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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, my last hive starved to death in the bitter cold snap we had. Tons of dead bees on the bottom, look like they just all starved pretty quick. The top deep is still packed with honey (I have to make an effort to move it - probablhy 75 lbs or so. Found a bunch of dead brood.

Now - what to do with the comb/frames? Some of the comb has white fluffy mold. Hive was ventilated but around here that doesn't mean much. Is the comb with white mold on it usable? The mold appears to brush off.

Top deep is full of honey, so I definitely want to save it. Temps in the 50s -> 30s here, so...

What's the recommended course of action to preserve the comb, honey, etc? Should I brush out the dead bees? Comb's brittle in the cold, I'd prefer not to but will if it helps.
 

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I have an old chest type freezer in my basement for just such uses. If you can, freeze it until you can get a package in the spring, allow it to thaw to 60 plus degrees and install package or swarm. They will clean it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They were clustered in the lower deep, classic "head in cell" all over the place, separated by a clean break from the upper deep that is still full of honey. If they'd clustered further up they wouldn't have had a problem reaching the stores. The odd thing is that they had bridged the two boxes with tons of brace comb so moving straight up at any place would have been probably easier.

Thanks for the advice. We've got a hard freeze tonight, I'll probably seal up the hive tomorrow and keep it until I get my spring packages.
 

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I am pretty much in the same boat as XcZero-5. I lost a double-deep hive to starvation and/or mites. But I've got several frames of beautifully drawn capped honey comb. I want to use the brood comb in a package I have coming in mid-April. Mrs. Johnnybeegood ain't gonna let me take over her freezer. How should I preserve these valuable assets?
 

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Any comb that has NOT had brood raised in it (i.e. clean honey supers) wont attract wax moths.

Brood comb can be frozen to kill any moth eggs or larvae present. Once frames have been frozen (for a short period of time) they can be stacked or placed openly so light can enter, and as long as they are NEVER in darkness, other wax moths will not lay eggs within the stack.

The chemical, PARADICHLOROBENZENE, can be used to kill larvae as they hatch (rather than freezing). Once all have hatched, your brood frames can be stored "in the light" as above.

If your brood frames are made "egg and larvae free" now, you can stored at or below freezing outdoors (moth adults are warm weather friends). In spring, before moths are even a problem, you can put the supers on a hive or "new bees" into them, and moths wont then be a problem till warmer weather.

[ January 29, 2007, 10:27 AM: Message edited by: Dave W ]
 

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Thanks for the advice, Dave. About half the brood frames are cooling down right now. What about the capped honey comb? Anything I need to do to preserve them for the April package?
 

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>Any comb that has NOT had brood raised in it (i.e. clean honey supers) wont attract wax moths.

I agree it's LESS attractive to the wax moths. But they will live on it and they will eat it. After making that wrong assumption by storing wet supers in my basement I discovered when they are desperate they will even live on a block of bare beeswax.
 

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I, too, have had wax moths happily destroy freshly-drawn comb that had never had brood raised in it. I would get some Bt (email Sundance in the "for Sale" forum about it) and preserve your combs with that. Bt will protect your combs for years to come.
BTW, really sorry to hear about y'all losing your bees. I know that is frustrating and depressing.
 

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The chemical, PARADICHLOROBENZENE, can be used to kill larvae as they hatch (rather than freezing).
I've never seen this claim before. I've always read, and been told, that PDB will keep adult moths and larvae out of stored boxes of comb, but I've never seen it stated that PDB will actually kill the moths or the larvae of the moths. Is this true? Who has the reference data?

Does this mean that if I find wax moth larvae in a stored hive box with comb in it all I have to do is put some PDB in the box and it will kill all of the larvae?
 

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PARADICHLOROBENZENE - "Kills moth larvae, pupae and adults (eggs unaffected) and serves as a repellent [Ref 12, p1130] and continuous presence of PDB will kill larvae that hatch after frames are placed in storage [Ref 14, p170].

• PDB is labeled (in 2003) for use in every state except California [Ref 6, p43].
• Use on empty comb or bee-food comb only [Ref 14, p173].
• Odor of PDB is readily absorbed by honey [Ref 14, p169]. Do NOT use on any honey for human consumption [Ref 6, p43].
• Do NOT use Naphthalene, another form of moth protection commonly available (grocery store). Residual naphthalene in comb can harm bees [Ref 4, p160].
• Before using next season, set frames outside one full week to air out [ABJ, 12/06, p1014, Ref 19, p91]. Air out for 48 hrs before using [Ref 1, 221].
• PDB has been shown to keep Small Hive Beetles away from stored comb [ABJ, 2/05, 115].
 

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Condolences Guys,
Most of us have been there. Check out Sundane in the for sale section. He has some BT for sale. AKA Certan. It protects against the larva.

dickm
 

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I've found that the best way to keep comb is the last method you'd ever think of...

store it right out in the open. As open as you can get it... in other words, put 5 frames to a box, spacing the frames, and leaving above and below the box wide open to the sun, wind, and varmits. Wax moths hate light, and hate the cold, so they'll leave it alone. And it won't mold as long as there is fresh air blowing through. I even let rainwater get in, which doesn't bother it, it's wax after all.
 

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If you want to store the empty combs put them all in a plastic bag including one or two Thymol strips, this will solve the problem. No wax moths and no mold. Before using the combs next season let them stay for an hour in the sun and the Thymol smell will be gone.
 
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