Wax contamination question

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Hi folks,

Just returned from a varroa course that provided a lot of interesting information. One topic that was covered in the course was obviously wax contamination by chemicals used within the hive. It?s going to mean a lot of rethinking as to management practices etc to avoid contamination of wax in honey supers. As the brood box is the area of concern, we have been told that frames that have been in the brood box can not be moved up into supers (which is the current method employed by many beekeepers) Any frames cycled out of the brood box need to be destroyed. We have been told that the wax from these frames is not suitable for any purpose including candle making. Would be interested in what you guys do as this is going to require some dramatic rethinking as I?ve always recycled brood frames to recover the wax. Frames from supers can be moved down if required.

This is one of the reasons that I don't use any hard chemical treatments, I want to know the wax is clean for making lotions, lip balms, candles, etc.  As such, I don't worry about moving frames around, since I only use organic treatments, and they don't leave anything long-lasting in the wax.  But I know with varroa being so new in your country, you don't have a lot of different products for treating varroa, so it may be more difficult to find options that don't leave long term contaminants in your wax.  I do cycle out very old, very dark brood combs, just to be on the safe side for anything environmental the bees may have gotten into, but I don't usually use that wax for crafting or honey anyway.  That's mostly just a bee health thing.       

We do have a couple of approved natural organic treatments that will be costly. The big problem we face is the mite bomb situation that will occur for a couple of years until things settle down. Apparently treatments will only be short lived while there are wild hives still present or if some beekeepers don?t treat their hives. Over time, these hives will die out but until that occurs there will be constant issues with infestations reoccurring  soon after treatment. We are currently under a bio security order which sets out procedures for beekeepers to follow. Until this is lifted, we have to do exactly what is listed. The mite is getting close and could arrive fairly soon. It?s a bit of a worrying time.

Ben Framed:

--- Quote ---since I only use organic treatments
--- End quote ---

And that is my opinion as well. There has been a lot of discussion on this subject (treating), since I have been a member here, with some very good information provided by some heavy hitting members; From non treating members to 'one beekeeper in particular' who's family has been keeping bees for 7 generations commercially.

When I began beekeeping I knew little to noting about varroa destructor and Im still learning. I have ask numerous questions concerning the control of this pest. Fortunately we had some older, experienced, wise beekeepers here to help us along; As well as doing our own research in conjunction...

Try the search button Les and see what you come up with. (you should find a lot of information on the subject) If you do not find information that is satisfactory to you concerns, maybe I can help find some of those old discussions for your benifit.....

I understand what you are saying Phillip but while we are under the bio security order we have no option. If we detect mites in a hive and once they get to the required threshold, we have to treat all hives in the apiary. We don?t have any choice in the matter. From memory, we have about 5 options here in Australia as far as treatments are concerned. We have a lot of beekeepers who are not registered and have very little idea about what is happening. Quite a few won?t do anything and will try to ride it out. They are the people who will eventually have nothing but in the meantime they will be a problem to anyone else in the neighbourhood. OAV is not registered and is illegal to use in Australia at this point. It may be an option down the track but not in the immediate future. Treating with honey supers on or off is another issue that I?m sure you guys all face as well. In our situation, honey flows are not consistent from year to year and this will make planning difficult. Every year will be different for us as we rely on eucalypts to flower for much of our honey and they all have different cycles. I had been thinking about buying foundation again rather than making it but my suppliers are both in infested areas and I wouldn?t trust that the wax will be clean. At least I know what?s in the wax if I make my own. Anyway, that?s enough of a rant. It will be a challenge but mostly in the next two years. If I can survive that, it will be much easier to manage.


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