Beesource Beekeeping Forums banner
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

I'm in the Bay Area of California. Last year was my second year of beekeeping. and we had several problems. All turned out to be very good learning, to say the least. But in August, my hive was robbed, and I'm left with an empty hive with traces of chalkbrood and waxmoth. And lots of wax crumbs and propolis.

I would like to sterilize the one hive. I have scraped everything and sprayed with bleach and left outside in covered area. Buy how do I get the rest that wax and propolis off? I can only scrape so much. As we had 3 days below freezing, have the waxmoth eggs been destroyed?

We did have a small (<20 found outside hive entrance at a time) chalkbrood problem, should I address that? How about the ground beneath the hivestand? I think there must be dead chalk bodies in the grass there still.

I'm uncertain about the frames. The ones with the distorted wax I toss, right? I should replace the frames that have dead brood? Some I'm not sure exactly what's in the cells. I'm assuming I should toss them. How to dispose of? OK to throw in the trash? Or build a big bonfire? Flamethrower??

This year we will have TWO hives, and I would like to buy dipped components. I have a wax dipped hive stand and it is of really good quality. I found that my Dadant boxes are sloppily put together with crappy wood. Any recommendations on favorite places to buy equipment would be welcome!

Thank you, thank you!

Anne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,493 Posts
I buy my equipment through Mann Lake Inc. They are super fast at getting the order together and getting it to your door. As for the other stuff, I am not sure the answers to those.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,467 Posts
I'll give a shot at answers.
I've always reused deadouts with little cleaning. It is amazing how good bees are at cleaning out a hive-after all, for millions of years they have been reusing hollows in trees where a former colony has not survived. They would prefer propolis is left inside the hive. I only scrape the top and bottom edges and that is only to be sure the supers will fit back together without leaving too much of a gap. They will do a good job of cleaning out dead brood and dead wax moth larva in the combs. If the wax is bent out of shape, you can gently push it back into place. I usually cut a slit in part of the comb so I can push it back into place. They may make areas of bent & out of shape comb or spots of badly wax moth damaged comb into drone comb, but that's okay, they will make drone comb somewhere anyway. Freezing kills wax moth eggs and the adults hibernate in the winter. I would only be concerned if you do not get more bees before you see moths flying around this spring. Then you would want to protect the comb until you do get bees. A strong hive will take care of wax moths. I'm not an expert with chalkbrood, so you would want someone else's opinion besides mine, but, I have been told that a strong hive with good hygenic genetics should be able to take care of chalkbrood as well. So you may not have to be concerned about that either. Burning is recommended if it's foulbrood.
I've been happy with Brushy Mtn hives. Their cuts have always been precise.
Hope that helped.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,025 Posts
Chalkbrood, Ascophaera apis, is a fungus. The bleach will kill fungus. If you dip the frames in bleach water the wax moth damage and brood debris will wash off also. What is left the bees will take care of. There is no reason to destroy the comb or frames if you do not suspect American Foulbrood.
By the way wax moths are quite at home in wax dipped woodenware. It will protect from moisture but if it is parafin (petroleum by-product) or mixed with rosin it is anything but natural. If you are talking about melting old beeswax and propolis that is a different story.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
983 Posts
Radiation...local bee clubs might have access.

American foul brood is the only reason to radiate. A large sideliner radiated all his used equipment every winter. He has so much equipment it is cheaper to use radiation compared to self cleaning and replacing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Any further sterilization isn't necassary. I wouldn't have even done what you did, other than scraping wax moth cocoons.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
When using a dead out box or boxes from another beekeeper I have used the advise of a beekeeper here that has been named "beekeeper of the year" in the state of ohio. He urged me to clean up the box by sanding and scraping any propilas or wax and then using a small propane torch just lightly singe the inside of the box. All you have to do is hold the torch a few inches from the box and you'll see a slight discoloration. You dont burn only lightly singe. This kills any spores left from whatever disease.
AFB and EFB are a different animal, I would recommend just burning them.
AFter finishing add a nice coat of paint and you are ready to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
34,542 Posts
Good advice vcitybz, but the original post was in reference to hives they already own and had bees in last year. Other than scrapping out wax moth cocoons and generally putting things in order, nothing else is necassary but to put bees in it. imo and from my experience.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8 Posts
Cleaning up as you did should be ok. If there is a section that was really damaged badly by the wax moths you can cut that part out. The torch method described by Ycitybz works well.I have even used it on the foundation. Are you using a SBB?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
I won't mess with wax moth infested comb. I just melt it down and make some candles or bullet lube.

