Whiten up the comb--how to?
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  1. #1
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    Default Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Hi, All!

    I have a few frames of comb that I like to whiten up. What is the safe solution to use
    for this process? Since OA is safe for the hive and is a wood bleach too, will a solution of
    OA bath work on the comb? What are some other solution to use?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Just wondering why you'd want to whiten the comb in a frame? If it's been used as brood comb, the coloration is from the cocoons and probably won't whiten.
    Thomas Bartram

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    This is to clean the comb instead of having the bees to
    draw out a new frame. Yes, the brood comb will not bee clean up that
    easily. Whatever can be clean up is good enough. Any ideas here?
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  5. #4
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    Auckland,Auckland,New Zealand
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    There is no way.

    All new beeks like their pretty new comb and don't like to see it getting "dirty". But in time you get to where you just accept the way bees do things.

    I still remember what was at the time a stinging comment, I was a schoolboy and my Grandad was visiting, I had been planning for some time how awesome it was going to be showing him some comb from my hive. The big moment came & I proudly showed him the comb, he looked and said it's so untidy.

    Anyhow, just got to see it how the bees do.

  6. #5
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    Pleasant Shade, TN
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    On why bees make wax, read this, particularly the "production" section:
    http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beeswax
    A man is worth just as much as the things about which he busies himself- Marcus Aurelius

  7. #6
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    Feb 2010
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    Frankfort, Ohio
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Cleaning combs to make them white? I don't know. Is there a reason you are wanting white combs? If you are wanting to sanitize combs there are a few methods. One is radiation, the other is fire. For Nosema spores ultraviolet light also works.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Put them in your bee hive(s). The bees will clean them as clean as they need to be.
    Mark Berninghausen

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Put them in your bee hive(s). The bees will clean them as clean as they need to be.
    This is my method!
    Thomas Bartram

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Oh well, guess I just have to do my little comb experiment to see.
    First is the OA bleaching in a bath solution at 50/50. Then OA and
    bleach at 5% bath solution. Again, the purpose is to just whiten up the comb.
    Then immerse the frame comb in clean water to and air dry. Anymore workable
    solution to get nice clean comb is appreciated. Thanks all!
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  11. #10
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    Clinton, Iowa
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    Oh well, guess I just have to do my little comb experiment to see.
    First is the OA bleaching in a bath solution at 50/50. Then OA and
    bleach at 5% bath solution. Again, the purpose is to just whiten up the comb.
    Then immerse the frame comb in clean water to and air dry. Anymore workable
    solution to get nice clean comb is appreciated. Thanks all!
    Have them draw new. Seems like a pretty workable solution.

    Of course you chase mites around the hive with razor blades, so your level for tedium might be a bit higher than most.

  12. #11
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    Bristol,RI
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    wow.. why did you start a thread if you already were going to do what you wanted to do anyway? Brood comb is going to be dark.. from cocoons.. not from anything that will be bleached. honey comb shouldn't be that dark and I wouldn't want someone putting chemicals like that where my honey would be.

    should probably listen harder to the experienced guys that posted above.

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    OA is safe for the hive and is a wood bleach too, will a solution of
    OA bath work on the comb? What are some other solution to use?
    This is an absolutely terrible idea, with horrific side effect consequences. Your bees have put a tremendous amount of effort into raising a healthy crop of varroa mites as pets, and using OA to clean your hive components will set back that effort by many months. Particularly if you do it in the fall, after they have no brood to tend anymore, it's terribly demoralizing for the bees, they just curl up in a big ball and sit there for the rest of the winter, doing absolutely nothing. they dont raise any brood, they dont eat much, they dont fly, they just sit around all winter, totally listless. It takes 4 or 5 months for them to recover from the trauma and start to get active and foraging for food again.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Ah, you still remember that one, eh. Good memory!
    Let's say I have more patience than the avg folks.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    What you are asking about is completely unnecessary. You are the only person I have ever heard of who wants to do this. These are statements, not criticism. If you can whiten your comb I think you will end up doing it damage.

    Why do you want to do this? Can you tell me why?
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #15
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    JakeDatc: Posting is to get an idea if anyone had done it before.
    Apparently nobody has. So I try to figure out a way to do it.

    grozzie2: The issue is my bees don't goto sleep or cluster much
    as we have very mild winter months. They brood up in smaller patches even in the cold winter months. And expanded to full frame brood comes Spring.
    Yep, they are the Italians bees. If they bees don't like the clean comb then they can use the other half of the used comb. I will put half and half for them to use.
    If this doesn't work out then I will just dispose the extra comb. And then let them draw new comb during the Spring flow. Thanks for the good suggestions.
    Don't mix foreign bees into a virgin hive. She might get balled 100% of the time! When will you ever learn, huh?

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Drawn comb is reusable. I have combs that are older than you, most likely. Why would you just get rid of them?
    Mark Berninghausen

  18. #17
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by beepro View Post
    JakeDatc: Posting is to get an idea if anyone had done it before.
    Apparently nobody has. So I try to figure out a way to do it.

    grozzie2: The issue is my bees don't goto sleep or cluster much
    as we have very mild winter months. They brood up in smaller patches even in the cold winter months. And expanded to full frame brood comes Spring.
    Yep, they are the Italians bees. If they bees don't like the clean comb then they can use the other half of the used comb. I will put half and half for them to use.
    If this doesn't work out then I will just dispose the extra comb. And then let them draw new comb during the Spring flow. Thanks for the good suggestions.
    so you are putting chemicals into honey comb at a much higher concentration than OA vaporizing ... good job. please do not sell your honey.

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    I just don't see the point. White comb does not mean clean comb. With everything encased in wax how will your "treatment" penetrate wax without destroying it? Brood combs are supposed to be dark. If you are wanting clean stuff, burn it all and start with new. Your dark combs are healthier then white combs that have been drenched in chemicals. Bees love old brood combs. I'm all for experimenting and trying new things if there is a purpose for doing so. What you are asking about is a great question if there is some purpose other then you just want white combs. I think everyone is still waiting for the purpose.

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Put them in your bee hive(s). The bees will clean them as clean as they need to be.
    This is the best answer yet.

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Whiten up the comb--how to?

    Thank you.
    Mark Berninghausen

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