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Midland Spinner

Travelstained foundation

I have some brood frames that never got drawn out properly last year. The colony didn't make it through the spring (too small). I'm reasonably certain that there was no disease in the colony - just too small to build up in the spring.

I don't think that the foundation is ever going to make good comb, but is there a way to recover & re-use the woodwork?


The bees have put quite a lot of propolis on the frames, but otherwise they are cleanish.
Mistress Rose

If you are pretty sure there was no disease, you could just use the partly drawn comb. Otherwise, you will have to see if you can take the bars out that hold the foundation and replace it.
Midland Spinner

If you are pretty sure there was no disease, you could just use the partly drawn comb. Otherwise, you will have to see if you can take the bars out that hold the foundation and replace it.


It's not even partly drawn. It's very stale & travelworn, with a fair amount of propolis & mildew on it, but it's still foundation.

That's why I want to know whether there's a way to clean up the woodwork.
Mistress Rose

Usually the frames are burnt if there is any risk of disease, but if there is no mildew on the frames themselves, just removing and replacing the foundation may do it. You could try scrubbing with bleach then thoroughly air and dry before putting in new foundation, but not sure if the bees would dislike mildew or bleach most.
Dogwalker

I've done them before with a hot air gun the same as the boxes.

Take out the wooden strip holding the wax in, zap them and put new foundation in.
Any wax and propolis will melt into the wood.

One of my bee books says to fumigate with acetic acid or formaldehyde( used to use that for the incubators in the childrens hospital)
Midland Spinner

I've done them before with a hot air gun the same as the boxes.

Take out the wooden strip holding the wax in, zap them and put new foundation in.
Any wax and propolis will melt into the wood.

One of my bee books says to fumigate with acetic acid or formaldehyde( used to use that for the incubators in the childrens hospital)


Thanks!

Might need them sooner than I thought - there's a lot of activity near the bait hive.
Dogwalker

That sounds promising mochasidamo

The wax can be melted down (using a homemade solar extractor etc). Frames can then be boiled up with a bit of washing soda and a dash of washing up liquid and rinsed and dried before reuse.

Acetic acid (80%) fumigation is for boxes of comb to be overwintered to kill a variety of critters.
Midland Spinner

Frames can then be boiled up with a bit of washing soda and a dash of washing up liquid and rinsed and dried before reuse.

Thanks, that was what I needed to know.

I thought I might have to use caustic soda so knowing that I can use washing soda is handy - caustic is nasty stuff. I used to work for a pine stripper, I've seen what it can do when it splashes.
Barefoot Andrew

I keep reading this thread's title as the transvestite foundation Embarassed
A.
Midland Spinner

I keep reading this thread's title as the transvestite foundation Embarassed
A.

No isn't that when they tear down the worker cells & build drone cells?
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