Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Hive Loss, Wax Moths, and Storage...

HCBA member Sage Franetovich sent the following inquiry via email, and has allowed me to share it here, so that the information may be of help to others too. 

I had one hive that was started with a new colony this spring.  Unfortunately, I lost all my bees and the honey to robbers (wasps and other bees).  It happened so quickly!  After the robbing, I opened my hive and found empty cells and wax moth larvae and webbing.  So, I am wondering what to do next.  How can I clean up my hive and safely store it for the winter?  I would like to use the same hive next year and minimize buying new equipment.  Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!
The dreaded wax moth.
I stole this picture from Google images, but this is an example of a frame with minimal damage from wax moths.
When I receive an email inquiry from one of our members, I forward the message to some of our most experience members and enlist their help.  Below is a response from our VP Jeff Rhys...

Bee keeping can be frustrating sometimes. But with each new challenge you overcome the better beekeeper you become First you need to get rid of any active wax moth to prevent further damage. This can be done by freezing the hive for a couple of days. Then it will depend on how much damage was done to the comb to see if any can be saved. If the damage was advanced you will need to take each frame and remove the damaged comb and install new foundation. If there is only a small amount of damage you can clean each frame as best you can and let the bees finish repairing the comb next year. Remove all traces of wax moth from frames and boxes and then properly store your equipment to prevent any more damage from the wax moths. Hope this helps.
~Jeff Rys

I think Jeff's answer is great, and if you'd like to add some helpful advice for Sage, or anyone else reading this post, please do so in the comments section below.

1 comment:

  1. If you have plastic foundation, you can just scrap it if it is bad and the bees will readily draw it back out again. However, based on you picture, pick out as much of the silk as you can and everything will be fine. The bees will do the rest in the spring.


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