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Thread: slimey comb

  1. #1

    Question

    Does anyone have any ideas on what to do to reconstitute slimey, small hive beatle fouled comb?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    tulsa, ok usa
    Posts
    2,265

    Post

    Trash can.
    Home of the ventilated and sting resistant Ultra Breeze bee suits and jackets
    http://www.honeymoonapiaries.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Ithaca, New York
    Posts
    33

    Post

    Yeah...I haven't had the experience with it, but from what I've heard, the bees won't touch it now. Trash can.

  4. #4

    Post

    Yeah, I learned the hard way. I put slimey combs onto healthy colonies for them to clean it up. All I did was drive them all away.

    Good one, Cody, ...good one.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Key Largo, Fl
    Posts
    47

    Post

    Cody
    Put the slimy frames in the freezer for 24 hrs.
    Take the frames out in the yard and use the garden hose to wash them off. Use a sponge, steel wool, etc. (no soap) to clean off the slime. Shake off the excess water, put them in front of a fan (porch, etc.) until they are dry. Return them to the bees - they love them again
    p.s. watch the beetles next time

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    McLeansville NC
    Posts
    448

    Post

    Where are beetles most prominent? I have heard that they are most common in shady areas, is this true.
    Ron

  7. #7

    Post

    Bad news.
    I’m having a serious beetle problem.

    I will do a search and read up on how best to combat them, but I was wondering if anyone knew of a particular thread that would be most helpful.

    Btw, thanks Waysouth for the advice, I will give it a shot. But I’m terribly weary of putting them back into the hives.

    Thanks for any and all advice.

    Cheers.
    Cody

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Are you saying you can only save the frames, and not the drawn wax comb?

    That is NOT what I want to hear.

    Please tell me there is a way to save the whole drawn wax comb as I have a 10 frame hive body in the freezer I was going to put back on a strong colony for clean out.

    Troy

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    761

    Post

    SHB damgage to comb can be horrible - especially to brood comb. The best approach I've used for saving the comb is: 1) freeze it to kill all stages of SHB; 2) thoroughly spray the comb (both sides) with 50% clorox solution; 3) rinse thoroughly with water and put in sun to dry. If the mid-rife is not too badly damaged, put into a hive for the bees to reuse. You can tell by holding the frame up to a bright light - if it looks like swiss cheese it's probably more work for the bees than just starting over.
    Triangle Bees

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Edgefield County, South Carolina
    Posts
    625

    Post

    db I think has you covered as I think so does waysouth. Make sure you freeze in deep freeze adequate time.
    sc-bee

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Yep, the frames have bee frozen and all the SHB and larvae are dead. The wax comb does not look to be chewed up too bad either. I think I caught it pretty early.

    The thing is that it still has dead larvae and beetles all over it, it is quite oily/slimey looking and still has about 30% capped honey and 10% capped (but now dead of course) brood. This looks like a mess for the bees to clean up, but probably still less work for the bees than drawing all new wax again, doncha think?

    I'm not sure I understand what the clorox does for it. Seems like a 50% clorox spray would be very difficult to rinse off. Even more difficult than a mild soap solution. Obviously one can't scrub wax comb with a scrub brush or it will all just crumble and fall off. I'm hoping to save the drawn comb if possible. Does the clorox somehow cut the slime and allow it to dissolve like soap would? Why not just use a mild detergent and rinse real well?

    Troy

  12. #12

    Post

    I use a plastic bin filled with about 10 gallons of water, and 2-3 cups of chlorine bleach (cheap stuff, unscented). I submerge the infected box into the bin, place a weight on top of the box so the frames remain submerged, and let it sit in the water for several hours. You should immediately see the adult shb float to the top where they will quickly die, and when you remove the box from the water dead larva will drop from the frames. I then quickly rinse everything with my garden hose, and let it air dry, then I can place the box onto a strong hive that I will split from in the future.

    Why you should use chlorine bleach instead of detergent, is that the chlorine breaks down the exoskelton of adult beetles, and causes them to dry out. It does the same with the larva. It also breaks down and dries out the slime (shb need high humidity, and temps). Also the water chlorine bleach mixture loosens up the pollen, and infected honey allowing it to be washed away with the garden hose. Using this method you can skip the freezing part that others use, and have clean usable combs.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Raleigh, NC, USA
    Posts
    761

    Post

    I use clorox because it's cheap (less than $2 per gallon at Big Lots), breaks down the slim and other stuff, probably kills all kinds of germs, mold, etc. Doesn't seem to harm the bees (any residue the bees get is probably less than what they get by drinking swimming pool water). Detergent probably works as well. The bees will clean up the dead critters (or put the comb on a big ant hill). I would reuse the comb if it's relatively fresh (under 2 years old); would put it in the solar wax melter if it's dark/old.

    Triangle Bees

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Orlando, FL
    Posts
    12

    Post

    Yep, the comb was drawn earlier this season so it is pretty nice and white.

    I like the idea that the beetles and larvae float off the combs after soaking. I will have to try to find a container big enough to fit a whole brood chamber in at once and then I can try this.

    For those areas of the comb that have capped honey, I presume I should scratch off the cappings so that the honey will dissolve in the chlorine water, right?

    I froze these combs, so the beetles and larvae are already dead. Is there any reason I should not leave these combs out for the bees to rob the honey before I wash them? that seems like a good idea is to let the bees have the honey first.

    Troy

  15. #15

    Post

    Troy,

    Some of those boxes can smell pretty putrid, and I have a weak stomach, so I don't bother to scratch open the honey. The bees can rob them out when I air dry them after soaking, the bees don't seem to care (they like chlorine).
    I have a big rubbermaid tub that I bought at Wal Mart. I had to clean out several hundred brood boxes after the huricanes of 2004, and then I used several open top barrels, and could fit several brood boxes into one barrel.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Sullivan, MO
    Posts
    827

    Post

    My solution the ONE time I had to deal with SHB and any time I have bad wax moths is to cut the comb out of the frame put it all in a pile and BURN it. I don't think we'll ever find a beatle or moth that can survive a conflagration. DEATH TO THE BEE PESTS!!!

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