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Reviving Wax Foundation

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Haughton Honey 

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I bought some deep and shallow foundation for use this season a couple of months back and some of it has become rather dry and semi-bleached (partially my fault as I left it in the garage and the sun got to it a little bit!).

Is there any way that I can 'revitalise' the foundation or should I be throwing it out and buying in new, fresher stuff?

Am I right in thinking that the best place to store it is in an airtight container....and can anyone advise as to the usual shelf-life?

Thanks in advance.
 

SteveH 

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You could try gently heating each sheet with a hair dryer. Just be careful you don't melt it. :rolleyes: I use this method to remove the wax bloom off of old foundation (even worked OK for some foundation I was given that was several years old!).

Whatever you do, don't throw it away - if it is way past its best and cannot be given to the bees, just melt it down into blocks. You can then sell it back to your usual foundation supplier or they may exchange it for fresh foundation.

As to storing it, I usually leave it in the poly bag it was supplied in and the whole lot is stored in a cardboard box in the garage.

Steve
 

match 

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You can do several things to get the bees to still want to use it:

Warm it gently - this removes some of the bloom and releases more of the oils in the wax that attract the bees.

Store it in a box with fresh frames in a warm place for a week - the smell of the fresh frames will 'rub off' onto the older ones.

Fill a mister bottle with sugar syrup, and mist this all over the surface just before putting it into a hive. The bees will climb all over it eating the sugar syrup, and this will encourage them to start using it.

Of course, with old frames, its always best to mix them in one by one besides fresh or drawn ones - putting a whole super on with undrawn old foundation will mean the bees will take an age to start using it.
 

seaknight 

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I realise this is an old thread, what is the shelf life of wax foundation when bought from suppliers?

Should I buy it in bulk and always keep a few packs in the store cupboard, or only buy it as and when required, for use immediately?
I want to increase the number of hives over the next year and don't want to waste money on carriage charges unnecessarily. Thanks.
 

YorkshireBees 

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When stored correctly, years!

At least that is my experience.
 

oliver90owner 

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As YB.

Think here. How long was it around before it was processed into the shape of foundation? Answer - possibly years as blackened brood frame or in shallows for honey collection. And the original wax in a lot of that? Possibly years as blackened brood frames or.... And the wax in that?

Think about those candles and ornaments made of wax - how long have they been around? Are they still serviceable? (Note - candles, particularly, are likely to be tallow, not beeswax)

Think about you foundation now. If it is stored carefully, how long do you think it might last?
 

seaknight 

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Good food for thought there, I'll place a single bulk order then to save on postage! Thanks everyone!

As YB.

Think here. How long was it around before it was processed into the shape of foundation? Answer - possibly years as blackened brood frame or in shallows for honey collection. And the original wax in a lot of that? Possibly years as blackened brood frames or.... And the wax in that?

Think about those candles and ornaments made of wax - how long have they been around? Are they still serviceable? (Note - candles, particularly, are likely to be tallow, not beeswax)

Think about you foundation now. If it is stored carefully, how long do you think it might last?
 

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