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I have some mildewed and molded equipment. Can it be salvaged?

When I first started bee keeping, I left a top feeder box out for the bees to clean up, but then it rained, and as all things in South Carolina do, it began to grow black mildew. I dried it off, but I'm not very good at telling apart mildew from black mold. I kept it out of the rain since, and right now it's holding about a gallon of vinegar in it. I've read on some sources that vinegar will kill mold roots in wood, but these are my bees. I don't want to accidentally kill my bees because their feeder box was contaminated.

If it is do-able and reasonable, I'd rather rescue the moldy boxes. If it's NOT and is just a liability, I need to know before my bees need to be fed again.

Thank you,
Tkacik
 

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I've had feeders and equipment get moldy. I soak it in bleach, then rinse, dry, and put back into use. It's never been a problem for the bees.
 

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As per above, bleach will do it.

However I've used mouldy stuff in hives over the years, haven't seen any effect on the bees, doesn't appear to bother them.
 

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I have some mildewed and molded equipment. Can it be salvaged?........
As for the bees - this is a least concern.
They don't care and not bothered.
Normally they would live an a moldy tree hole and do great in it.

Heck, I give moldy combs to the bees all the time and sleep well.
They will cleanup mold as they see fit - no fuss.

The so-called salvage is mostly for yourself to feel better, if you care to do it (as suggested above).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I greatly appreciate all of you coming and replying on this thread. This forum has been a great help to me.
 

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Normally they would live an a moldy tree hole and do great in it.
That's a convenient 'hook' onto which I can hang this report ...

A couple of weeks ago a swarm arrived and set up home in a 12" deep 6-frame nuc box which I'd condemned and which was waiting to be put on the bonfire. The reasons I'd condemned this box were twofold: partly because I'm phasing out all of my 6-frame boxes, but mainly because the cheap and nasty plywood sides were beginning to badly delaminate.

It was a very strange choice of box: at 23 litres it was around half the 'recommended' swarm box volume; it was located behind the North side of a building and so would be permanently in the shade; and the entrance faced West. There were (and still are) several other empty boxes spread around the apiary which ought to have been more attractive.

A few days later, having re-housed them, I decided to give that box a reprieve in view of it's 'attractiveness' to the swarm, and so set about replacing just the delaminated sides. But as I removed them, the box - quite literally - fell apart ! It seems that it was being held together by a layer of paint and not much else. In particular, the rear panel disintegrated almost into dust and there was a strong smell of mushrooms. This smell, together with what is described as 'cuboidal cracking' are, of course, indicative of dry rot.

So what ? Well, it occurs to me that - from the bees' point-of-view - there must have been something 'special' about that box, as it fails all the other desirable swarm box traits. Could this something possibly be the smell of rotting wood ? After all, it's the rotting-out of heart-wood which creates the archetypal tree cavity.

I wonder ... could a piece of rotten wood - or even a handful of mushrooms - act as a swarm attractant ? Might be something worth trying ...
LJ

PS - I took some photos, both of the swarm arriving and of the disintegrated box - if anyone's halfway interested. But I won't post them unless asked to, as I don't want to highjack this guy's thread.
 

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Aylett, VA 10-frame double deep Langstroth
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I think the biggest problem with a moldy feeder is causing 1:1 syrup to ferment even faster than it is prone to do. I just washed all my feeders in bleach. Now they are purdy again and ready to go.
 

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........
PS - I took some photos, both of the swarm arriving and of the disintegrated box - if anyone's halfway interested. But I won't post them unless asked to, as I don't want to highjack this guy's thread.
LJ, post into the trapping area.
I want to see of course.
Do you want to move the trap story entirely into the trapping area maybe?
Be an easier find/read then.
Try here:
https://www.beesource.com/forums/showthread.php?355849-Traps-using-rotting-wood
 
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