Monday, November 23, 2009
For beekeepers, one of the most important uses of beeswax is the manufacture of foundation for the bee hive. The foundation is the mid rib of the honey comb which is made of beeswax secreted by the two to three week old worker bees. When beekeepers purchase beeswax foundation, it contains traces of chemicals, mostly pesticides used to fight parasitic mites. At Peace Bee Farm, we save our own chemical-free beeswax cappings from the honey harvest to paint onto our plastic foundation as part of our integrated pest management program. Removing old comb and allowing the bees to replace it with freshly secreted beeswax removes chemicals and spores of honey bee diseases, such as American foulbrood, chalkbrood, and Nosema.