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Author Topic: Ready to become 3rd Generation Beekeeper - Advice on Inherited Equipment  (Read 543 times)
SueCT
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Location: Naugatuck, CT, USA


« on: June 23, 2013, 11:13:41 AM »

Hi All!  So happy to have found this forum.  Both my grandparents and parents have had hives over the years, thought at 85, dad has not had a hive in about 10 years or so.  I now own my own home and just picked up equipment that was used by my father and grandfather over the years.  Both deep and shallow supers, frames (new and used), hundreds of sheets of wired foundation wax, a wiring board that my grandfather made to help wire the foundation sheets into place, old smokers with leather bellows (some of the leather is cracked, so need to assess that), beekeeper golves, bonnets, etc.  Kind of a nice stash, I think.

I do have some questions about getting this equipment ready for use next spring.  Many of the used frames were stored in the supers themselves.  They don't have foundation wax on them, but I'm seeing what looks kind of like chew marks on some of them (mice?).  Also some small burrowed holes that look like insect activity.  Some of the boxes - and some of the foundation wax packages - have black grit in them.  Off the cuff, I'd guess insect excrement.  I'm concerned about this possibility and what it might mean to the health of the future hive.  Also, I know dad had some problems with varroa mites in his last colonies (keep in mind, this was about 10 years ago) - I don't know if that information will impact how I move ahead with preparing for setting up a new hive.

So, what would you do to prepare these supers and frames for use once again?  How do I best clean them, disinfect them?  Can I use the foundation wax that had the black mystery grit in the bottom of the box or has that ship sailed?  Any tips on reconditioning the leather on the bellows of the smoker?  Thanks so much for any words of wisdom you can share!  Sue in CT, USA
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 11:25:41 AM by SueCT » Logged
tefer2
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« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 12:46:36 PM »

Welcome to the forum Sue. I would still use the boxes but would start with new frames and foundation.
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Joe D
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« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 02:15:38 PM »

Welcome to the forum, Sue.  We still have Varro problems.  If there is a local bee club or a beek that you can get to look at the equipment you have, he maybe better able to see what you can use or not.  Good luck with your beek.




Joe
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2013, 11:22:04 AM »

I would reuse it all.  The bees will clean things up other than wax moth cocoons and wax moth webs.  Scrape those off.
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Michael Bush
My website:  bushfarms.com/bees.htm
My book:  ThePracticalBeekeeper.com
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
SueCT
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Location: Naugatuck, CT, USA


« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2013, 09:37:37 PM »

Thank you all - I did post photos of the equipment and the grit to this group on Facebook (I'm new here, so can't post photos just yet). Looks like the general consensus is wax moths.  I post on Facebook under Susan Cann Lydem, if anyone is interested in seeing the pics.  Appreciate your help!  Smiley
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