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Discussion Starter #1
I was thinking. I am doing this beekeeping the Chem free way but I have trouble when storing comb when the season is done. Wax moths and hive beetles have taken their toll.

I want to keep the moths and beetles out without using wax moth crystals as they are just another chemical. I have left them in the open, staggered for air flow and light, but that ended in disaster. So I started brain storming........ and I keep coming back to the idea of a oxygen depleted environment.

1. I could freeze them, but I don't have a huge freezer to keep them i until spring and it costs money to run the freezer.

2. I could go to one of those bedding stores and buy bags to vacuum pack them which lowers the pressure and creates an oxygen deprived environment not to mention the problems the bugs would have the whole differential pressure of oxygen issue. But those bags are pricey and not very sturdy.

3. I thought to get some of those silicon baking sheets to use as gaskets and fill a stack of supers with an inert gas like nitrogen or Carbon Dioxide (think dry ice). A ratchet strap should keep it snuggly sealed. But the baking sheets are not cheap, and becomes cost prohibitive.

4. I could wrap a stack of supers in that plastic wrap, like stuff that you see in airports, that should make a pretty good seal. Then place a small bees wax candle inside in a metal cupcake pan (I can already hear folks slapping their foreheads) and use it to deplete the oxygen. Or I could replace the candle with dry ice (CO2). I think that the plastic wrap should keep the CO2 in and oxygen out for the duration of a seasons storage, but what about moisture and mold.



I know that I rambled a bit, but feel free to throw you comment in the pot. And Yes, I have considered the roman candle scenario if the candle lights the comb.
 

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I want to keep the moths and beetles out without using wax moth crystals as they are just another chemical.
BT is not a chemical. XenTari is listed by the Organic Materials Review Institute (OMRI) for use in organic production.
 

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I'd have to agree with Hambone. And it is relatively cheap. Certainly easy to use. Just make sure that you stack them so that you get air circulation AFTER you spray the BT. It needs to dry or the excess moisture will facilitate mold growth.
Don't know where to get it ?? Check the For Sale heading in the Beesource forums and find Sundance. He delivers promptly.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
So BT will kill or repel both Wax moths and Hive beetles? I thought it was just good for the wax moth?

Alex
 

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I've been told that Cedar doesn't work. You think it would though. When storing, light is your friend. Beetles and moths hate daylight.
 

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Wouldn't sealing the comb and supers in trash bags and freezing them for 24 hours work? This would be tough with a ton of supers, but it's how I thought I would store comb over the winter. Am I headed down the wrong path?
 

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Deep Freeze Works

I put supers in the deep freeze for at least 24 hrs. Then put a telescoping top upside down on the floor, stack the supers, and put another top on right-side up. Make sure you have no holes or cracks in the stack (tape where needed). Works good for me.
 

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1. Ozarkmountainman - I find it hard to believe that you can keep wax moths at bay that way. Maybe the weather in your area gets just cold enough for long enough that it works for you, so that is great.

For me, the weather is always too hot and humid for that too work. To date, wax moths have gotten into just about every box I have stored for any length of time.

I too have gotten some Bt and am going to use it this winter as soon as I harvest my fall crop. (Flow was over a few weeks ago and I just haven't gotten out there yet.)

2. alexcc1 - Have you had problems with hive beetles in stored comb? I have terrible trouble with hive beetles, but only if they got started with honey and moisture and bees out in the field. Once I have dry extracted combs the hive beetles seem to leave them alone. I have even had hives die/abscond and found tens of thousands of hive beetles when I got there. I have bagged and frozen these frames and then thawed and washed and dried them and they are fine.

The only thing I think the hive beetles need is moisture and pollen. I have soaked frames of mostly pollen under water and rinsed the pollen out and dried them on occasion, but usually I just give these pollen frames back to the bees.
 

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http://www.bushfarms.com/beeswaxmoths.htm

Basically if you leave them on the hives from mid May until harvest and then go back on the hives until the first freeze and then pull them off and stack them, it isn't an issue. But this is dependent on climate. In a warmer climate I'd stack them under the brood nest for the winter and let the bees guard them.
 

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Troy

I'm not exactly in the arctic, but I'm not in a tropical paradise like Florida either. I had supers stored all summer as described. I have several stored right now as described. Believe it or not. If you kill the moths, beetles, larvae and eggs by freezing, and then you don't let any more into the supers, how are they magically going to appear.

Sorry for the come-back Troy. Its hard for me to just sit back, but I am working on it. I have done enough reading on this forum to know that about half the time when you post an experience or opinion, someone is going to jump on you. I guess I'll go back to just reading.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
That is one of the funny things about the internet....... sometimes it is difficult to get a good read on folks. Frequently, folks mistake genuine curiosity for sarcasm. I tend to mark it up to genuine curiosity until it becomes painfully obvious that sarcasm is the tone of the day.


Troy
I had a couple of frames from a brood nest that were sticky and had some bits of pollen still in them, one of which was honey super cell. Anyway I froze them due the beetles and then dropped the in an empty nuc. The top was secured with four wood screws (I use this one as a baited hive and I don't want to worry about the top falling off) but I didn't seal off the entrance. A few weeks later I was in the garage where it is stores and saw a couple of the buggers crawling out looking for a place to burrow in. They slimed all five combs. The Honey Super Cell was fine but I cut the comb out of the others, froze them then tossed them in the trash sealed in a bag.

Right now I have short stacks of supers and deeps in the garage wrapped in cling wrap (the kind they use for packing). I put a small candle in a pie pan and set it in the empty upper super then sealed the top of the stack with the cling wrap, and let it burn until the oxygen was depleted. I'll report back in the spring and let ya'll know how it went.
 
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