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Mummzie

comb sterilisation

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@JohnF and anyone else with anything to offer....

Following on from the comments in the Oxalic/glycerine thread regarding pathogen loading and comb sterilisation as an aid to preventing Cororapa-

As a hobbiest I am able to follow a clean frame program - a brood frame is lucky to get to be 2 years old. Anything  dark I cant see through gets melted out and new foundation inserted.

As I use my own wax for foundation- am I just keeping the pathogens within my hives? Would the heat of melting the wax be enough to sterilize the wax? or would it require the recommended 2 hours at 50degrees to effectively destroy Nosema and lotmaria?

 

 

 

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It’s a shame no one is replying to this as I would like info as well. 
 

I watched a UOG vid on treating nosema with ascetic acid the other day. Their vids are really informative. 

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i think melting the wax down will get rid of of it.

@Mark Goodwin was heating frames just under wax melting point to sterilize them. 

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I've posted about this before, so I am repeating myself.. But here it is again, in fact this was sent to me by another beekeeper and forward this to you as I got it myself. I have used this in 2018 and I have seen no ill effects. The fact it is in many UK books is important and I always imagine UK beekeeping as a bit on the damp side; the darling buds of May aren't a year round proposition. So the whole of the UK is a nosema risk..

 

From 'Beekeeping, a seasonal guide' by Ron Brown (OBE would you believe) published in 1985. In relation to nosema (apis) and spring preparation he says:

 

"...now the soiled combs have to be sterilized with 80% acetic acid. If you have more than one hive infected, the usual method is to make a stack of boxes of combs with a saucer containing a third of a cup of acetic acid and a blob of glass wool between each box. The whole should be sealed top and bottom to prevent fumes escaping, with wide adhesive tape such as Sellotape, or masking tape, around the junction of one box with another. (See Fig. 12.) If there are any brood combs from colonies which have died out, or any suspect combs from store, it is convenient to treat all together at the same time. Let the fumigation proceed for about a week, then air the combs thoroughly for a day or so (in a greenhouse, for example, or where flying bees will have no access to rob), and replace the treated food combs so that the infected colony can expand with no risk of reinfection. The dummies should then be removed, or placed outside all the combs."

Acetic acid must be handled with care, as it is corrosive and attacks metals. Metal ends should be removed from frames and replaced afterwards. It does no harm to honey or pollen, but effectively kills nosema spores, and any other unwanted pests like wax moth larvae at the same time.

  

and helpfully there is a picture (FIG 12),  Note that diluting glacial with 4 acid:1 water gets you to 80%

 

Is it permitted? It is in the same gray area that most 'organic' treatments (like oxalic) inhabit, neither forbidden or permited. Provided you make no specific claim about what it's for (I refer to it as comb 'refreshment') I'm not aware of anything that precludes it's use on your own bees. Disposing of residue? There should be none - all vapour. There are several other references to this treatment in British books, a technique well recognised as standard practice by British beekeeping organisations

ron brown acetic.jpg

Edited by ChrisM
typos

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Thanks @ChrisM

Not quite the question I asked- as I am talking about already rendered wax, but good to be reminded of Nosema and its affects.....What a pleasure though to re-read the mainly cheerful, co-operative  and light-hearted Sept 19 Diary. 

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8 minutes ago, Mummzie said:

Thanks @ChrisM

Not quite the question I asked- as I am talking about already rendered wax, but good to be reminded of Nosema and its affects.....What a pleasure though to re-read the mainly cheerful, co-operative  and light-hearted Sept 19 Diary. 

fair enough. I guess I was thinking that the clean frame programme gets stretched out to 5 years if you are refreshing the combs and that the bees actually prefer old black comb; provided it wasn't full of pathogens. The idea is that sterlising like Goodwin or with galacial acetic acid disconnects the normal equivalency or link between pathogens and black comb.

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2 hours ago, ChrisM said:

thinking that the clean frame programme gets stretched out to 5 years if you are refreshing the combs and that the bees actually prefer old black comb;

there is a dual purpose to the clean frame policy....until I learn how to keep only 2 hives its an effective honey reduction scheme😊

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