Foundations with moth disease

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6
4
Auckland
Experience
Hobbyist
I am a new amateur beekeeper. Things were very good last season with 5 good hives. However after extraction in February, 3 hives deteriorated with moths. That's another issue about why which I am looking into. (perhaps too reliant on Oxalic spray alone). However I have 2 hives remaining over this summer which I am building up again. My question is that I have a lot of frames with foundation from last summer with moth larvae and silky threads in them. I have put them all in the freezer for 2-3 days and therefore assuming all eggs dead. Do I
a. Clean the frames back totally and get the bees to start from scratch
b. Clean out parts that have the silky threads but leave the good parts of the comb alone
c. Just stick in the hive and let them clean things up?

Thanks for you help.
 
8,630
5,089
maungaturoto
Experience
Commercial
Thanks. I agree the cause is important. I’m presuming Verroa. I’ve been relying on regular OA spray without checking numbers.
never presume, there is signs if its varroa.
what makes it worse is AFB can hide in the background of mite damage. it makes it very difficult to see.

as you are now aware of why alterative treatments need to have mite monitoring hand in hand.
this is why i don't recommend alterative treatments for beginners, it make things very difficult and have high rates of failure.
learn the beekeeping first and then go onto the alterative treatments.
 

Josh

Gold
960
697
Christchurch
Experience
Hobbyist
Sounds like a similar experience to me.

Oxalic spray? Do you mean vaporisation? Or drizzle? I tried starting with OA vaporisation, i figured i had time as a hobbyist and liked the idea of being organic…. What a failure that was.

Now with conventional strips I’m doing much better. Will keep that up for a few years before I dabble back into OA strips. And maybe by then they’ll be commercially available already made, the % ratios will be known and some research results appearing.

Wax Moth is a sign of weakness, not a cause. My bet is your varroa. But to be sure you could get some frames tested from each hive. If you recycle AFB gear, you’re in for a whole world of hurt and will harm neighbours too. I‘ve done the AFB course too, but still carry the test kits and if I had a hive fail now without reason/explanation (with proof) I think I’d get the test done to be sure.
 

Mummzie

Staff member
1,231
1,118
Tasman
Experience
Hobbyist
My question is that I have a lot of frames with foundation from last summer with moth larvae and silky threads in them. I have put them all in the freezer for 2-3 days and therefore assuming all eggs dead. Do I
a. Clean the frames back totally and get the bees to start from scratch
b. Clean out parts that have the silky threads but leave the good parts of the comb alone
c. Just stick in the hive and let them clean things up?
Welcome to the forum @Philip .

Your description of the hives starting to fail after honey harvest matches the description of a varroa infestation getting ahead of the bees during the autumn period. Hopefully that is what the problem was, and not AFB or other problems.
As hives become weaker, wax moth can overcome the colony.

You ask what to do with the frames, but that answer will differ depending on your circumstances.
At this point in the season, I would expect your colonies are as big as they are going to be- so doubtful they would do much more than tidy up the frames / unlikely they would require the space.

Could you describe the state of your 2 colonies, and what their make-up will be once you have harvested this year?- so the wise heads can make suggestions on the best course to take with your frames.
Getting your colonies thru this next winter by getting on top of Varroa is first priority. Storing drawn frames for next season and keeping them free of wax moth is a different challenge (one I do not have a sure answer for). Freezing may have killed those eggs. Now you have to keep them from being laid on again.
 
6
4
Auckland
Experience
Hobbyist
Welcome to the forum @Philip .

Your description of the hives starting to fail after honey harvest matches the description of a varroa infestation getting ahead of the bees during the autumn period. Hopefully that is what the problem was, and not AFB or other problems.
As hives become weaker, wax moth can overcome the colony.

You ask what to do with the frames, but that answer will differ depending on your circumstances.
At this point in the season, I would expect your colonies are as big as they are going to be- so doubtful they would do much more than tidy up the frames / unlikely they would require the space.

Could you describe the state of your 2 colonies, and what their make-up will be once you have harvested this year?- so the wise heads can make suggestions on the best course to take with your frames.
Getting your colonies thru this next winter by getting on top of Varroa is first priority. Storing drawn frames for next season and keeping them free of wax moth is a different challenge (one I do not have a sure answer for). Freezing may have killed those eggs. Now you have to keep them from being laid on again.
Thanks again for your comments. Yes I think the verroa took hold quickly as I delayed treatment until after removing supers in last summer. The 2 colonies are looking quite good. Not so productive as last year but have a good laying queen in each, and have filled up 2 and 1/2 3/4 boxes with capped honey. Plenty of brood and look healthy. I'll take the supers off in a couple of weeks and then put in some Apitraz or bayvarol.
 
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13
14
Christchurch
Experience
Commercial
Thanks again for your comments. Yes I think the verroa took hold quickly as I delayed treatment until after removing supers in last summer. The 2 colonies are looking quite good. Not so productive as last year but have a good laying queen in each, and have filled up 2 and 1/2 3/4 boxes with capped honey. Plenty of brood and look healthy. I'll take the supers off in a couple of weeks and then put in some Apitraz or bayvarol.
ok, as the newbee you are, I would strongly recommend you do an alcohol wash. you need to prove you have a high mite loading, this will be the tool that will assist you. once these numbers are known - report back and we can decide the best course to move forward
 
6
4
Auckland
Experience
Hobbyist
I think you missed the jist of the thread. The moth disease was last season and since then I have treated the remaining hives twice with synthetics. I was asking about using the frames that had been diseased to use again this season. Nevertheless I did do a sugar shake today and 1 mite in one hive and nothing in the other. The colonies look strong at present. I think last season as I mentioned I left it too long before taking off the supers and therefore didn't treat until after that and verroa took hold early. Thanks all for your input
 
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