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  1. #1
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Since it's that time of the year to start cleaning all of my frames and suppers. I'd like to know how some of you clean your hive parts.

    I read the artical in the ABJ on cleaning hive parts but was wondering if there is a better way, I'd like to keep to the biological side of beekeeping.

    Another question I have is about working wax, and what I can use in cleaning the work area and room that will not contaminate the wax for future use in the hive.

    Thanks

    Billy Bob

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    I'd like to hear the answers to this one. I've never found anything that is good at removing wax. At least nothing I want to be exposed to.

    I just scrape all the hive parts down and that's all I do with them.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Drums, PA, USA
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    So do I. Scraping is all you really need as far as I know. When replacing foundations, I try to wash them down with hot water too.


    ------------------
    Dale Richards
    Dal-Col Apiaries
    Drums, PA

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi,

    I just scrape hive down if need be.

    Another question I have is about working wax, and what I can use in cleaning the work area and room that will not contaminate the wax for future use in the hive.

    reply:

    What specifically are you cleaning?

    Clay


  5. #5

    Post

    hi Bob
    I use mineral spirates to clean up my7 boxes and wash them with a paint brush it cleans and diseffects them too kills all the wax worm larva mites beetles wood spores.
    then I air out for 2 days repaint if need be been doing it for yrs. also little on a rag will clean up wax on the floor.
    Don

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    So it's that cheap paint thinner?

  7. #7
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Thanks All,

    Clay, I was talking about cleaning the floor and counter where I work wax and honey, and while we are at it what about the containers that I use for honey and wax. I do some of my work in the kitchen of my home. I know I need to clean the area before and after. I just don't want to use anything that will contaminate the honey or wax, now or next season.

    Billy Bob

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
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    The Scenic Flint Hills , KS
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    Mike,
    Paint thinner = $2.00 gal.
    Mineral Spirits = $6.00 gal.
    There is a difference.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Thanks. Just trying to clarify. So it must be labled "mineral spirits" not just have that as the ingredients.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Clay, I was talking about cleaning the floor and counter where I work wax and honey, and while we are at it what about the containers that I use for honey and wax. I do some of my work in the kitchen of my home. I know I need to clean the area before and after. I just don't want to use anything that will contaminate the honey or wax, now or next season.

    reply:

    I use boilling water to remove wax from floor. Also to clean my foundation mill only boiling water can be used to melt away the wax. Can't have any scratches on $900 bucks worth of machine. Use hive tool to scrap along with water where possible. I have pails I have marked for wax cappings sepatate than honey pails. These I don't really scrape or melt to much of the wax out as it is there sole purpose. A little elbow grease goes along way too. I let my cappings drain for a week via gravity. Them I scoop into pails and cover with just enough water. I then pour the water honey mix off into other pails. Wax is melted. And the honey liquid can be used to feed nucs, ect. Make mead or what have you. Boiling water works wonders its rather free and won't contaminate anything.

    Clay


  11. #11
    BILLY BOB Guest

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    Thanks Clay,

    I've been using a hive tool and hot water. I guess I'll keep on using it.

    Billy Bob

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
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    4,884

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    A hot pressure washer works dandy for cleaning tops, bottoms, supers. I have done hundreds. Frames is another story. Hard to hold them and get the pressure washer to reach the inside grooves. I did boil in lye water for a while, but it is less work and expense to make new frames.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    I have a lot of frames to clean right now. First of all I'm regressing so I pulled all of my larger cell foundation. Second after extraction I tried not feeding to the bees immeadiately (mostly because I was afraid being combless they would try to move in) and the wax moths devestated the combs in no time. I've never had that much problems with moths. I won't do that again, but now I have to clean up this mess. Tearing all of the combs out and scraping all of the frames and putting foundation in (which I may wait to do until spring) is a lot of work, of course. Partly it's a pain working through the wires on the wired foundation. I'm considering dunking them in boiling water. This, of course, will leave them covered in wax I'm afriad, but then the bees have covered all of it in wax already except for the tops of the top bars. Has anyone tried this?

