Beekeepers are faced with many choices about which beekeeping equipment to use. These decisions are best made with information and experience. One important decision is whether to practice the use of foundation in beekeeping. Let us look at what foundation is, its use in beekeeping and the best beehive foundation for sale. Beekeepers who choose not to use foundation in beekeeping do so to allow honeybees to build the comb how they want. Bees build differently sized cells for drones, worker bees, queen bee production and honey storage.
What is Foundation used for?
All beehives use frames on which bees draw comb. Langstroth beehives have rectangular frames, most of which feature foundation. Foundation is a layer that fits into the beehive frame. It is used to guide bees on where they will build comb and the size of the cells they will build. Foundation helps prevent the challenges that come with cross comb. By using foundation in your beehive frames, you guide the plane on which honeybees will draw comb and prevent cross comb.
Comparing Plastic and Wax Foundation
There are two materials used to make beehive frames. One is wood and the other is plastic. Wooden frames are mostly made using pine. It is a natural wood that bees like. Plastic frames are lighter than wooden frames. They also last long since they do not rot but may warp when exposed to high temperatures. Plastic frames that have foundation are molded in a single piece. Wooden frames often require you to add foundation. In this case, you may use either wax foundation or plastic foundation.
There are two general types of foundation available to beekeepers. One is wax foundation and the other is plastic foundation. These two general types may be given different names by manufacturers. The names given may indicate or refer to the cell sizes that the foundation will lead bees to build. With plastic foundation, names may indicate the type of plastic used in its manufacture or other features.
Wax foundation requires embedding to give it more strength. It is the traditional option and is natural for bees. Wax foundation is often used with wooden frames. It is not easy to use on plastic frames, but plastic frames molded with foundation require a layer of wax to make the plastic foundation acceptable to bees.
Plastic foundation used on beehive frames is easy to install and stronger than wax foundation. It needs coating with wax so that bees draw comb on it. You are able to use plastic foundation of different colors in the beehive. Black plastic foundation used in brood boxes enables you to see eggs easily. White plastic foundation in honey super boxes helps you see honey accumulation with ease.
Best Beehive Foundation for Sale
9. DSHINE Waxed Natural Foundation
The DSHINE Waxed Natural Foundation is pliable and easy to work with. This natural beeswax foundation comes in sheets measuring 41.5 x 19.5 centimeters. They are suitable for use on both brood and honey super box frames. The foundation comes in a pack of 30 foundation sheets weighing about 2 kg. These 30 sheets are enough for beekeepers starting a new beehive. The mid-sized pack is also great for beekeepers who only want a few sheets of foundation to replace damaged ones or to act as handy spares. This wax foundation is easy to store in your beekeeping equipment storage space. Starter cells on this wax foundation by DSHINE measure 4.75 mm.
This beeswax foundation is made using high quality refined beeswax. It is machine-shaped to exact dimensions. This gives the foundation sheets uniform thickness and cell sizes. The foundation is very flat and clean. DSHINE has made sure to use first class beeswax that is free of chemicals, pests and parasites of honeybees. Additionally, the foundation is free of micro-organisms that can affect your honeybees. It lasts long and can be used repeatedly in your beekeeping. The foundation sheets are colored light yellow. Make sure to wire your beehive frames and embed the wires into this foundation. Wiring the frames adds strength. Properly embedded foundation goes through extraction of honey without breaking apart.Check Price
8. Lautechco Beeswax Foundation
This foundation is made using pure beeswax. It is great for all sizes of beehive frames. It measures 41.5 x 19.5 cm. For medium and shallow frames, you need to cut the foundation to suitable sizes. Leftover foundation can then be used to make candles, cosmetics or fed to bees to reuse in other parts of the hive. The foundation sheets come in a pack of 30. These are a great quantity for beekeepers with many beehives. You may buy several packs to use in all your beehive boxes and to keep as spares. This high quality beehive frame foundation lasts long without breaking even when you carry out honey extraction. Bees take to this foundation quickly and draw comb over it without making cross-comb.
Working with these Lautechco beeswax foundation sheets requires you to know how to wire frames and embed the frame wires into foundation. This is especially important to add strength to honeycomb. The foundation takes in wire easily. Beekeepers are interested in nicely sized bees for maximum production. This wax foundation has its cells sized to give you optimum size of bees and honey cells. You get the best yields you can of adult bee sizes and honey per volume space using this wax foundation. It comes in a bee-friendly yellow color that allows you to see eggs, larvae and stored honey easily.Check Price
7. American Bee Supply Beeswax Medium Foundation
The American Bee Supply beeswax foundation is for use in medium and shallow boxes. It is made to fit medium frames and requires size reduction before use on shallow frames. This wax foundation comes in a pack of 10 sheets. You can also buy the foundation by weight in a pack of 12.5 lbs. American Bee Supply is a manufacturer of beekeeping supplies. The company has many high quality products for beekeepers so you are sure you are buying excellent foundation for your bees. This foundation undergoes condition verification at the company before it is packaged and shipped out. The foundation comes ready to use on your beehive frames. It is strong and fits onto beehive frames easily.
