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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    The bees are flying today (And bringing pollen in! It's mid February in northern Utah!), so I took the opportunity to lift the lid of both my hives and peek inside.

    I was dismayed to find that the IC of one hive had a lot of mildew on it, damp and warped. Obviously, ventilation is an issue. To make matters worse, at the front end of the hive, the moisture had dripped down onto the ends of the top bars of the frames, and they have some mildew on them.

    The box on the top (the one with the mildew on the frames) is a honey super. Obviously, this is a box I want to use and harvest from in the future. Hopefully the mildew is just on the ends of the top bars, but assuming the worst, how should I clean the frames off before I can extract from them?
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Louisville, KY
    Posts
    1,506

    Default Re: Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    How much honey is left, they may consume rearing brood before a decent flow starts. The bees will clean up mold in spring. The black stains usually remain on the woodenware. Perhaps on a warm sunny (dry air) remove the top cover and try to dry things up a bit.

    Do you have a top vent or screened bottom board?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    Quote Originally Posted by burns375 View Post
    How much honey is left, they may consume rearing brood before a decent flow starts. The bees will clean up mold in spring. The black stains usually remain on the woodenware. Perhaps on a warm sunny (dry air) remove the top cover and try to dry things up a bit.

    Do you have a top vent or screened bottom board?
    I use a solid bottom board over the Winter, switching to a screened in the late Spring. I have a top vent, but apparently it wasn't enough. I'll probably try a screened bottom board next winter. Last winter I had the same setup on this hive, and didn't have this problem.

    I'm a little concerned about them burning through their stores, too. They started out with a full hive and I added a honey super with eight capped frames in the Fall. That was enough last year, but then we didn't have the warm weather we've been having. Currently, the top super is almost full, and the hive is still too heavy to lift. I'll keep a close eye on them.
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    Location
    Great Falls Montana
    Posts
    3,975

    Default Re: Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    I would give them an upper entrance immediately if the hive is wet enough inside to mildew. The honey is not harmed if you want to extract it. If you are afraid to extract it, consider putting the super on the bottom board with a queen excluder over it. The bees will move it above the cluster if you give them room above and it will boost brood rearing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Kaysville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    384

    Default Re: Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vance G View Post
    I would give them an upper entrance immediately if the hive is wet enough inside to mildew.
    What puzzles me is that they already have one. I think that part of the problem is that the edges of the TC are a little too close to the hive to allow good ventilation.

    Here's a picture of the inside of the hive (shot through the gap between the super and the IC). You can see the upper entrance behind the bees.

    Inside_Entrance.jpg
    Don't provoke a hive full of angry bees.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Centerville, Utah, USA
    Posts
    287

    Default Re: Mildew on honey super frames - clean off?

    Hi Splatt, I'm your neighbor in Centerville! My cousin lives in Kaysville too and he also has bees. I don't have any yet, so I don't have advice for your issue, but I hope you get it resolved. Just wanted to say hey!

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