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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Help. I recently purchased two deep hive bodies from a beek in OKC. With the two deeps, he gave me frames of foundation and frames with old comb.

Most of the frames of old comb are deep, dark brown, nearly black and have a great deal of honey and/or pollen in many of the cells. I'm excited about the pollen and honey stores. Some of the comb has been scratched and marred but I suppose the bees can repair that.

Here is my concern. I have never inspected the frames of comb until I talked with Flyman today. In one deep, I found several frames of comb that had hair-like webbing across the cells and along the tops of some of the frames.

I seriously suspect wax moths. In talking with Flyman today, he said he was surprised the other beek in OKC didn't have problems with wax moths eating into the comb...so I looked carefully and believe I have found it.

Now, being a brand new beek, I've never seen wax moth damage, signs, etc. I have carefully studied pictures and I don't know what else it could be.

Can I just put the frames with webbing across the cells into my deepfreeze for a few days and then they would be ok to put in my new hives? Is that correct or do I just trash the old comb with the webbing across the cells?
 

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Yes, you could put or rotate ALL your comb thru the deep freezer to kill any wax moth eggs that might be there.

There are those who do not use old comb from another beek for fear of disease. There are others who rotate out and replace old comb because of chemical contamination. Still others would take what you have, use that old comb as bait comb in swarm traps. And they'd put new foundation or foundationless in their own hives. If they trap a swarm, they'll rotate out that old bait comb soon.

By the way, the bees will clean up that wax moth webbing and damage, if it isn't too bad. But you do need to put all the comb thru the freezer, because you won't be positive where the wax moth eggs are, if any. Better to be safe, than lose more frames.

Oh, and if you decide to trash the comb, simply cut it out of the frames, and reuse the frames, if they're in decent shape. If you have a solar wax melter (If you don't, and have a few colonies, you might want to make one, to render your cappings), I'd suggest putting down a layer of cheescloth or some filter agent, lay those old combs on it, and let the sun render your wax for you. If you're lucky, all the old crud is gone, and you simply pop in new foundation. IF you're lucky.
And may we ALL be lucky this season!
Steven
 

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Steven G is dead on. Since wax moths tend to lay in the cell, the larvae eat the comb under the surface before they spin their cocoon. If you can look "into" the comb, maybe hold up to a strong light, you will probably see channels that look like they connect each cell and run in a straight line, sometimes the length of the comb. The thin webbing is a telltale sign of wax moth. Freeze em for at least 48 hrs, then are ok to use.

Bees will fix minor damage is a flash. Even major damage won't take that long.

Good luck.
 

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Yep, freeze the frames or in your part of the wods HEAT also works. Several posts on how to do. Up here it is SNOWING now; so cold works quite well; however; I put out traps a couple of weks ago (in the 60's) and cought several of the critters (got some BUNK for it). Simple trap: 2 liter pop/soda plastic bottle; quarter$ size hole (on flat, below neck), 1 part each water,vinigar, sugar + Banna/Peals. Cought/killed:D a bunch of critters: Yellow Jackets, Bald-face hornets, wax moths, etc., NO BEES!!!!

P.S.: Yellow Jacket, Wasp, Hornet, etc larva are ALL good fishing bate!!! The NAY sayers can gather them - NOT ME. :D:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Flyman,

You are spot on target. I got the frames out this afternoon just as soon as we hung up the phone and I found the webbing and the trails running through the comb in straight lines just exactly as you described.

Final results of inspection = one deep with excellent comb in five frames. Second deep had one frame completely destroyed by wax moths so I cut it out. Another frame had minor damage from wax moths and that frame is already in the freezer. I do believe that I will go ahead and freeze all of the frames for a minimum of three days. That ought to do it.

Thanks a ton!

P.S. I have found teeny, tiny white things all on some of the frames. About the size of grains of sand but near pure white in color. Could that bee wax moth eggs?
 

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Correct me if I am wrong - folks here real good at that - but I believe the prevention of wax moth damage is to store your brood supers with comb exposed to light and ventilation? CrisCross rather than stacked? During warm weather, which in NY only lasts about the 3 months that the frames are in use by the bees!
I have no wax moth, my unused frames have been in the freezer/garage for 6 months! :lpf:
 

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There is the greater and the lesser wax moth. the lesser seem a little harder to kill with freezing. I was going through brood boxes from deadouts I had last summer and there is lesser wax moth larva still moving on the frames. These boxes were stored in an unheated building all winter here in WI. I left a bucket in the shop with water in it and the bucket had ice in it in Jan.
 
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