Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Almond, NY, USA
    Posts
    132

    Default Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    As I watched area bees cleaning up the honey residue from my freshly extracted frames, I wondered if this is risking disease introduction to the comb, carried in by the clean-up crew?

    The clean-up bees are not my bees. I extract the frames 70 miles from my hives and let them get cleaned up at this location before returning them to the hives.
    Zone 5A 2,200 ft.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
    Posts
    5,205

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    if you look at the new senate bill for hive registration, you will see that if it passes, you will no longer to legally do what you are doing, the stated fact is to cut down on the possibility of passing along diseases. not sure how I will get my supers dried, but does make sense if you don't know what other bees are in the area.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Rensselaer County, NY, USA
    Posts
    5,530

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    Yes, it's possible that supers being robbed out by bees from a hive with active brood diseases present would contaminate the wax. The robbing bees could come from both managed and feral colonies. That's one of the ways a colony can get brood disease: robbing a hive with brood disease. So presumably it could work in reverse, though I think the risk is lower because the transmission would be through bacteria carried on the bodies of the robbing bees. And foragers, in a general, way, are less exposed to the core of the infection which is centered on the nurse bees and the brood area. It is the nurse bees that pass on the bacteria while cleaning cells and then providing contaminated brood food to the larvae. Bringing honey back from a brood-disease killed deadout is much riskier.

    But the risk is always there when allowing your supers to get robbed out, even if it's in your own apiary. There is no way to control which bees are doing the robbing. Perhaps you could find a beekeeper closer to you extraction site who allow you to bring the supers over and get them cleaned up on his hives. At least you'd only be exposing your bees to a known set of problems.

    Nancy

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Lamar Co. Alabama, USA
    Posts
    4,109

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    I mark my supers so I can put them back on the hive they came from to be cleaned up (putting the wet supers back on the original hive.) There's little danger of robbing and I don't think much chance of getting any diseases brought in from outside. I don't usually have many supers at a time so it's not too labor intensive. My method might not work for anyone with more than a few hives.
    "Sometimes the best action, with bees, is no action at all."

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    Virgil, NY USA
    Posts
    179

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    Why clean them up. ?? Lot of extra work and robbing is not good .The next time you put them on a hive for production, the bees will go right to work in them if they are still sticky.
    NIkc

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,666

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    If the frames are partially filled with nectar they will mold badly if not cleaned up. Frames extracted for honey will not mold to any extent. (pockets of pollen may)
    Frank

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Massillon, Ohio
    Posts
    5,549

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by crofter View Post
    Frames extracted for honey will not mold to any extent.
    I wonder if that is still true for someone storing wet supers in an environment with high humidity. Could the honey residue on the comb absorb moisture from the air, ferment, mold ... ?

    I always put my supers back on the hives for a couple days to be cleaned up before storage, so I'm not really sure what would happen if I tried to store them wet. Just wondering.
    To everything there is a season....

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,666

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Gillmore View Post
    I wonder if that is still true for someone storing wet supers in an environment with high humidity. Could the honey residue on the comb absorb moisture from the air, ferment, mold ... ?

    I always put my supers back on the hives for a couple days to be cleaned up before storage, so I'm not really sure what would happen if I tried to store them wet. Just wondering.
    You raise a good question about local weather. I have put some away as extracted and were OK. Ones only partially filled with nectar and not extracted, molded badly. Feeding back to the same colony would be the best but some times is tricky to get them to empty and clean rather than add more nectar if there is any flow still on.

    After having the experience with European Foulbrood (source unknown) I am a bit nervous about setting the extracted supers out for the bees; for this year I will put them back on the hives above an empty box and holed inner cover.
    Frank

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Chicago, ILL. USA
    Posts
    313

    Default Re: Can freshly extracted frames get diseases from cleanup bees?

    I've stored extracted frames over winter in weathertight sealed containers from Container Store just fine. Every now and then I would get wax moths larvae in them, but no major damage. I usually store the containers outside, but not in direct sunlight.

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