BBKA Forum

British Beekeepers Association Official Forum 

  • Foundation

  • General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
General Q&A, Bee chat and only Bee chat please
 #9724  by MickBBKA
 05 Jan 2021, 01:15
Looking for a quality supplier.
Last year I had a nightmare with the stuff I bought. The wire was offset and the bees chewed through it on almost every frame. I had decided to replace a 100 brood frames and almost none of it was worth going into a second season after the bees destroyed it. I believe they did this because the wire was exposed. The supplier suggested that it could be lack of resources causing the bees to rob it out. But, I also make my own foundation and I had well over 90% success with my own foundation/comb, the bees drawing out lovely fully drawn frames with no huge diagonal gaps, I have some of my foundation that is well into its 3rd season which I will only replace because of its age. But I just can't make enough quantity for my needs. To be very fair with the supplier they replaced all of the order with their premier foundation after I complained but that was after the season was finished as far as comb building was concerned.

So can you folk recommend a supplier with good quality foundation that in your experience the bees just don't tear up.

TIA, Mick.
 #9725  by AdamD
 05 Jan 2021, 10:32
I tend to use the cheap foundation rather than premier stuff and it's been OK. Last year I had a few frames with foundation in that were chewed rather than drawn, although at the time there was not a lot of income so I didn't think that the foundation was in any way substandard.
I also noticed last year that Thornes didn't have any super foundation, after I had a couple of calls from local beekeepers enquiring if I had any spare.
There are ebay sellers of foundation now - I have no idea where some of it comes from or if it's any good but I have kept clear of it so far assuming that the established businesses would be in a better place to ensure quality and unadulterated supply (I've read that some Chinese wax is not just beeswax).
 #9726  by Steve 1972
 05 Jan 2021, 11:08
I have been using Abelo for the past few years with no issues..
 #9727  by Patrick
 05 Jan 2021, 12:24
In normal times I do the Thornes wax conversion when passing one of their shops and get the Premier wax foundation as default back. No issues to date with it and no reason I would struggle with standard either I suspect. After you offset the cash outgoings vs retail value of foundation, it is reasonable valuation for the bulk wax - much better than the straight swap route IMHO.

I had the wax stripped out of some large Commercial brood frames last year in one hive which had been split, which was followed by rebuilding comb but alongside the exposed wires. The unsupported combs also had brace comb to their neighbours and the whole thing tore, distorted and made an unholy mess when trying to remove frames. I had to take executive action and effectively did a Bailey comb change with a whole new box of combs. Very annoying, but I put down to too many foundation frames being added during a period of uncertain flow without feeding and quite possibly an unbalanced population of bees (so probably my fault). I tend to have less Commercial spare drawn brood comb as I double brood Nationals more often than the larger Commercials. I don't tend to overwinter dark bred in brood comb or dead outs unless I am pretty confident of the reason.

Its a good point about random suppliers Adam. Frankly, unless it was a known supplier just using that platform, wax is just too easy to adulterate and with what?
 #9728  by NigelP
 05 Jan 2021, 12:33
As far as I'm aware there are 2 major foundation makers in the UK. Thornes and Miasmore and they supply (in bulk) most of the other sellers.
Abelo get theirs from Maisemore and C.Wynne Jones get theirs from Thornes.
Plus there is the imported stuff from China....Simon The Beekeeper, I think, sells this.

Wax to be made into Foundation via Thornes is good cheap way, otherwise they are expensive.
Maisemore do a 25% discount for any order over £200.

I've used both and not had many problems, although like Mick and Patrick I had an unusual amount of holes chewed in undrawn super foundation last season
 #9731  by Alfred
 05 Jan 2021, 16:53
I've bought Maisemore and Thorne with the former being way better.
 #9733  by mikemadf
 05 Jan 2021, 18:13
I usually buy from Maisies as does our Association. Better than Thornes in my view.
Trying National Beekeeping this year.

Tried national brood from Amazon . the Pet something company - no issues.

Never had any issues of bees chewing comb except in times of bad weather.
 #9736  by Patrick
 06 Jan 2021, 01:01
Always interesting to know the manufacturers on things who also supply a range of their “competitors” Nigel. When you guys say you consider Maisemores foundation to be better, is there anything in particular you prefer? Having never bothered to look elsewhere, would be interested to try it.

I go fairly near Maisies on barbel trips to the Wye, so could as easily divert to them to drop off bulk wax onetime. Their conversion rates are unsurprisingly similar.

This of course presupposes I am ever allowed to go back up the M5..
 #9739  by Chrisbarlow
 06 Jan 2021, 12:08
I've had Thorne's basic foundation and maisemores before now. Maisemores is certainly thicker.

This last year , I bought simon the Beekeepers foundation enmass and was pleasantly surprised and will be buying more. He has an option for 110 sheets at £96 or there abouts

They were all ok in my view, my preference at the moment is simon or maisemores, followed by Thorne's basic.

I have tried Thorne's premium before now and found that comparable to maisemores. However it was a while ago and I thought it expensive.

If I bought maisemores now, I would either buy over £200 for the discount or wax swap
 #9741  by Alfred
 06 Jan 2021, 12:42
No mention yet of bamboo skewers,so Nigels blood pressure is still at normal level :D