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    crown point, NY, USA
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    971

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    Hi Michael,

    I have a lot of frames to clean right now. First of all I'm regressing so I pulled all of my larger cell foundation.

    reply:

    When did you do this? I hope you mean combs?

    I've never had that much problems with moths. I won't do that again, but now I have to clean up this mess.

    reply:

    I'm rather confused at what you did? You removed the combs, large cell. Did you give them frames w/ 4.9 foundation? Or Just an empty box? Please explain?

    I'm considering dunking them in boiling water. This, of course, will leave them covered in wax I'm afriad, but then the bees have covered all of it in wax already except for the tops of the top bars. Has anyone tried this?

    reply:

    Micheal, I use a 15 gallon drum (mine is a iodine dip ued for cattle, plastic, it was free) with immersion heater and thermostat control and filled with water (2/3rds). It is heated to 190 degrees. Takes a few hours to heat up but you can melt 5 combs at a time in about 3 minutes (you must flip them). The empty frames w/ wires are put back in the boxes and stacked. Frames do have a light coat of wax. Just give them a quick scrap. Use a small wire brush on the wires in the frame. I then take a wire crimper sold by brushy mountain. Recrimp the wire in the frame and they tighten back up. Now they are ready to put foundations in and go back to the field. Saves all that rewiring. Wax is strained and milled back into foundation. I should note Micheal that the wax coating on the frames seems to preserve them too.

    Clay


  15. #15
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    >When did you do this? I hope you mean combs?
    I ran the bees into empty boxes with starter strips in the middle of August. They had been queenless for a while so there wasn't much brood and I left it on a trianguler bee escape. I extracted all of the honey.

    >I'm rather confused at what you did? You removed the combs, large cell. Did you give them frames w/ 4.9 foundation? Or Just an empty box? Please explain?

    I gave them frames with 4.9mm starter strips. What I think I did wrong was leaving the frames wet. I've never had that much moth problems when I let the bees clean them up.

    >Micheal, I use a 15 gallon drum (mine is a iodine dip ued for cattle, plastic, it was free) with immersion heater and thermostat control and filled with water (2/3rds). It is heated to 190 degrees. Takes a few hours to heat up but you can melt 5 combs at a time in about 3 minutes (you must flip them). The empty frames w/ wires are put back in the boxes and stacked. Frames do have a light coat of wax. Just give them a quick scrap. Use a small wire brush on the wires in the frame. I then take a wire crimper sold by brushy mountain. Recrimp the wire in the frame and they tighten back up. Now they are ready to put foundations in and go back to the field. Saves all that rewiring. Wax is strained and milled back into foundation. I should note Micheal that the wax coating on the frames seems to preserve them too.

    I was thinking this would work, but have never heard of anyone doing it. Thanks. I think that's what I'll do. It'll be a mess with the moth infested ones, but it will still be easier I think than scraping them.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2002
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    San Mateo, CA
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    BOILING TANK FOR SALE CHEAP NEAR SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA

    Cost of a boiling tank and electricity to boil the water = a few hundred frames.

    Boiling frames in water = more time than pneumatically nailing new frames together.

    Time to re-nail many of the frames because the boiling water expands and shrinks them making them loose = more time again than nailing new frames.

    Time to tighten many of the frame wires because the boiling expands and shrinks the frame making them loose = almost as much time as wiring new frames.

    Time needed to scrap the top and bottom grooves because boiling the frames doesn't get all of this wax = time you could be wiring a new frame.

    What you have in the end = a used old frame that has been weakened by boiling water and possibly saturated with foulbrood spores. I boiled thousands of frames in lye water, and these had a high incidence of foulbrood.

    I wasted hundreds of hours boiling and scraping frames and ended up with hundreds of 2nd quality frames. Never again... I buy brand new ones now and would never renovate a frame again, in quantities.
    Speaking from 30 years experience in renovating beehives.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Pretty gloomy outlook. I sure hate to see all those frames go to waste.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    crown point, NY, USA
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    Hi,

    >>Cost of a boiling tank and electricity to >>boil the water = a few hundred frames.

