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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a commercial bee keeper friend that has been a true friend and mentor. He has about 80 boxes with brood comb in them that the wax moths got into. He is going to give it to me for my fire pit. (Makes a great smelling fire in the fire pit). My question is this. If I go through these boxes and find some that is still in good shape and not covered in the wax moth stringy looking web stuff, will the bees still work it or is it worthless and just burn it all. I look forward to hearing from all you experienced people out there as soon as possible because he is bringing it all out tomorrow night. I sure could use some more brood comb to go in boxes for the 27 swarms I have caught this spring but I don't want to kill the bees or make them sick. Please let me know.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Just the old comb. I have heard the bees won't work it after it has had wax moths. I am not sure so I am asking. I am not burning the boxes. I should have clarified that. Sorry.
 

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This is what I didn't want to happen. My questions is will the bees work the comb. If so I will use it. If not then I will make other uses of it. I am aware of the price of things. The other uses for it and so on.
 

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I'm trying to clean up some old comb right now and it's a pain. I found boiling the comb down will clean up the frames pretty good but yield very little wax. Also, if the foundation is plastic then it's best to let it sit in the sun and warm up and scrape it off. My next idea is to dip the plastic foundation in some hot water and try to scrub off the rest of it before i paint more wax on to the plastic foundation. This might seem like over kill but I've seen bees build cross comb or just not use it at all and make their own in between the frames and I don't want that.

If the frames are grooved on the top and the bottom then I'd save them. Boiling them will make it easy to clean out the grooves and then snap in new plastic foundation. If it's old wired foundation then I'd burn them and dance around the fire happy knowing I just saved myself a big mess, a lot of work and I'm killing future generations of wax moths.
 

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If it is just a light infestation, the bees can fix it up, but if it's very heavy at all, it's not worth giving back to the bees. The comb gets too weak from the moth larva eating through it for the bees to fix up well, I'd rather have them start over from scratch. You might have some worth saving, there may be some frames worth saving as well.
 

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My question is this. If I go through these boxes and find some that is still in good shape and not covered in the wax moth stringy looking web stuff, will the bees still work it or is it worthless and just burn it all.
I had a wax moth problem as well. My strong colonies didn't even let it faze them. No damage whatsoever. In my weaker colonies however, I had to pull some damaged brood combs out. I pulled out all the damaged ones, cut out the stringy webs left behind and then froze the frames overnight. Freezing kills any wax moth larvae that may still be in the comb. I then gave it back to the bees and they have since cleaned them out and put them to good use. You should do the same. Don't waste all that drawn comb.
 

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I just had a couple of hives die and I fed the frames to my chickens. If you leave it long enough there will be nothing left but the supporting wires and the wooden frames. In my case the comb was in good condition, no webs yet but lots of worms.
 

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When you ask a question about Wax Moth like that, you will get all kinds of answers. If the damage is BAD, then discard the Wax, if not, the bee's can handle minor damage from the wax moth. You will have to use your best judgment on what to save and what to discard, since we can't see the damage. Have fun with your Bee's!
 

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If you have frames of honey with wax moth larvae in it can you set out and let bees Rob out the honey without risking them taking something back to there home hive to contaminate it?
 
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