When I initially purchased my first hives I was unaware the plastic foundation included was UNwaxed. I didn’t realize there were differences in foundation. I was just so enamored with putting everything together for my bees arrival.
As my first year progressed I began to notice there were some frames with what I call wonky comb. I didn’t get too concerned because it seemed like the bees took care of it. Probably because they had no choice.
I have since learned not all foundation is made the same. Last year when making all the splits I was forced to use some of the bare plastic foundation. Then I noticed the bees either didn’t use it at all or when they had to the comb was awful and made removing the frames a chore.
Now I know to purchase waxed foundation. For the remaining unwaxed foundation I have had to collect the burr comb scraped off the top bar of the frames and melt it down. Then the melted waxed after it has been slightly filtered is brushed or rolled onto the plastic foundation.
Waxed foundation helps increases the bees acceptance and they can also take advantage of the extra wax. But the absolute best is foundation with already drawn comb!