At Maple Leaf Bee Farm there is no foundation, either wax or plastic, used in any of our hives. Why? Three reasons:
1. The wax supply in the United States is contaminated with pesticides (this includes chemicals in some mite treatments). There are numerous studies supporting this fact. This makes for a weaker, unhealthy bee, prone to numerous diseases. We let the bees build their own comb, using foundationless frames. This ensures pure, clean, natural beeswax, free from chemicals and other toxins.
2. Natural Comb. The bees are allowed to build what they need. They are not forced into a pattern of all worker cells, which is what happens when foundation is used. The use of our foundationless frames, will eventually lead to a smaller cell, which some believe aids the bees in the fight against varroa mites. However, the jury is still out on small cell, but we feel there is something to it.
3. Better queens and drones. Queens raised in a clean uncontaminated environment, will be healthier, lay more eggs, and live longer. Drones raised in the same clean environment will be better mates for queens. Yes drones are important! This also holds true for worker bees raised in the same clean and natural environment. Maple Leaf Bee Farm is one of the only places in the United States where you can purchase a queen bred on natural comb, and never placed in a queen bank.
See the Frequently Asked Questions section, for more information about foundationless/natural comb.