Beekeepers that prefer to embed their foundation with wires to add strength will also be happy working with this wax foundation by American Bee Company. The foundation is made to easily allow embedding wire through it without losing shape or flatness. This foundation directs bees to build nicely sized cells for big bees that are more productive. The foundation is infused with natural beehive smells so it is accepted by bees quickly. Within a few days of placing frames with this foundation in a beehive box, your honeybees will be drawing comb on the foundation. You can use this wax foundation whole or in strips to guide bees on where to build comb.Check Price
6. Harvest Lane Honey Wwpfd-101-5 Deep Brood Plastic Foundation
The Harvest Lane Honey deep plastic foundation comes in a pack of 5 for Langstroth beehives. It is made using food grade plastic to keep your honey safe ad free of contaminants. This plastic foundation comes coated with beeswax. You may also add a layer of beeswax coating if you so desire. The color of the plastic foundation varies through shades of yellow. It allows you to see the bee eggs and the larvae so you know your bees are doing well. The foundation is great for starting your bees with their comb-drawing activities. The coating of beeswax found ensures that bees take to the foundation quickly. This plastic foundation comes from Harvest Lane Honey which is known for many quality beekeeping supplies.
Beekeepers using this foundation are sure that they have good quality foundation that will serve their beekeeping needs well. It is long lasting and fits into deep brood box beehive frames well. The foundation is resistant to both the wax moth and hive beetle larvae. They cannot burrow through the plastic foundation. This helps slow down the spread of the pests through your beehive in the event of an infestation. Packaging the foundation sheets in a pack of 5 is great thought by Harvest lane Honey. The 5 sheets allow beekeepers to buy only the frames they need. Having 5 sheets per pack is also good for when you are buying spare foundation to replace those that may get damaged. The pack is not expensive either.Check Price
5. Acorn Bee Black Plastic Sheets Wax Coated Deep Foundation
This black foundation manufactured by Acorn Bee is wax-coated plastic foundation. The plastic used is food grade so your beehive products are safe for human consumption. Authentic high quality beeswax is used to coat this plastic foundation. It is sold in a pack of 10 sheets. This is an ideal number of foundation sheets for beekeepers setting up a beehive using 10-frame boxes. The 10 frames are also enough for 8-frame Langstroth beehive setups. This foundation is made and sold by Acorn Bee. The company is a reputable manufacturer of various beekeeping products. Beekeepers are sure they are getting great quality in the Acorn Bee black plastic sheets wax coated deep foundation. The foundation is made in the USA.
The Acorn Bee black plastic foundation is ideal for brood boxes in Langstroth beehives. It is 9-inches deep so it fits into deep beehive frames. The foundation snaps into place in the grooves of your beehive frames. It does not exert pressure that can force the frame bars apart. The foundation does not need you to wire frames. Its core is strong enough to withstand quick honey extraction without breaking. This is foundation that will last for years and give your bees a great starting point in building honeycomb. The foundation is resistant to the burrowing activities of wax moth and beehive beetles’ larvae. It helps curtail the spread of these pests of honeybees within your beehive.Check Price
4. Acorn Bee Black Plastic Beeswax Coated Medium Foundation
This Acorn Bee foundation is for use in medium beehive boxes. It comes in a black color and is made using plastic. The foundation is coated with beeswax to make bees draw comb on it with ease. This foundation is made by Acorn which is a reputable manufacturer of beekeeping products. The company has high quality standards so beekeepers are sure they are getting a great product. The foundation comes in a pack of 10 sheets. Each pack is suitable for a 10-frame Langstroth beehive box. It also works well with 8-frame boxes with 2 foundation sheets left over for use as spares. These foundation sheets last long even when they are not in use. They take up little space in your storage area and do not lose their shape.
