Quantcast

Foundation supplier

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

Apple 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
1,210
Reaction score
508
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
I asked the same question to !eeeziepets...|??? near Exeter (BOW) a couple of years ago... got much the same reply!
As they would not accept returns we rolled it up into candles.... never had it checked but my suspicion was that it was contaminated with parraffin waxes.... was about the same time as the Dutch beekeepers were experiencing similar problems with foundation sourced from "reliable international suppliers"
 

Newbeeneil 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,493
Reaction score
382
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
Maybe the question to ask is "where does your supplier source its wax from?"
 

Into the lions den 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
153
Location
Various
Hive Type
smith
Number of Hives
>4000
I usually buy Thornes and have never had any problems with it.
I buy the premier grade (about £1.30 more per super than their standard grade) because it's UK/Irish/commonwealth wax. But presumably if UK beekeepers are trading in their Chinese wax, how are Thornes to know??
Short answer is they don't...and if it is the pure grade they have used it makes little difference.

Wax of all sorts of provenances are traded...one of the most common is NIgerian...which of course also is Commonwealth. Australian and NZ wax also often used.
Wax moth treatments can contaminate wax..which tends to be a phenomenon of more sophisticated sources...more primitive provenances tend to have less contaminants but also sometimes look utterly manky prior to processing (thats just because messy wax was mentioned later in the thread)

Some African wax smells really smoky...but the bees loive it.

Has some Spanish wax that smelled like old burning car tyres........again the bees loved it. We are a whole heap more fussy than they are.
 

ericbeaumont 

Field Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
954
Reaction score
380
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
No one has mentioned Thornes, any reason?
I have used Thorne in the past and it's fine; my only reservation (and this may be irrelevant when judging quality) is that colour can vary widely from pale beige to butter to milky coffee.

dirty beeswax, imported from outside the EU awaiting processing. On enquiring about it he was assured that once it had been filtered and processed you would not know the difference.
Beekeeping is a dirty business and that ought not to bother us, but the real problem is invisible: has it been cut with paraffin or other waxes, and is it contaminated excessively with chemical or antibiotic?

I say excessive because it's unreasonable to expect wax to be pure unless from Ethiopia or similar. National Bee Supplies stock Ethiopian wax for cut comb; assay revealed zero contaminants. I recall that it came from a rural part of Ethiopia, perhaps a nature reservation.
 

Into the lions den 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
153
Location
Various
Hive Type
smith
Number of Hives
>4000
One of my beekeeping friends visited a UK manufacturer. He was surprised to see huge pallets of dirty beeswax, imported from outside the EU awaiting processing. On enquiring about it he was assured that once it had been filtered and processed you would not know the difference. Every time I take him to the BeeTradex or other show he refuses to buy wax from this supplier. I am sure that what he saw was probably not as bad as he perceived it to be. I have pointed out that some of the wax traded at the shows looks pretty terrible but is processed to look pretty good when it is for sale.
Some of you may remember a few years ago a shortage of foundation. I could only buy 14x12 wax foundation from one supplier. It had a definite green tinge but the bees did not seem to mind. The raw material had apparently been sourced from Ethiopia. The bees forage on one particular plant the had green pollen. The good thing was there were probably no nasty contaminants in it.
Dont know when this was but Peter Kemble had a load that was olive green in colour and smelled awful. Have to confess the source was...me. We had store the cappings in steel drums for quite some time...they got water in..the inside of the drums started to rust and some kind of anaerobic decay began. The smell was not at all nice. However the wax was recovered ok and went off to Peter. The foundation made from it looked grim and did not smell good, but yet again the bees loved it just as well as wax we would have through perfect.

I had had a visit from a prominent south of England beekeeper just before the pallets of wax went away for processing....and a few weeks later his foundation order arrived......dull green in colour. He was amused and took pleasure in being able to tell Peter exactly where the wax had come from. There were no issues at all with it once the bees got it. Presuming the green colour had its origins in the rusting of the barrels as some iron compounds give things a green hue.

