Saturday, December 26, 2009
Storing Brood Comb
At times it is necessary to store the frames of brood comb in a building away from the bee hives. The frames that have been used by bees to raise brood are particularly vulnerable to wax moth damage because they contain considerable food in the form of pollen, honey, bee bread, and silk cocoons spun by the pupae. The developing wax moth larvae need this food; they can’t live on beeswax comb alone. Without bees to protect the comb, it is quite vulnerable to damage from wax moths. Moth crystals made from PDB (paradichlorobenzene) kill larvae and adult wax moths. Never treat bee hive equipment with moth balls; they are another chemical which is not acceptable for bee hive use. The crystals may be placed on strips of newspaper, as in the photo, atop the frames in tightly stacked hive boxes. Place a cover above the boxes. The crystals evaporate, and the heavier than air vapors sink to the floor, killing all stages of wax moth except the eggs. After storage on moth crystals, it is necessary to air out the frames for several days before placing them in use in a bee hive.