comb storage question

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by d.magnitude, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I recently had to shake out a laying worker hive, and now I have a lot of comb to deal with. Some is capped honey, some is uncapped nectar and pollen, some larvae (drone presumably), and all potentially contaminated with wax moth eggs (though almost no visible larvae). I am cycling all comb through the freezer to take care of wax moths, but I assume I need to get the frames "cleaned dry" before storage till next year. Is this true? I can''t keep them all in the freezer.

    Should I just set them out and allow my hives to rob them clean (a safe distance away)? I'd rather put a box with frames to be cleaned on top of each active hive, and let them clean them out without initiating any robbing. But how do you keep the bees from moving up into the frames to be cleaned and making them a part of the "regular" hive? Do you put an inner cover or some other spacer between brood chambers and box-to-be-cleaned?

    Also, I'd like it if the bees took care of the (now dead) eggs and larvae left in the comb? Can I expect this if I just put the boxes of frames out to be robbed clean? Can I even expect this if I put the boxes back on a hive?

    Whatever method I use, after they're cleaned, I plan on refreezing the comb and sealing it tight over the winter.

    Thanks for any advice. I didn't expect to be worrying about stored comb my first year.
     
  2. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    if you have a hive with a nice honey cap then placing the boxes above the cap. this keeps the queen below and as needed the bees will clean up the frames. if you still have some warm weather ahead they should do this pretty quickly once the fall flow has ended. the bees will remove the larvae and eggs. and no I don't place anything between (hive-boxes to be clean) in this case.

    you could also set them out for the bees to clean up (most folks I know set them up on one end (frames sticking straight up in the air). I don't think the bees would be so inclined to remove the larvae or eggs (but I don't really know absolutely yea or nay).

    at your location once cold weather has arrived then where you store the boxes is about as important as how you store the frames. heated space (I am thinking most especially basements) are environments that can maintain some moth population all winter long.
     

  3. d.magnitude

    d.magnitude New Member

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    I'm leaning toward putting the boxes and frames on top of my strong hives to be cleaned. I'd like to avoid a robbing frenzy and keep everything civil in the beeyard. Also, I agree that they may be more likely to remove the dead brood that way.

    Another question: If if put them on top, should I scratch open the capped honey to encourage them to move it down? If I don't, and the only remove the "wet stuff", can I store the capped honey frames at ambient temperature over the winter (after refreezing and sealing)? I'm not particularly interested in feeding these colonies, as they have 10+ frames of honey in their two deeps.

    -Dan
     
  4. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    I also like to stack 'the wets' on top of hives for exactly the reason you stated.

    scratching capping doesn't hurt anything and makes the clean up quicker. the more stuff you leave in the frames the greater the attraction to other stuff you don't want. with scratching I suspect after 2 days there will be little left anyway.