Had a weak colony in a remote place that I didn't check frequently enough. Wax moths now the sole inhabitants -- ugh, what a mess. What a sad discovery!
I assume the next step here is to burn the messed up frames and foundations. Or is that wrong? Could I cut out all the foundations and still recycle the frames next year or am I just asking for more trouble in the future?
Can the hive bodies themselves be salvaged? How about the bottom board and inner cover? I don't have a sulphur set-up. Another local beekeeper told me he just takes a plumbers propane torch and runs it over the surfaces of the deeps and covers.
I feel like Rosanna Rosannadanna on the TV show Saturday Night Live years ago: "Â… If it's not one thing, it's another."
>I assume the next step here is to burn the messed up frames and foundations. Or is that wrong? Could I cut out all the foundations and still recycle the frames next year or am I just asking for more trouble in the future?
Assuming the hive just got weak or queenless and that's why it died, then there is nothing wrong with the eqiupment. Cut out the foundation. There is nothing wrong with the frames. The are not infected, just infested. Remove the moths and the foundation (assuming it's wax foundation) and reuse the frames. If you have plastic foundation, then scrape off the mess and reuse the foundation.
>Can the hive bodies themselves be salvaged?
Of course. Just scrape any webs and cocoons out and use them.
>How about the bottom board and inner cover?
>I don't have a sulphur set-up. Another local beekeeper told me he just takes a plumbers propane torch and runs it over the surfaces of the deeps and covers.
That is for AFB. You don't have AFB, do you?. You have a colonly that died and the wax moths ate everything.
If you think the colony died from AFB, which I would not assume without some evidence, then you'll have to decide what you want to do. Some people would burn the whole thing. Some would just clean out the frames and use them. Some would burn the frames. You also have to take into account your state laws.
Boy, do I have experience with wax moths! If you cut out the comb and scrape everything clean--horrible job--and then put it in the freezer for at least 24 hours, that'll take care of all the eggs, larva & wax moths and you can reuse the woodenware. I've even salvaged some comb that was in the honey supers and pretty much untouched by the wax worms since they're interested in brood rather than honey. Of course, I froze it for 24 hrs as well.
Winter is coming. It will freeze anyway before you need the equipment. It does freeze in WV in the winter doesn't it?
Sometimes the worms can cause structural weakness in the frame if they have destroyed to much of the wood, but that would be obvious. My favorite part of cleaning wax moth mess is when they pop and squirt you in the eye.... and the smell. The joys of beekeeping . I am told pressure washers work well for cleaning the mess.
Relative to your question does it freeze in West Virginia, even though Harpers Ferry is just 60 miles up the Potomac River as the crow flies from all that hot air originating in downtown DC, we still have the same average date of first frost as your part of Nebraska: "by October 15." Winter hangs on longer out your way, as
Weather.com's map shows our last frost as "by April 15" and yours as "by May 1." Maybe more politicos stay in town in the spring, as they aren't in their home districts on the campaign trail.
Appreciate all the "good" news about a bad situation. I will be cutting out the foundations, and salvaging the frames.
Could I salvage wax that isn't goo'ed up? There are several frames where there isn't any moth presence on one whole side. I was thinking I could scrap all that off to melt it for candles, furniture polish, and such --- not for making future foundations. I am assuming that freezing the wax would kill any eggs. Are the wax moth eggs big enough to be seen?
Yeah, although my Florida-born wife wishes it weren't so, West Virginia has more than its fair share of freezing nights. And that's not that far off.
Salvage the woodenware. You do not have to freeze it.
I wouldn't bother to try to freeze it. You can leave whatever isn't full of webs and the bees will use it. If it has webs in it, then I'd remove it.
I assume that this is plastic foudnation? You're talking about removing it from one side? If it's embossed plastic it will work, yet. If it's DuracComb or DuraGilt, it will not work to remove it from one side. The bees will never rebuild it on the smooth plastic.