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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was given some hives made very well with Cedar. I believe the person who had them before me just let them sit, maybe out of frustration with a dead out. They were quite obviously riddled with wax moths:

Brown Wood Flooring Floor Wood stain


They have been sitting quite some time, but I think I’ll give them a run in the deep freeze just to make sure. My immeasurable experience tells me the bees will fill the holes if they want that done. Other than that, anything to worry about?

(Warning: There is sarcasm hidden in this post. Some folks are having a hard time picking up on that.)
 

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You can freeze them but freezing is really what you do to kill eggs/larvae. I larger issue is what killed the bees that were in them. Wax moths were just scavenging.

I stopped taking in anything that has ever touched a bee due to an overabundance of caution (if such a thing exits). But early on a couple of folks brought stuff over thinking they were doing me a favor. One thing was an 8 frame box with a set of frames as badly eaten as your pic.

Bottom line, boxes are $18-20/ea. You'll probably be ok, but I'm not going to start out with any risk that could have been mitigated for <$100. To be clear, spores have a long shelf life, and they would be my concern. If I was bound and determined to used these, I would hit them with a propane torch or find a way to heat them to an unnatural temp for a few hours.
 

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I don't freeze them, but just scrape and brush them clean and put back on the hives. That wax moth damage won't happen when I paint the insides of my boxes as I'm painting the outsides. Painting insides also greatly reduces propolis and wax on the top bar frame rabbets, and what does get put there is more easily scraped off.
 

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I guess it all depends on how obsessional you want to be on this one ...

I'd recommend flaming the inside surfaces (as you don't know for sure what the colony died from), followed by a light wire-brushing to remove any loose stuff - then either just get on and use it, 'as is' - or fill-up the deeper holes with either wood filler (if you proceed to give the inside a lick of paint), or molten (candle) wax if you don't.
Personally, I wouldn't spend too much time on it, but then again I wouldn't criticise a person who wanted to .. :)
LJ
 

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Wax moth larvae damage to a box is unsightly, but that is the only drawback to the box. If you worry about AFB spores take the box to a carwash and use the wand to clean the inside of the box. Pressure washing will remove as many spores as torching the inside.

The bees will put propolis on the rough inside of the box. This is now thought to aid the honey bees immune system. If there is damage to the outside of the box, and it offends you, spackling compound and a coat of paint fixes that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
No damage to the outside at all.

I'm not even sure I'll use these since they are 10-frame, but I do want to make them serviceable. Someone thought enough to give them to me and if I do not use them I don't mind putting a little elbow grease on them to make them ready for another re-gift.

Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions.
 

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If I remember right you are running 8 frame stuff.

Clean this ten frame stuff up and us them as a swarm trap.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
If I remember right you are running 8 frame stuff.

Clean this ten frame stuff up and us them as a swarm trap.
You are correct, good idea!
 

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No damage to the outside at all.

I'm not even sure I'll use these since they are 10-frame, but I do want to make them serviceable. Someone thought enough to give them to me and if I do not use them I don't mind putting a little elbow grease on them to make them ready for another re-gift.

Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions.
You could freeze them, scrape the inside and make some propolis/alcohol emulsion to paint the inside. That’s a lot of work and for me….I’d take my most hygienic hive in spring and take the queen on frame with 3 others that have brood pollen and honey and let them clean it to their hearts desire. If they do a great job, we’ll I’m gonna make splits cause she’s a keeper😉
 

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No damage to the outside at all.

I'm not even sure I'll use these since they are 10-frame, but I do want to make them serviceable. Someone thought enough to give them to me and if I do not use them I don't mind putting a little elbow grease on them to make them ready for another re-gift.

Thanks all for your thoughts and suggestions.
they will make good swarm traps.
keep your slum gum the first harvest and coat the inside with that (need a torch)
or torch them and they can be frame holders.

GG
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The gentleman who gave them to me (not the person who had the hives originally) would not have passed them along if there was anything other than an abandoned hive getting infested with wax moths. He's an accomplished beekeeper, active in the State and Local Beekeeping organizations. I am fairly certain these were just a case of a bee-haver who got tired of the work and let them swarm to death.

I think it's just sad to look at because of what it meant, but I'm also sure this is not the only example of a person who just could not keep up. It's also a really stark example of Cedar not being bug proof - those moth larvae did just fine burrowing into that wood.
 

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If you have a fire pit, build a fire in it and set the box over the grate. You only need to leave it for a few seconds and the interior faces will heat up to a couple of hundred degrees. That's enough to destroy any pathogens. The propolis will be soft and easy to scrape. A handheld IR thermometer is handy for checking that you're getting hot enough. It's the fastest way I've found to clean and sterilize boxes.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have a heat gun, I may do that. I'm not worried about scraping the propolis (unless I should be?).
 

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You could freeze them, scrape the inside and make some propolis/alcohol emulsion to paint the inside.
Frankly, just take a heat gun (or a blow torch) and run it about if any germ/pet control is desired.
This will be a great cleanup too - right on the spot.

Optionally, melt and let absorb some wax/propolis onto the walls and corners.
This would be my preferred way - granted I never have time for it and never even bother anyway.

Having wooden equipment - might as well take advantage of this nice feature - the burn off.
Don't try this on the poly hives. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Greg the "no blood no foul" approach is appreciated. :)
 

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I don't freeze them, but just scrape and brush them clean and put back on the hives. That wax moth damage won't happen when I paint the insides of my boxes as I'm painting the outsides. Painting insides also greatly reduces propolis and wax on the top bar frame rabbets, and what does get put there is more easily scraped off.
Hmmm. This is the first time I have heard of someone painting the inside of a hive. As for propolis, it is the bees way of protecting the colony. Propolis is a good thing, and I encourage it being built on hive walls. Maybe I misread the post.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I've read it in a few other places here recently. On the negative side of the argument, it's "not needed," on the positive side, it may help with durability. Seems like a "whatever you want to do" sort of thing.
 

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Hmmm. This is the first time I have heard of someone painting the inside of a hive. As for propolis, it is the bees way of protecting the colony. Propolis is a good thing, and I encourage it being built on hive walls. Maybe I misread the post.
There is still plenty of propolis in the hive. It's all over the frames and between the frames, bees don't like them moving around you know and glue them in tight. There's less on the frame rests but that doesn't mean there's none there, and it's easier to scrape off when needed. Perhaps less is needed as it glues better to a painted surface than a bare wood surface. I dunno, but I still stick with painting insides of the boxes. Over all less propolis but it's not gone away, and no wax moth damage to the wood when infestation happens like in dead outs or when boxes are stored.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Incidentally, Dr. Cameron Jack was at the MSBA conference and he shared (I can't remember the study he cited) that pressure washing was as effective as scorching for reducing AFB spores.
 
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