Wax moth recovery question ?

Discussion in 'Pests and Diseases' started by CrogWelly, May 10, 2020.

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  1. CrogWelly

    CrogWelly New Member

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    I recently returned to beekeeping after a three year hiatus due to job location.

    A lot of my old frame stock has been contaminated with wax moths. My bad. Lesson learned

    But is plastic foundation recoverable? IE frames that had comb on them that has been contaminated with wax moth lavae, webs and trails? Can that be washed off and the frames re-used?

    Thanks beeks....
     
  2. CrogWelly

    CrogWelly New Member

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    Hey Crog thanks for posting. Listen man you can totally use those frames again. Just brush off or wash off the bad stuff. Soaking in detergent for a few days heps. Then can pressure wash or scrub them clean.
     

  3. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I'm guessing that no one was home when you posted. Just brush off the bad stuff, or dunk in dish soap water, rinse and let dry. The bees will finish the tidying up
     
  4. CrogWelly

    CrogWelly New Member

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    Thanks Gypsi. Good to know.
     
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  5. bamabww

    bamabww Active Member

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    A couple of years after I started keeping bees one of my hives made it through the winter but was weak. Still a newbie, I thought with spring bursting out they would be building up quickly. For some reason they didn't. The wax moths moved in and the colony was lost. I asked about reusing the comb and the consensus opinion then was to brush it off and put it in a freezer for a few days to kill the larvae etc left behind by the wax moths. I know the value of drawn comb so was glad to do that to save the comb.

    I reused the comb about a month later for a swarm I caught. I keep a journal and make notes on what I do in or for a particular colony (early on I was a lot more diligent at this than now). I inspected the hive a couple of weeks later. The swarm colony had cleaned up part of the wax moths mess but avoided part of it as well. They were reusing the cleaned part for storage but skipped large sections of the comb, all where the moths had tunneled.

    The queen had a nice pattern of laying going on and the hive was building or so I though. A month later, mid June, the colony was gone and wax moths had taken back over. Experience has taught me wax moths don't come along until the colony is already weak from some other reason. I'm not sure what happened.

    As I tried to salvage the comb, it was obvious the bees had dodged the worst areas of the previous wax moths destruction. I used my hive tool and scraped off the areas where the wax moth damage was still visible but left the part they had not damaged, stored it in the freezer and reused it the next season for the first swarm I caught. This time the bees filled in / repaired the missing comb that I had scraped off using my hive tool.

    I said all that to say this, my bees don't like to use comb where wax moths have been. I always recommend scraping the damaged comb off now and the freeze the comb that's left for later use. Each situation is different but that's my experience in north Alabama.

    Good luck and hello everybody. It's been awhile.
     
    Last edited: Jul 28, 2020 at 3:09 PM
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  6. Gypsi

    Gypsi Super Moderator Staff Member

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