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Author Topic: Why do we use foundation?  (Read 4019 times)
tillie
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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2012, 09:03:01 AM »

Jennifer has talked to our bee club several times about this.  She tried to get "organic" wax from treatment free beekeepers and ended up using popsicle sticks or nothing because of the chemicals brought into the hive from the environment in hives that are handled with no treatment.

Linda T in Atlanta
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Ken
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2012, 09:08:25 AM »

Which means that all wax will eventually become contaminated. Foundationless does not remain chemical free. It only starts out that way.

From the article I posted above:

"We kept searching and finally headed south, all the
way to Brazil. Beekeepers in Brazil don’t treat with miticides
because of the Africanized bee population. They
emerge in 19 days which is too early for the foundress
mite’s progeny to complete development before the adult
bee emerges. Anyway, wax was collected and sent to
our lab. It was analyzed and, unfortunately, there were
so many other chemicals detected it wasn’t suitable for
our study."

So ultimately by choosing your pastures you may be able to help choose what chemicals get dragged into your hive.
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Walt Starr
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2012, 07:44:53 PM »

Jennifer has talked to our bee club several times about this.  She tried to get "organic" wax from treatment free beekeepers and ended up using popsicle sticks or nothing because of the chemicals brought into the hive from the environment in hives that are handled with no treatment.

Linda T in Atlanta

When you think about what any "wax" really is it makes a lot of sense. From jojoba "oil" to paraffin, any "wax" is simply a liquid that mimics some properties of solids but overall is a solvent. Since the beeswax is a solvent in a natural setting, it only makes sense that it would include just about anything from the environment visited by the bees.

Sadly, the environment has been so polluted with so many different chemicals, it is only natural that these pollutants would end up in the beeswax; yes, even the beeswax in hives of an organic beekeeper. Even food labeled organic will have some of these chemicals present. It's simply a fact that the polluted nature of our environment insures the pollutants are in everything.

It would take decades, even if all pollution stopped now, to significantly reduce the levels of these chemicals in the environment.

I think the real key, though, is that wax from an organic beekeeper won't have the miticides, antibiotics, and other treatment chemicals commonly found in commercial foundation. This means an organic beekeeper could make their own foundation without these chemicals if that beekeeper desired such for a specific purpose.

My thoughts are in terms of varroa control. Say you wanted drone foundation to have a frame of drone cells to remove and freeze in order to hopefully keep varroa levels down. You could purchase a small quantity of commercial drone foundation, then create a silicone based mold of that foundation, discarding the commercial wax after the mold has been created. Then you could make small quantities of drone foundation from your own beeswax so you could include a single frame in each of your hives for the purposes of varrroa control.

Just a thought from a neewbee.
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