Winds are blowing 60 kilometres an hour, snow is blocking the view of the bay and instead of snuggling in by the fireside with a good book, we are as busy as bees making our own wax foundations for the beehives for this Spring. The idea of the existence of winter is now an illusion. Our days are full of new ideas for the bees for this coming season, and Bello Uccello’s special designed six top- bar- hives are in full- production in the woodworking shop. Squeezed in the middle of all of this, Klaus has managed to use up all of the clean, uncontaminated cappings wax which we have saved for five years, to make a pile of wonderful smelling,deliciously golden coloured, pure organic wax foundations for the beehives.
WAX FOUNDATION PRESS – making organic, clean small cell foundation from your own wax
PICTURE OF HOMEMADE SMALL CELL FOUNDATION FROM CAPPINGS WAX
Why Make Your Own Wax Foundation for your Hives from your own Clean Cappings Wax?
All the commercially sold wax foundations are contaminated with insecticides, mitecides, antibiotics, neonicotinoids, herbicides, pesticides and all the other poisons which cover our rural countryside where the bees and other pollinating insects try to survive. Some of these toxic mixtures are brought back to the hives on the bees themselves and
others are deliberately placed inside of the hives to kill mites etc. So even if you are doing organic beekeeping; if you are using commercial- wax- foundation, the honeybees have a stressed condition in their hives from the get-go. Going foundationless is the ideal way to proceed; however it does have its drawbacks, such as the honeybees do not always draw out the right comb size, and they sometimes make far too much drone- cell- size comb which is counter-productive for the
welling-beingness of the hive and for the beginning keeper of bees, all of this can make for a difficult situation .
We decided the beginner keeper of bees could use a helping hand in bringing their organic hives back to their “natural size” with the following strategy;
1. By making your own Foundation Press with a reduced- cell -size of 5.0 you will be making the first step in the regression
of the bee size in the hive. At the same time the question of proactive, non-chemical reduction of the mite problem is being
addressed. Mites prefer the larger drone- cell- size to complete their life cycle and the small- cell- foundation seems to not provide the mites with a ripe situation for their reproduction. This intermediate- size- cell will also help the honeybees eventually get back to their original pre-commercial size of 4.9 or smaller; rather than the commercial- commodification- sized cell of 5.4. This larger sized bee drama has the same story as the supersized cow udders and every other agribusiness commodifcation supersized strategy which distorts Life and Nature for its own greedy ends.
2. And the other advantage, besides the obvious uncontaminated wax environment within the hive, is that one kilo of wax equals 7 to 9 kilo of honey and bees which already have the organic-foundation-wax provided for them, can put their energies into building up the hive and providing more honey for this thriving- hive-condition. (This has definitely been what we have experienced here at Bello Uccello – more bees, who eat lots of their own honey and less excess honey to share for selling. You can see why this thriving condition may not be appealing to anyone in the commodification business of the honey bee:-} )
FOUNDATION PRESS MADE HERE AT BELLO UCCELLO FROM RECYCLED MATERIALS with FOOD GRADE SILICONE RUBBER
Voila!!!!! a wonderful wax sheet ready for easy removal from the press and put into a frame
Method to Regress the Bee Size with your own Foundation Press:
Step 1 is to place in the super your new small cell foundation and this is done to encourage the bees to draw this new -small- cell foundation into combs.
Step 2 is that once the bees have successfully drawn two adjacent small cell combs,that have been capped; then you can place between those two- capped -bee frames, made with your new foundation, a foundationless frame. Repeat this pattern until your whole hive is made by the honeybees. This works the best when you do it during the main honey flow. If you carry this plan forward in your apiary; eventually you will have a beehive which draws its own small cell foundation and you will have hives which are