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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I bought my hives (Spring, 2009) one of them had several old gnarly frames. The wax was black and awful looking. So this spring I got some new foundation ready to go, moved the bad frames to the upper brood chamber on the outside positions, waited about three weeks and then pulled them out and replaced them with new frames & foundation. Altogether, we are talking about 8 frames of old cruddy wax. The bees drew out new comb in just a few weeks and all is well.

I have an old refridgerator (not plugged in) that I use to store drawn honey frames in over the winter. It works well because I can put some moth crystals and close it up tight. I put the old brood frames up in the freezer compartment and closed the door.

So here is where the stupid part kicks in.

Intending to build a wax melter, I let the old frames just sit in the freezer for about 6 weeks and things got a little ... uh... pungent. So I propped the door open to let things air out a bit and moths got to the frames. So things went from pungent to nasty in a week or two.

In the mean time, I got the melter built and was getting ready to render the wax, but I thought that I would clean them up a bit. So I soaked the frames in water which loosened up some old pollen and honey and started to drive the wax moth larvae out of the cells. While there were a lot of larvae, there was not much silk on the frames yet - just a little.

So I sprayed the frames with water and cleaned them out fairly well and then put them out to dry - and this is what I am worried about, because my bees found them while they were sitting out. When I saw the cloud of bees around the frames, I ran out and brushed the bees off the frames and bagged the frames (still a little wet) and put them back into the freezer.

Here is my worry... do you think that my bees may have carried disease back to my hives? If so, are there any steps I should take to head off any problem?

I have never seen any evidence of foul brood or any other problems in my hives in the past. They are both very strong hives. Each has two brood chambers and two honey supers and are FULL of bees. I have a lot of capped honey frames that I plan to collect soon and replace with some fresh foundation.

Any advice?

- Dan
 

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if the combs are really black - they will really melt down to a mess that you really wouldnt like to put your name on

the black comb is goin to have propolis and coccon skins - that will be hard to remove in the rendering process

if you want to make use of the old frames - use them in a few bait hives -

if they might have disease id just wrap then up and toss the in the trash - why take a chance that $20 can replace
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the links.

I am not so much worried about moths in my hives. I have oil pans and saw only 5 or 6 larvae the first time I changed the oil. After that, I have not seen any more larvae.

What I am worried about is any disease (foul brood, etc) that might have festered in the old frame while it was in storage. Could the bees carry disease back to the hives from those frames (which, by the way, had not shown any sign of disease before).

- Dan
 

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There is always that risk. And that risk is carried over into any sort of robbing.
If those bees were your neighbors the risk could be greater.

However, not much you can do now. Some risk management would be, keep and eye out for nosema, and possibly treat in the fall if you are worried about it.
As for foulbrood, again keep an eye on the hives.
You do not mention if you regularly treat for nosema or not or if you do prevention with terrimycin. If you do, keep up the work in the fall.
The other idea i can recommend, is keep your hives strong...not swarm strong, but strong, and healthy. Maybe feed a pollen patty or 2 or 4 in the fall. If there is a dearth now, feed them. Other than that, not much else you can do

Not a stupid mistake, we all make them, write it down in your book, and remember the outcome so the mistake will not be repeated....simple enough :)
 

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The frames are from your hive. Not much bigger chance of getting any disease than if you left them in the hive. I would but them in the melter with some water in the ketch pan, any wax that melts from the frames will float on top honey will mix with the water and you can throw it away where the bees can not get to it . Not very good quality wax but you can always use it for something unrelated to bees. I like to put the frames in the melter with the wax larvae in them and cook the little buggers.
 
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