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I was thinking about my solar melter and the potential of melting AFB infected comb. Now, I don't think I did this, but.... I have accumulated blocks of wax, and now I am thinking that it would be a mistake to use them for the purpose I had intended because they potentially could have foulbrood spores in the wax. So, how do I rid the wax of it? Can I trade the wax in to a beekeep supply place for processed wax? Thanks in advance for your thoughts and suggestions.
Jeff
 

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Jeff
I don't know if it will survive the melting since wax melts at around 140*. I had AFB in a hive earlier this year. I made candles out of the wax. It won't get into the supply chain that way
 

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Spores do not move to hive via foundations. But I stopped sun melting box because bees can suck systen juice every now and then. I bought a 2000 W steam aparatus.

The heat of smelted wax of boiling water does not kil AFB spores.

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The foundation manufactures use a steam apparatus to get the wax hotter without igniting it. You can sell it to them if you like. I wouldn't worry about it.

>Can I trade the wax in to a beekeep supply place for processed wax?

At a cost of course.
 

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[I wouldn't worry about it.]

Nor would I.

The spores are only infective to young larvae that ingest the spores. Since larvae don't eat wax, its not really going to impact you.

The problem arises when you use it to make foundation that is going to be used in honey supers. The spores that are on the surface of the wax could migrate into the honey where it could be injested or harvested and mixed into a clean extraction, thus infecting the batch.

[...they potentially could have foulbrood spores in the wax.]

Depending on who you read or trust, various sources have said that on average some 10-15% of hives normally have some AFB spores. Its a problem when the hive is weak enough not to defend against the disease or not enough old combs are rotated out of use and the disease can reach a critical concentration level.

With this in mind I would consider a few common sense conditions.

Did you hive show any signs of AFB before harvesting the wax? If so, I'd most certainly not use the wax. I'd probably not pay to have it processed either(I'd not want to spread the disease to anyone else or worry that the processing was performed well enough, I'd pitch the suspect combs). Otherwise, I'd assume it to be viable and probably use the wax.

Are you rotating your combs out (10%/year)? If so, there is usually less time for the disease to take a foot hold in the combs you are using.

If no other conditions that make AFB likely, then I'd probably use the wax. Other conditions would be the hives in excessively damp area, lacking direct sunlight exposure, high hive density (>20 hives/acre) or other hives in the vacinity that tested positive for AFB.

[The heat of smelted wax of boiling water does not kil AFB spores.]

This is true. In fact, you could be selecting more prolific strains because the weaker ones would be eliminated.

You could irradiate the combs, people on here have talked about locations that process mail during the anthrax scares, but the shipping cost to and from and the processing cost could make this idea cost prohibitative.

JEFF
 
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