    I only have about $60 into it. I try to find as much free stuff as possible. Only have $$$ into the immersion heater.

    >>Time to re-nail many of the frames because >>the boiling water expands and shrinks them >>making them loose = more time again than >>nailing new frames.

    I don't have this problem. But I don't boil them either. I heat to around 190 degrees. Three minutes and thats it for 5 to 8 frames. So you can do a deep super in 10 minutes. I can't hand nail and glue that quickly. I don't use staplers and air nailers as I find the metal they use is junk and doesn't hold up. What do you do with all the old frames that are still good just got bad combs (damaged)?

    >>Time to tighten many of the frame wires >>because the boiling expands and shrinks >>the frame making them loose = almost as >>much time as wiring new frames.

    I would say to scrape off the wax on the wires is about 10 seconds and another 5 to crimp them. That is way faster than rewiring. Out of all beekeeping tasks I dislike wiring the most. This is the feature I like most about the whole thing with the wire crimpers. I should state that I mill my own wax foundation so the wax is reused too.

    >>Time needed to scrap the top and bottom >>grooves because boiling the frames doesn't >>get all of this wax = time you could be >>wiring a new frame.

    One could use solid bottom bars although I don't. I find it takes only a moment with the bottom bar being the hard one. I have ways to cheat this if I'm pressed for time. When I cut the foundation I manufacture I can cut it a bit short of the bottom bar and skip putting it in the groove since the bees will draw the comb to the bottom without the foundation. Also saves on wax over every 100 sheets or so. I realize most don't make there foundation however.

    >>What you have in the end = a used old >>frame that has been weakened by boiling >>water and possibly saturated with >>foulbrood spores. I boiled thousands of >>frames in lye water, and these had a high >>incidence of foulbrood.

    Used? yes. Old? yes. But often still perfectly good frames that can get much more use out of it. Even up to 10 or 15 years as they are preserved in a light wax coating. I use no lye however seems much too caustic and even dangerous if poorly handled. Are you certain the lye isn't weakening the frames and working on the nails or staples? Seems it would do much more damage than boiling water. As for AFB I use no antibiotics (TM) to treat it (cover it up). Thus when AFB is found I pull infected frames and destroy them. If one wanted the wax, it could be saved and AFB spores CAN be destroyed in a wax press yet still destroying the frames. These must be done seperately than good combs. It IS necessary to have a good disease inspection program however and not be lax about it (when using no treatments for fouls). I personally just burn the combs and all as I have no wax press. I could have Dee Lusby post the info on how to process wax in wax press to destroy AFB spores if any one wants? Hive and the Honey Bee mentions that it can be done but doesn't give instructions. I think I even posted the info on the BB a few years back.

    >>I wasted hundreds of hours boiling and >>scraping frames and ended up with hundreds >>of 2nd quality frames. Never again... I >>buy brand new ones now and would never >>renovate a frame again, in quantities.

    I suspect that you are using antibiotics, correct? I could see where you could get in trouble as they only cover up the spores and mask the symptoms.Then when processed spread the AFB. This is why I quit using them. That and TM shortens the life span of bees. With that said I do not find that the way I process frames to degrade there structural quality. Also recycling the wax into foundation is a plus too. I wouldn't advocate this to a begginer unless they had a firm grasp on bee diseases. Waste not, want not. Don't get me wrong I'm not knocking using new equipment if you do have the frame problems you mention. Only trying to say the way I do it, I don't seem to have those problems. If my methods in turn can help save another beekeeper time and $$$ then I'm glad. If not maybe someone else can help.

    Alright I have to ask. What's the lye for? Disease?

    regards,

    Clay


  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    My current problem is major wax moth damage. I'm not sure how boiling (or heating) will work on this, but I hope it helps. I really don't want to buy new frames nor do I want to build new frames. It's bad enough cleaning and putting foundation in old frames.


  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Also, as far as AFB. I don't treat and have never had it nor seen it except in pictures. I hope I don't.

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