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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio USA
    Posts
    312

    Question Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    Hello

    This last fall I had a few of my hives destroyed by what I believe was wax moth. The hives, when opened, were full of webs and I notice a few larva/worms living in them The bees were all gone. I believe these hives were weak/splits to being with so when the wax moths entered the bees put up little defence.

    I took the frames out and scraped away all the wax that was in and around the frames and was really pissed at my lose so I then just set the boxes, with frames in them, on top of each other and left them there for a few weeks...exposed to rain/sun/bugs.

    I then gathered the boxes up and stored them in my garage for the winter. Today, I looked at them and noticed that all the frames are mildewy and dirty from setting for such a long time.

    What is the best way to clean these frames so I can ready them for other hives this spring? BLEECH???

    Thx

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,913

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    bleach or lye will help, I'm not sure it will kill any moth and small hive beetle larvae hiding in the cracks, scorching with a propane torch kills stuff

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    I always clean with a heat gun, hive tool and wire bristle brush for the queen excluder, like it better than a torch. Things don't seem to catch on fire as much

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Knox County, Ohio
    Posts
    2,694

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    Bees will do a real good job of cleaning up dirt or mold. Make sure the frames are dry when you give them to the bees, and let the bees take care of everything else.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Orange, Tx, USA
    Posts
    518

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    After cleaning up the mess, you can also put them in a freezer, which will kill anything left.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio USA
    Posts
    312

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chick View Post
    After cleaning up the mess, you can also put them in a freezer, which will kill anything left.

    Right...I forgot all about the deep freeze.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    637

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    countryboy and chick have a good point.

    store in a freezer to prevent further damage to the combs. use a hive tool to remove burr comb from frames (top bars, bottom bars) and the inside of the super.

    A good size swarm will clean the equipment up in a jiffy and so will a strong hive especially during a honeyflow.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandenburg, KY
    Posts
    332

    Default Re: Best ways of cleaning older/dirty frames?

    I put all of my wax moth damaged equiptment out prior to the two last large snow falls and let them freeze for the past three weeks. Less messy than putting in the freezer.

    Today I'm cleaning up the frames and adding wax. I'm also adding medium hive bodies to two of my double deeps to draw out comb today. The two hives with the double deeps are really, really, full of bees, I'm afraid they will want to swarm in March.

    I figure drawing comb will keep them busy for a week or two, then I am adding 3 supers to each around the 2nd week in March. That way they can draw foundation and fill as they can. I'd rather have too much on, rather than too little to discourage swarming.

    I'm also going to set out swam boxes in mid-March just in case.

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