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Author Topic: Cleaning up an infested hive.  (Read 1169 times)

Offline bilder

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Cleaning up an infested hive.
« on: February 07, 2013, 05:59:59 PM »
I have aquired a hive for free (yay!), however, it has not been used for a couple years and when I took it down for transport, I found a mess.

I would post some photos, but my post count is not high enough yet.   :'(

I think this is a wax moth infestation, but I may be wrong.  I see some cacoons with larve in them all over the place and the comb is all torn to shreds or gone altogether.  Just black and brown dust/crud all over the place in the hive.  It is two supers and two mediums.

How would I go about cleaning this up to insure that I get all the nasties out of there and make it a welcome home for some bees?
Wisdom is the comb that life gives you after you have lost your hair.

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 06:27:39 PM »
I would just toss it in the bonfire.
Cheers,
Drew

Offline D Coates

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 06:42:23 PM »
I wouldn't burn it.  Is there plastic foundation, is it wired, what's in the frames?  I helped a guy I work with turn a half dozen hives that had been inactive for at least 30 years back into action with little effort.  They'd been cleaned out via wax moths that left webs, frass (poo, that looks like caterpillar droppings), and cocoons all over the place.  Easy stuff to clean out.  Even if you've got nothing but frames, you can put various foundations or starters in them and inexpensively move forward.  If you're concerned with transmissing American Foulbrood flash hit the frames and boxes with a blow torch.
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Offline bilder

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 06:50:13 PM »
I do not want to toss the hive.  It is solidly built and looks like it is pretty new.  The place I got it from said it was there when they moved in and the prior tenant had it one season before he got evicted.  One medium was on the hive and the other was stored in a shed nearby with some extra frames.

The frames are made of wood with plastic foundation in them.  There is one thicker black plastic frame thing that may have been part of a nuc or package.   Only thing that is torn up is the wax comb and all the poo/debris in there.  The base has a screen with a slide out wooden panel under it. Nice sheet metal topper, but the inner cover looks like it will need to be replaced.

Would it work to scrape the caccoons off of the frames?  Could I put the frames in the freezer or something to kill off any larve I may miss?  Pretty sure they are moths, found a few dead ones in the crud on the bottom screen.
Wisdom is the comb that life gives you after you have lost your hair.

Offline hankdog1

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 07:42:03 PM »
Depends on how worried you are about AFB really what I would do with it.  If I had my doubts I'd burn all the frames and foundation and blow tourch the boxes and stuff.  Other then that your find to scrape the wax moth mess out of there clean it all up and rewax the plastic foundation.
Take me to the land of milk and honey!!!

Offline Maryland Beekeeper

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #5 on: February 07, 2013, 09:34:53 PM »
Yes, freezer will kill moth. My understanding is that AFB spores will survive higher temp than wood, irradiation is only sure fire method.

Offline Vance G

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 10:08:35 PM »
I seriously doubt that what is probably one year use equipment is foulbrood infected.  Take a hive tool and scrape down the cocoons on the plastic foundation and hit it with a waterhose and see what you have.  You might just need bees, a veil and a smoker.

Offline dirt road

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #7 on: February 07, 2013, 11:59:20 PM »
I agree with Vance G!

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 09:55:16 AM »
If it's been a couple of years since there were bees in it, then there WAS a wax moth infestation... they would be gone by now.  I would scrape it down and use it.
Michael Bush
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Offline 10framer

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #9 on: February 08, 2013, 10:05:35 AM »
clean it up and use it.  i expect there are dormant foulbrood spores in most hives.

Offline bilder

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Re: Cleaning up an infested hive.
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2013, 02:27:54 PM »
Thanks for the tips guys.

I scraped the hive down.  Lots of cocoons between the frames and the sides of the supers. A couple frames and parts of the supers have indentations from cocoons along the side, but it should not affect the performance I would think.  I am probably going to give them a torch hit just to make me feel better and re-install the foundations.

Left them outside in the rain which froze overnight to drown/freeze any cocoons I may have missed.

Wisdom is the comb that life gives you after you have lost your hair.