Joe mentions fluvalinate on the top of the list for chemicals found in wax. Better be careful where you get your wax from.
Fluvalinate, the Silent Bee Killer?
If you’ve followed the articles on pesticides found in bee hives (by Judy Wu, Penn State, et al) you’ve noticed that Fluvalinate tops the list in many (maybe all) of these studies. Fluvalinate has a synergistic effect (makes other chemicals nastier) in combination with some pesticides (including fungicides). One of our beekeepers had complete chemical tests run on a dead-bee sample after they were kicked out upon returning from the almonds; the highest level found (albeit in ppbs) was for fluvalinate, even though he hadn’t used it (as Apistan) for years. Perhaps someday, the “?” in the above heading will be replaced by a “!”. Fluvalinate can likely be found in every commercial hive (including yours) since it can be found in commercial foundation – a good reason to rotate your comb, as some of the best beekeepers do. There should be a ppm (or ppb) level for fluvalinate (and maybe there is) above which the comb should be discarded. Same for coumaphos.