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Another Job Came In

Never a dull moment for this old beekeeper. This time a Flow hive Araucaria. I know it’s Araucaria because Cedar timber wouldn’t rot like this.

It appears that the boxes survived ok because it looks like they’ve been well painted inside & out.

This hive got put together with a colony, then never got one inspection until after the hive died out. The hive got slimed out months ago. They’ve been & gone. Now wax moth are finishing the job. It’s my job to get the hive up & running again.

The following photos shows what can happen when someone wants a Flow hive for the honey only.

cheers

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Ugh, what a mess and a waste. Poor bees.

Hi Jeff, I’m new here and I don’t know how to send you a private message. How can we go, if I’d wanted to get some honey from you. Should I get your number and give you a call? Thanks. Danny

Hi Danny, yes give us a call, my number is easy to find. Are you up my way at some point because, as you know shipping is a bit of a killer… Not to mention lock-downs :slight_smile:

cheers

Hi Eva, it certainly is. I’m trying to talk to this bloke about being hands-on, or at least being prepared to pay someone to be hands-on for him. Luckily I ruled any foul brood disease out after physically checking his other two hives brood yesterday. I can’t see any sign of disease in them, because I reckon those colonies would have cleaned honey out of the dead hive at some point. Therefore I’ll feel confident about pressure cleaning the Flow frames before re-using them.

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Hi Jeff, I live in Sydney and I wish to visit Queensland one day but not very soon yet. It’s true that quite difficult for the logistic. I will try to get from our local area first then. Thanks Jeff and take care !

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You’re welcome Danny, cheers

I don’t envy you trying to clean those flow frames out. there is no easy way as far as i know. Let us know if you come up with anything.

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Hi Jack, I put the flow frames in my shed. I was thinking of trying my Karcher on them. Do you think that would work? I had them in my honey room from which some of the smell was making it into the kitchen.

When we took those photos, I hadn’t removed the crown board from the roof, I kind of ignored it. This morning I spent some time on it. The roof was full of empty/previously slimed comb, with about 300 hive beetles hiding under the comb in the area along the apex. I don’t know why they were there because there was nothing left for them to lay eggs into. Maybe it’s been too cold for them to venture out in search of new hives.

I wont spend much time on the flow frames if the karcher doesn’t easily clean them to some degree.

cheers Jack.

I appreciate your intentions behind this post Jeff, it’s really important new beekeepers understand the importance of adequate hive management and why :slight_smile:

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The pressure cleaner should get the flow frames mostly cleaned up

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I used a karcher pressure sprayer on mine and it did work to a degree- but couldn’t really remove all the black mold or stubborn wax/propolis. Also be prepared to get wet- as it splashes back on you. Soaking in hot water first might help too. The best method we have use is to disassemble and then scrub in hot water in a electric pan- but it takes a LONG time.

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Hi & thanks Bianca. I saw the stand where my client had his hive situated. I didn’t see anything that would have caused the front of his bottom board to rot away like it did. As I removed the rotted section, one of the screws just fell to the ground, that’s how rotten it was. Does my client have a case for the bottom board to get replaced? Seeing as it rotted so quickly. He’ll definitely need a new bottom board one way or the other.

cheers

PS @Bianca , please ignore my question. It’s not up to me to speak on behalf of someone else. The other person is a grown man, he can speak for himself. Cheers

Hi @Semaphore , you’re not wrong about getting wet. I got the loose stuff off with the water pressure, however the dark stain remains, what’s more disturbing is the strong smell of hive beetle slime remains. Regardless of that, none of the frames operate at a hundred %. There’s between 2-5 sections that are jammed & wont open on every frame. That’s despite operating a couple 20 times with 2 keys.

You could live with some of the sections not opening. I wonder if that hive beetle smell will permeate the honey like the taste of dark old comb does. That’s assuming the bees want to use them in their present state.

I wonder if there is propolis in there? If so, 24 hours in the freezer might help to make it brittle before trying the keys again. Perhaps @Bianca or @Freebee2 might have some more ideas. :thinking:

I hope you are being well paid for this, or the previous owner is a really nice bloke! :wink:

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Hi @JeffH,
I have used the pressure cleaner method also. You do get very wet. I found that crystallised honey wouldn’t budge either but then I only have a cold water cleaner. I think if you have sections jammed your quickest and easiest way would be to disassemble the frames and scrub each section in hot water with a scrubbing brush. It seems daunting disassembling then reassembling bbut when you get the hang of it it’s not that difficult. I think this is the only way to properly clean neglected frames.

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Hi Tim & thanks @Dawn_SD , at $44.00 an hour, I wouldn’t attempt disassembling the frames to scrub each section, which is probably what is needed to get rid of the hive beetle smell. I spoke to the bloke, he reckons he hasn’t got the time or ability to do it himself. There’s talk of him purchasing new frames down the track, which is probably what he’ll do in the end. In the mean time he’s going to get a metal QX, plus a new bottom board.

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Hopefully he might gift you the old frames. You can clean and onsell. Would be a shame to see them go to landfill.

If he does, I’ll send them to you Tim, freight on.

cheers

Is the term “freight on” still in use? It means the receiver pays for shipping.