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Thread: Frame age

  1. #1
    A Devries Guest

    Post

    I'm wondering how long you are to use the same set of broodframes? How do you know it is time to replace them ?
    Albert

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    I never replace them until they break. And then I often repair them instead. You can renail them if they come apart. You can replace parts that have broken with the same part and you can fix broken ends on the top bar with metal repair parts that are made for that. I have frames that are 30 years old.


  3. #3
    A Devries Guest

    Question

    I was specifically wondering about the wax in the frame. Some of the foundation I have is very old. Do I cut out the old stuff and replace it with new?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    As long as less than 10% of it is drone and it's not full of wax moths or anything, I just keep using it. Some people cull it just because it's old, but it get's stronger as it gets full of cocoons and the cells get smaller, which for mites and other things is a good thing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,593

    Post

    I guess I didn't say, but when the comb is full of wax moths, or too much drone comb, yes, I would cut out the old comb, clean the grooves with a frame cleaner (available from various bee supplies but I know Walter T. Kelly has them) and replace the foundation.

  6. #6
    A Devries Guest

    Post

    Michael thanks for the replies. I'm sure to have more questions in the near future.
    Albert

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Location
    Neodesha, Ks
    Posts
    623

    Post

    I have a friend here in S.E. Ks. that has used a large cast Iron kettle with lye solution to disenfect and get rid of old wax. He just builds a fire under the kettle outside and goes on about his business. He washs them off with water and leaves them out to dry.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Location
    Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany
    Posts
    831

    Post

    My oldest brood frames are not older then 5 years. I hold the frame against the sun and if I can’t see the shadow from my hand I replaces I put the frame in a solar melter. It’s because of the hygiene in the colony, in nature bees swarming and the swarm builds new brood combs. I build a mould from silicon long ago and make the foundations from my own wax.

    1. When I eat my honey I know the honey is clean and without contamination. After all the year with chemicals against the Varroa the old combs are contaminated with leftovers.
    2. Would you like to live in your house without cleaning for 30 years?
    3. Would you by food from a farmer when you know the guy is dirty like a pig?

    I know many beekeepers are penny pinching and saving money on the wrong end and some never learned to be clean.
    A friend of my is a commercial beekeeper selling round 20 metric tons to Saudi Arabia each year. His customers coming to see some of the colonies where the Honey comes from. If he would have old scrap in his hives it would be a disaster for him and his business.
    The argument with clean bees and propolis would not help him.

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