This is great plastic foundation for beekeepers using medium beehive boxes. The foundation sheets come in a color that allows for easy identification of honeybee eggs, larvae and honey. Strong and durable food grade plastic is used to make the foundation. It easily fits into beehive frames and snaps into place without exerting pressure on the frames. This is foundation that will work for you for many years due to its strong inner core that withstands the forces you may subject it to during honey extraction. This foundation does not require you to wire your frames. It is ready to be used as soon as you open the package.Check Price
3. Pierco Inc. Double Waxed Deep Plastic Foundation
The Pierco Inc double waxed deep plastic foundation is coated with 2 layers of natural high grade beeswax sourced in the USA. This makes the foundation readily accepted by honeybees. They draw comb on the foundation soon after you put your foundation frames in the beehive. Beekeepers are assured that this is good quality foundation by Pierco Inc. The company is a famed manufacturer of beekeeping supplies with many years of experience and high quality standards. The Pierco Inc double waxed deep plastic foundation is colored black. It is great for deep brood boxes because it allows you to see honeybee eggs and brood easily. You can tell if your queen bee is present and laying eggs in the hive to keep your honeybee colony strong.
This deep box plastic foundation is strong and easy to use. It fits into Langstroth beehive frames easily. The foundation snaps into beehive frame grooves and remains in place. It can be subjected to honey extraction without breaking or coming off the beehive frames. The cells on the foundation are built in the large 5.2 mm size for increased production by large bees. Wax moth and hive beetle larvae cannot damage this plastic foundation since they cannot burrow through it. This plastic foundation comes in a pack of 10. Each pack is enough for a brood box. You also have the option of buying several packs to use in more than one box.Check Price
2. Mann Lake FN820 Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation
The Mann Lake FN820 Waxed Rite-Cell foundation is plastic foundation for use in medium beehive boxes. It is suitable for honey storage and harvesting. This foundation is made using strong plastic and features sharp edges that invite bees to draw comb on it. The foundation sheets are coated with natural beeswax that makes them easily accepted by your honeybees. Mann Lake sells the FN820 Rite-Cell plastic foundation sheets in a pack of 100. Each of the sheets measures 5 5/8-inches wide. These sheets slip easily into the grooves on the top bars of their respective beehive frames. Plastic foundation such as the Mann Lake FN820 Waxed Rite-Cell foundation is resistant to damage by wax moths and hive beetles.
The cell interior of these foundation sheets is textured. The sheets are available with or without beeswax coating. This gives a choice to beekeepers that prefer to use their own wax to coat plastic foundation sheets. The Mann Lake FN820 foundation sheets have highly defines cells with great cell depth. The core of the sheets is heavy which adds strength to the sheets and helps them stand up to extraction at high centrifugal forces. This plastic foundation comes in a natural cream-white color that is great for observing whether your honeybees have stored honey or not. The foundation is an affordable and comfortable way to keep your honeybees in comfort. It is easy on bees and a great choice for beekeepers too.Check Price
1. Mann Lake FN800 Waxed Rite-Cell Foundation
The Mann Lake FN800 Rite-Cell foundation is a plastic foundation for wooden beehive frames. It is made using plastic such that it requires no reinforcement. This foundation is made by Mann Lake which is a reliable manufacturer of beekeeping equipment. The foundation holds up well during extraction even when spun at high speeds. It comes with a coat of wax to make it readily accepted by your honeybees. This Rite-Cell foundation is easy to use on beehive frames. It slips easily into the groove on the top bars of your frames. The Mann Lake FN800 Waxed Rite-Cell foundation comes in a package of 100 pieces of plastic foundation sheets. Cells on this foundation measure 5.4 mm and will have your bees making similarly sized cells.
This plastic foundation is colored cream-white, which is a natural color for bees. Each sheet of the foundation is great for use in honey supers. It smells like beeswax and hangs straight down the frame. This allows you to easily work with frames even when honeybees have drawn comb over the foundation. The frames and honeybees in your apiary will be thankful for your use of this foundation. There are small bend-outs on the foundation sheets that allow bees to go through the frames. This foundation comes unassembled and without accompanying beehive frames. It is easy to store and use in already assembled Langstroth beehive frames.Check Price
Issues with Bees Eating Foundation
Beekeepers using foundation may find that the bees have started eating it. This leaves holes in wax foundation or gaps without wax coating on plastic foundation. Bees regularly move wax from one area of the beehive to another. This may be from brood boxes to honey supers, or from honey super boxes to brood boxes. In most cases, this happens where there is shortage of forage. You can prevent bees eating foundation wax by giving them old comb to remove wax from. You should also feed bees if you note they are eating wax on foundation to use it in another part of the beehive. It is wrong to assume that bees are eating foundation because they are bored or have nothing else to do.
A Final Word
Foundation in beekeeping helps beekeepers avoid problems with cross-comb. It also allows you to have bees of the size you want. With cross-comb, you have to check on the beehive every few days to cut out cross comb and make sure frames are not joined by the comb. The middle ground on whether to use foundation or not is the use of alternating frames; one with foundation and the other without. The frames with foundation keep bees building comb on a single straight plane. The best beehive foundation for sale help to reduce the time your bees spend drawing comb and for increased honey yields in your beekeeping.