When we talk about beeswax foundations, it comes about an important part of the bee’s home. Тhe quality of beeswax foundations provides the bees with terms of quality and happy life and they will reward us with the abundance of their labor.
Here are a few really important properties of the foundations which we provide our bees:
There has often been debate about why bees have chosen the familiar hexagonal shape to build their homes. The humans need studies, a lot if researches and brightest minds to prove something bees seem to know intuitively. Whether by their “bee intelligence” or otherwise, the creation of hexagonal cells has many benefits. The most obvious one is that unlike many other shapes, the hexagon can be combined leaving no gaps and it’s the most efficient approach for creating comb with the least required volume of building material i.e. wax. This is important as the wax is a valuable resource to bees and takes a lot of time and energy of its collection and production. However, there is another very important benefit to the use of a hexagonal cell – this kind of shape is very strong, in relation to the weight the wax used. Honeycomb of just 100 grams can support weight of up to 4 kg.!
Our foundation patterns have a 5.35 mm. cell size, which encourages the production of worker bees. The cells that bees build on foundation are suitable even for honey storage. It gives you more honey, and makes work easier for bees in the hive. Foundations with 5.5 – 5.6 mm. cells are used to bias the production of drones.
Beeswax foundations are produced from highest quality pure natural 100% beeswax. All obtained wax material has been always checked for its purity.
Impure or contaminated with paraffin, pesticide and chemicals raw wax material is not accepted at all.
The wax color turns from yellow to brown and black that is caused by larvae excrement, pupae skins and from propolis rests. These changes are sources of infections. The honey stored in cells of such wax will also get contaminated. Old material contains less wax and more protein and will be more readily attacked by the wax moth.
Remnants of paraffin are inadmissible – the paraffin has a lower melting point than the wax and its presence on foundation reduces its strength.
That’s why each batch of beeswax passes through strict tests and a disinfection phase before it is being processed.
Traditionally, foundation has been made of beeswax, thus the common name – beeswax foundation. In recent years however, plastic foundation have seen enter the market. But if you must use foundations, is it not better to use wax foundations? Plastic is durable and versatile, but it is not the best material to use in beekeeping. Plastic is a synthetic material derived from petroleum and it is not friendly to the environment. The bees will accept foundations made from pure beeswax much more quickly than plastic and you will have much more productive and enjoyable bee’s season. Your bees find the sweet smell of beeswax foundation irresistible and quickly build thousands of beautiful, uniform cells on each side where they can store their food, raise brood, and collect honey for you.
Another benefit to the use wax sheets is bees’ communication – they serve as a communication net for the honey bee colony. One of the ways to communicate, lays at the feet of bees – walking on cells they can conduct vibrations that bees detect and respond to this across the hive. This is a reason to avoid the use of plastic foundation, which may not have the same qualities as those made of natural wax.
The mechanical properties of beeswax foundations are important for their use in the house of the bees.
In deciding whether to use foundations in your beehive frames or not, consider that foundations allow for easier hive inspections and adds superior strength and a solidness that is unrivaled. Imagine how disheartening it would be to pull a frame from your hive, and have the comb all fall out in chinks that hurt bees or queen. Would it not kill your beekeeping spirit?
Frames that use beeswax foundations give your bees a guide to build straight comb at the right location and orientation. Comb built on foundation is often stronger and more durable to high temperatures. Centrifuge extraction with a frame that has foundation installed on it is easier and has less damage to the comb than in foundationless frames. It keeps the frame intact and ready for use.
The use of beeswax foundations gives your bees a head start in building comb. Bees work hard to build comb, using resources that are not easy to find and collect. The idea here is that bees have a significant advance, in that they do not need to expand time and energy building a solid foundation instead of building the cells covering the foundation.
Beekeepers using beeswax foundations make life safer and happier for their bees and allow them to easily focus on the managing of their “sweet home”.