Boxes should be fine.

I don't know what you mean by "crappy wood" from Dadant. I believe that there are a variety of grades available. As far as the construction: the bees will fill in gaps and the like. If you want something pretty to look at or cabinet quality boxes you have to pay extra.

The beekeeping landscape might be a bit different without the good folks at Dadant serving beekeepers and promoting the advancement of beekeeping.

These folks have been doing this since the Civil War, let's not be too harsh because you didn't get what you thought was the right thing for you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,371 Posts
This equipment clearly calls for a cask of boiling creosote and sulfuric acid, burn the remains and call hazmat to properly dispose of the residue! Unless you have a good reason to think you have American Foulbrood, the bees will clean up the mess. No massive over reactions are neccessary!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thanks your your help on this. I should have been more clear about Dadant hive boxes. The problem was that the boxes weren't quite square or level and were tippy on top of each other. The mitres didn't line up. I must have bought a lower grade wood. I am sure I'll learn what to expect as I go on. I liked the wax dipped hive body because it is so durable.

As for Dadant, I spoke out of line! I have used them from Day 1 and will continue to do so.

I have a story on Day 1: I became interested in beekeeping when my husband got me an antique smoker on eBay 10 years ago. Three years ago I was finally starting, looking online for equipment, and happened to have the smoker next to me on the bed. I went to the Dadant site and saw the hexagon logo and looked over and saw the same logo on the old smoker wooden part, and figured this was meant to be. It was really exciting for me, I felt part of history sort of.

I would like to know more about Dadant and their contribution to beekeeping.

Thanks everyone for advice and reassuring me about my cleaning method. I feel better about it. I have a small blowtorch to use. No, I don't have foulbrood.

Anne
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,433 Posts
I buy commercial grade woodenware, there is no reason to spend more. I can caulk or plug any knots that fall out if the bees don't, and I'm sure the bees could care less if the wood is knot free.

I do plan to keep my hives well painted -- proper painting will make them last indefinitely, just like the wooden siding on my house (now 56 years old).

Clean out the wax moth cocoons and any serious webbing as the bees cannot do this well, discard any distorted foundation or comb if you cannot straighten it out, and let the bees take care of the rest.

Chalk brood is most common in cool, damp weather (early spring, late fall in my area). You might want to make sure you have plenty of sun on you hives, and good air cirulation around them. If you do not have them well up off the ground, a stand a foot or so high can help quite a bit, too. The bees will recover nicely from it once the conditions get better. Feeding syrup in cool, damp conditions may worsen the problem, since it will add considerable moisture to the hive at a time when there is too much already.

As far as assembling boxes goes, fit them together and check for uneven corners, and if they are "tippy" switch the sides the cornersjust a bit to get them dead flat. Some variation is normal, it's wood and mass produced after all. Check with a square, too -- if the boxes are out of square they sometimes will also be more out of flat then when in square. Make sure you get the ends fully seated, too, and use some glue. Most importantly, check them with you other boxes as well, they all need to fit pretty closely. The bees will glue them together badly filling any cracks that show, after all, making handling them more work.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
242 Posts
Thanks your your help on this. I should have been more clear about Dadant hive boxes. The problem was that the boxes weren't quite square or level and were tippy on top of each other. The mitres didn't line up. I must have bought a lower grade wood. I am sure I'll learn what to expect as I go on. I liked the wax dipped hive body because it is so durable.

As for Dadant, I spoke out of line! I have used them from Day 1 and will continue to do so.

I have a story on Day 1: I became interested in beekeeping when my husband got me an antique smoker on eBay 10 years ago. Three years ago I was finally starting, looking online for equipment, and happened to have the smoker next to me on the bed. I went to the Dadant site and saw the hexagon logo and looked over and saw the same logo on the old smoker wooden part, and figured this was meant to be. It was really exciting for me, I felt part of history sort of.

I would like to know more about Dadant and their contribution to beekeeping.

Thanks everyone for advice and reassuring me about my cleaning method. I feel better about it. I have a small blowtorch to use. No, I don't have foulbrood.

Anne
Thanks for sharing that story.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
Top