I'm trying to decide whether to re-use some medium drawn frames that went through a wax moth invasion. I don't have a freezer to put the comb in but I do have a strong hive I could at least put a super of the damaged comb on. This has been a sobering experience for me...
When I went to pull supers for my first extracting I thought I would have a good four, maybe five supers...instead I only had three. I was staggered when I opened the hive...wax moths! The hive was a total lost, the bees having already absconded. The frames had cocoons stuck to them and you could tell where they had chewed the wood. This had been a problematical hive with swarming and becoming queenless. I had requeened it back about a month ago...I got this colony back in February. It had only been about two and a half weeks since I last inspected it and regardless of the problems it had encountered it still managed to put up almost two complete supers of honey. In the last inspection I only went down to the bottom super being as everything was looking good with two supers about filled and much of them capped. Apparently the moths were down in the brood chamber then. My fault. My fault.
The brood combs are a total loss...nasty, nasty, nasty. The only up side is that that takes care of half of my 10-frame deeps, only one more to go and I'll be all 8-frame mediums.
The medium combs have damage but some only appear slightly damaged with others damaged enough that I've already pulled what decent looking wax was on them off and got it in my little styrofoam wax melter. Most of the ones that "look ok" have some frass and web along the bottom bar groove and I've dug larvae out of the grooves. There may be a little frass and web hanging on the end bars.
My question is in regards to using the comb that "looks ok". Naturally I'm worried about putting an overload of moth eggs into a healthy hive. Will the bees clean these frames up sufficiently? Would I be better off to just take my whipping and scrap the comb and solarize the frames?
A side note: The brood chamber was a total lost and had NOT been treated with Bt. The two supers had both been sprayed, along with the frames and *foundation*. These were still damaged, but not as severely as the deep frames of the brood chamber. There was some pollen and brood in some of the medium frames and these were damaged the worst. The new boxes and frames with pollen had all been sprayed with Bt to the point of dripping. Reading back through things it appears that the wax moth larvae has to take a bite of *something* with the Bt on it...spraying the foundation appears to be useless. I'm curious about those chewed places on the frames, though, I should have kept a few with the cocoons intact to see what happened to the larvae.
This has been my worst honey bee so far...
Anyhow, should I ditch the comb or stick on top of a hive?
Here are some of the frames I'm curious about. I've cleaned them up some more and cut a few bad places out. That blasted web is hard to get off in places and they are very adept at burying/hiding those cocoons. In the first picture below there is (was) a larvae beneath that crumbled up looking frass tucked up under the comb in the bottom groove. I ended up cutting the bottom 1/3 of comb out of some of the frames...