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Help cleaning wax from flow hive


#1

Hi there I was just wondering if anyone has any tips other than hot water to help clean off wax caps from the flow hive frames. I have tried brushing but this seems to push the wax into the splits between the plastic comb. I have read that you shouldnt use water over 70 drgrees so I dont want to wreck the frames by using eater over 70 degrees. Any help greatly appreciated.


Flow™ Frame Sterilisation / Irradiation / Disease Control
#2

Why clean it off? The bees will do a great job when they reuse the frames.

However, if you really feel you have to do something, if you put the frames into the freezer for 48 hours, it will make the wax very brittle. If you then use the Flow key to open and close the frames repeatedly, much of the wax should fall off. Works for propolis too. :blush:


#3

Unfortunately I had to kill the hive and start again. I will give that a go. Thanks for the advice.


#4

Why did you have to have to kill the hive?


#5

I keep my flow frames on over winter, so I am wondering as well if after 2 years or so they should get a good clean out. Wash out the eventual build up of spores and bacteria? On the other hand, traditional plastic frames get reused constantly too without cleaning, right?


#6

Just some thoughts I’ve got.

If there’s a lot of dust on the frames and wax, the bees are likely not going to mess with it. That’s at least as I understand it I have not experienced this.

Not sure where your frames have been sitting for the past, but I keep mine in the deep-freeze overwinter. After doing my last harvest I leave it on for another week so they can remove whatever honey residue is left on their and they will likely move that to open cells in the brew chambers. The freezing, helps kill any organism that may be on the frames at least as I’ve read or understood.

I pulled mine out of the deep-freeze let them set their for approximately a week and then I put them on the hive, literally within one week it was about 65 to 75% full of un-capped honey. I was shocked on how quickly the girls went to work.


#7

There are not too many reasons to kill a hive. I think we need to know this before giving advice. Freezing is primarily for wax moth control. It does not affect AFB spores.

Mike


#8

I dont think I need to discuss why I had to kill the hive. I only need cleaning advise. If I need disease advise ill ask.


#9

WOW!! Everybody’s just trying to be polite and give the right information at this point I would say run a search on here and read all the post


#10

Yes they are but why question me on why I had to kill the hive. I have searched this site and the net looking for info on best cleaning methods and they dont be effective enough.


#11

We only want to learn right along with you.

Just let the bees deal with the wax unless you have had an American Foulbrood outbreak; then I suggest burning the hive or using irradiation if allowed in your area.


#12

Usually when someone intentionally kills a hive it is due to AFB. The cleaning advice would be different based on the reason you need to clean them.


#13

Hi @woolly69. There is no stigma attached to getting AFB, it’s not your fault. Unfortunately beekeepers have to deal with it once in a while. Important is to do the right thing when you get it. Killing the bees is number one, then burning the boxes and frames, or irradiation is next.
The flow frames need to get irradiated if you want to reuse them, or the AFB spores will multiply again.
For any other disease freezing would do.


#14

Hi @woolly69. There is no stigma attached to getting AFB, it’s not your fault. Unfortunately beekeepers have to deal with it once in a while. Important is to do the right thing when you get it. Killing the bees is number one, then burning the boxes and frames, or irradiation is next.
The flow frames need to get irradiated if you want to reuse them, or the AFB spores will multiply again.


#15

Depending on where @woolly69 is in the world, africanization can be a reason to destroy the bees too. While I would rather requeen, my mentor tells me that some africanized hives just cannot be requeened, and eventually he has to kill them off with soap and water. :disappointed_relieved:


#16

Webclan I appreciate your comments. I have read up and had help from a professional beekeeper on AFB and am taking the correct steps to treat the hive. I am just having trouble cleaning the wax from the Flow hive comb as I want to make sure I get all the wax from the hive, collect it all and destroy it correctly. I will be burning all bees, comb and wax from my hive and then will have it irradiated by steritech in QLD as I am located in far north nsw Australia.

I am sorry if I sound defensive about why I killed my hive it was just so devastating that I hate talking about it. I had saved the hive from being washed away by the flood only to have it checked and find out it had to be destroyed was a crushing blow to be dealt after having to deal with all the flood damage.


#17

You may want to take them apart to clean them. It’s not super fun to put back together but not terrible either.

Mike


#18

It’s my understanding that once the frames are irradiated, the wax is also safe. Therefore it’s not necessary to remove and burn. The new bees will then clean up for you, saving a lot of work.


#19

Thanks aussiemike, if this is true that would save me a heap of time and effort.
Can anyone please confirm is this is true. Once the frames are irradiated the wax then becomes safe??


#20

Yes, the wax will be safe, no need to scrape out.
I bet you were shocked to the core, I would be. At least you are doing the right thing and ask questions. Easy to understand why nobody wants to talk about it.
You can put your tools, suit and gloves into the boxes too and get it all irradiated.
Once this is over just start again. Happens in the best apiaries.
Might be worth the trouble to find the source of the AFB. You got it from somewhere. Robbing is a common cause, so there must be AFB hives in a 3km radius.
You are in Far Northern NSW? Me too.
Check out the Facebook page AFB Aware Greater Brisbane. If you notify them they could be helpful in identifying neighboring cases.