often I like to use harsh language.
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bayareaartist
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« Reply #18 on: June 19, 2005, 04:56:42 PM »

Hey, I went out and bought a block of beeswax.

thanks for the replies.
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Donn
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