The bees dont need beautiful light yellow wax. Have seen everything from near white, to orange, to chocolate brown....and have known the source of it all.
 

hemo 

House Bee
Joined
Jun 2, 2009
Messages
496
Reaction score
229
Location
West Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
6-10
I try as much as poss to let bees draw out was from scratch or use a tiny starter strip. I tend to buy any unwired wax for starters via Abelo or Paynes.
 

Into the lions den 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
153
Location
Various
Hive Type
smith
Number of Hives
>4000
I asked the same question to !eeeziepets...|??? near Exeter (BOW) a couple of years ago... got much the same reply!
As they would not accept returns we rolled it up into candles.... never had it checked but my suspicion was that it was contaminated with parraffin waxes.... was about the same time as the Dutch beekeepers were experiencing similar problems with foundation sourced from "reliable international suppliers"
Problems with the foundation are unlikely to be down to being cut with paraffin wax....maybe down to some other aromatic contaminant that made the bees shy away from it.

Bees draw paraffin wax cut foundation perfectly well.....just needs to have enough beeswax in it to make the bees think it theirs.

My issue with it is the tonnage of heather cut comb we provide. Any comb at rewaxing time can possibly end up as cut comb. Would simply not be good enough to ask people to eat comb honey produced on foundation containing paraffin wax.
 

ericbeaumont 

Field Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
954
Reaction score
380
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
Would simply not be good enough to ask people to eat comb honey produced on foundation containing paraffin wax.
This is a real risk; cappings wax recycled into CC sheets would bypass the problem.

Same issue with the bee wrap producers: do they use cappings or the ordinary? I asked a small scale producer and she'd not heard of cappings or contaminants.
 
Joined
Sep 13, 2011
Messages
29
Reaction score
17
Location
Somerset
Hive Type
none
My wife uses my wax from my bees so we know where it comes from (and the foundation is my own moulding as well) so no issues.
 

mbc 

Queen Bee
Joined
Feb 16, 2010
Messages
5,918
Reaction score
269
Location
bestest wales
Hive Type
national
I have used Thorne in the past and it's fine; my only reservation (and this may be irrelevant when judging quality) is that colour can vary widely from pale beige to butter to milky coffee.


Beekeeping is a dirty business and that ought not to bother us, but the real problem is invisible: has it been cut with paraffin or other waxes, and is it contaminated excessively with chemical or antibiotic?

I say excessive because it's unreasonable to expect wax to be pure unless from Ethiopia or similar. National Bee Supplies stock Ethiopian wax for cut comb; assay revealed zero contaminants. I recall that it came from a rural part of Ethiopia, perhaps a nature reservation.
A near neighbour imports container loads of Rwandan beeswax from the rainforest beekeepers there, I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to source as unsullied wax anywhere in the developed world, even the diesel fumes from trucks are few and far between.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
24,798
Reaction score
2,093
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
more primitive provenances tend to have less contaminants but also sometimes look utterly manky prior to processing (thats just because messy wax was mentioned later in the thread)
Some African wax smells really smoky...but the bees loive it.
A near neighbour imports container loads of Rwandan beeswax from the rainforest beekeepers there, I wouldn't have thought it would be possible to source as unsullied wax anywhere in the developed world, even the diesel fumes from trucks are few and far between.
Some Small scal bee farmer beeswax prepared with the most rudimentary of kit in South Western Tanzania
P4040523.jpg
P4070980.jpg
P4070983.jpg
 

Into the lions den 

Queen Bee
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
2,354
Reaction score
153
Location
Various
Hive Type
smith
Number of Hives
>4000
This is a real risk; cappings wax recycled into CC sheets would bypass the problem.

Same issue with the bee wrap producers: do they use cappings or the ordinary? I asked a small scale producer and she'd not heard of cappings or contaminants.
All our foundation at this time is made by Thornes from our own wax. They do a good job at a very reasonable price...less than I could do it for even if I bought in a full all singing and dancing foundation plant.

So we know where it comes from. It is some years now since we had to put new wax into our wax pool.
 

Latest posts

Top