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Author Topic: Wax contamination question  (Read 1750 times)

Offline Lesgold

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Wax contamination question
« on: April 14, 2024, 10:50:46 pm »
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.

Online The15thMember

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2024, 12:42:51 am »
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.       
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2024, 01:09:56 am »
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.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2024, 01:27:45 am »
Quote
since I only use organic treatments

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.....
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2024, 02:15:30 am »
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.

Online Ben Framed

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2024, 07:31:48 am »
Quote
OAV is not registered and is illegal to use in Australia at this point.

Humm

Les who are the people who are behind your bio-security order. Most likely they are made up as a group or board. A fair question, what is the credentials of each individual member who are on this committee who are making the decisions for you? What are their experiences and education concerning the treatment of Varroa, as well as the viruses they carry?

Food for thought:
I will let you in on a personal thought. I have often wondered if the viruses carried by Varroa Destructor are the main culprit in colony collapse? I have wondered if beekeepers could weather the storm, allowing the viruses to go through their apiaries leaving only the strongest hives, would the remaining survivors become more so virus resistant? Would this be more important than the bees themselves becoming resistance to the mites?

Michael Bush successfully keeps bees without treating if I remember correctly, (Is this correct Mr Bush) as does cao. I have had these two in mind for quite sometime and those questions were spawn from there...

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14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2024, 09:02:31 am »
I don't treat.  I will caveat that people who live where there is no natural brood break tell me this doesn't work without an artificial brood break.  We have a natural brood break over winter here in Nebraska.
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Offline cao

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2024, 12:17:30 pm »
The last few years I have been replacing old brood comb when I get a chance.  I had a lot of it after several hives were infested with shbs.  I either melted the down in a pot of hot water or put them in my solar wax melter.  I have several buckets of melted wax ready to coat new plastic foundation or to make candles with.  If I were to make lip balms or other cosmetic applications, I would only use the white wax capping off of freshly drawn comb.  I do not treat so the only chemicals that I worry about I the ones that the bees themselves bring into the hive. 

The old brood comb doesn't produce much wax and it is usually darker in color.  Some of that old brood comb will make some good fire starters.
 

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2024, 01:19:20 pm »
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.
I just looked it up and it seems like FormicPro and ApiGuard are both registered for use in Australia.  Both of these are organic, and I know FormicPro is safe with supers, I think ApiGuard is too.  I have used both, and personally prefer not to use either with supers on, just because both are very fragrant and I'm worried about the honey taking on the flavor of the treatment, particularly of the ApiGuard, as thymol has a very strong minty flavor.  FormicPro is a heavier treatment in my experience, whereas ApiGuard is pretty tame, although I have only used it once or twice.  You might want to do some research on those two if you are concerned about residual chemicals from the other treatments.   
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Offline Lesgold

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2024, 05:49:43 pm »
They are two treatments that I will use. Formicpro can be used with supers on over here but from memory Apiguard can not. ( I?ll have to check that as at the moment the old brain is bombarded with information) Formicpro will have a withhold period of two weeks.

Phillip, the Department Of Primary Industries is our controlling body. They are very capable people. Although what I mentioned earlier may sound a little unusual, the order is in place to control the spread of varroa. This will give a bit more time for beekeepers to undergo training courses, for dissemination of information and for beekeeping suppliers to stock equipment etc to battle the pest. The bio security order will most likely be lifted at some stage. New treatments for Varroa are being looked at but until they are approved as being safe, it is illegal to use them.

Cao, I won?t be allowed to use the wax from brood comb at all. It will need to be destroyed. Frames will be able to be reused if all wax is removed. I may still go down that path but it may not be worth the effort.

Michael, people who live on the coast won?t have brood breaks. In my area, the brood area becomes much smaller than usual but the queen continues to lay. People like Max ho have warmer winters have the queen laying all year. Forced brood breaks will be another option we will need to consider. I will be asking for advice on methods to do this efficiently in the future. Looks like this pest will impact on hive growth and therefore honey production. More work for a reduced output sounds appealing. 🥲🥲🥲🥲🥲

Offline Bill Murray

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2024, 12:11:00 pm »
Les, I started using apiguard I think 3 yrs ago. it took me a little while to get the dosage right due to temperatures, I used it across the board in all my apiaries as a late summer,early fall treatment and was really pleased with the outcome.

Offline Lesgold

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Re: Wax contamination question
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2024, 06:16:04 pm »
Thanks Bill. That?s good to know.

 

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