Two questions for the experts

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p51d
Guard bee
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Joined: Tue Aug 22, 2006 7:01 pm
Location: Pleasant Garden, NC

Two questions for the experts

Post by p51d » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:13 am

Frames - so I have a number of frames with waxmoth sacks all over them. Can a beekeeper remove these, spray them with clorox and re-use these or add them to the burn pile? The only solace for me was I left them outside to freeze in the winter.

Wax - after a number of years, it turns black and brown from use. Can it still be melted down and will the impurities skim to the top? With good bees wax below. Or throw them on the burn pile.

I had a bad winter. My hives - 4 losses - 2 still alive but not really active to much yet. I doubt I am alone.

Thanks for the help.

Jacobs
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Joined: Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:36 pm
Location: Greensboro, NC

Re: Two questions for the experts

Post by Jacobs » Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:31 am

Lots of us have had bad winters. A number of folks I have talked to have lost all of their bees.

Frames with wax moth damage--you do not need to burn or clorox them. If the wood has not been damaged to the point of being too weak to use, if the number of cocoons is not too bad, you can freeze the frames for about 4 days to make sure everything is dead. A strong hive can clean up some wax moth infestation and repair comb when they have plenty of nectar or sugar water. If the comb is too much of a mess, you can remove the old comb and replace it with new foundation.

Dark comb--I am taking advantage of my winter losses to cycle out old brood comb. Most that is totally black and has been used for brood for several years has very little wax. You can try putting that old comb in a solar wax melter when weather is better for it (sunny & hot) and see what wax you can salvage. I have a large pot that I put dark comb from about 8 medium frames in just yesterday. I put in plenty of water and heated the mess until the comb broke apart and pupa casings began to separate. I have another large pot that I put a small amount of hot water in. I used screen over the top of this pot and poured the hot liquid mess from the original pot into the second one. This screened out the bulk of the pupa casings and junk. When the liquid cooled, the wax was on top, and propolis and pollen was underneath it. The rough wax product that still needs several steps of clean up came to 2 ounces--not really worth the effort for the boil/strain/cool clean up method.

I hope other "experts" will chime in.

hamptor
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Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2017 4:47 pm

Re: Two questions for the experts

Post by hamptor » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:20 am

Rob, in regard to freezing the frames to kill unwanted pests... I've always done this, but this year we had that week that the temperatures didn't get above freezing for 8 days. I was wondering if that wouldn't kill whatever pest eggs were still present?

Jacobs
Guard bee
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Re: Two questions for the experts

Post by Jacobs » Wed Feb 28, 2018 11:49 am

With warming temperatures, I worry about any unprotected comb at this point. It doesn't take long for wax moth to do major damage. Even if you have frozen your comb in the past, if it is out of the freezer and it gets warm enough for wax moth to lay eggs and have the larvae emerge, you can lose your comb. Wally has suggested putting supers of frames in heavy garbage bags, taping the openings, and freezing the whole unit. After freezing for 4 days, you can take the whole unit out and store it until ready to use. I would still look at the bag frequently to make sure that nothing has made an opening that could admit wax moths. Because of the amount of comb I have this season, I can't store it all in freezers, so I am using paramoth (NOT regular moth balls) on a stack of supers with frames for the first time.

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