extracting honey with wax moth
And because eggs and cocoons are hidden in gaps, cracks and crevices, you’re in for a time-consuming task.

Wax moth damage is expected when honey-extracted comb is stored in dark, warm, or poorly ventilated places.

What you can do is to freeze the frames with the honey intact. Bruce.

or outside shed? Thanks. So far, no wax moths. —From Anatomy of the Honey Bee by Robert E. Snodgrass. Your website provides a wealth of information. With a heavy infestation, you may need to take the hive boxes apart to ensure that you have access to all eggs in the hive. Wrapped tight?

Don’t want to take any chances. With honey in boxes, I would wrap the honey sections in plastic, freeze, allow to come to room temperature, and then place the combs in boxes. Using an extractor makes the process much cleaner, and allows you to replace the wax back into the hive for the bees to re-fill. Thanks for the advice @rusty, I haven’t pulled any any of the supers or frames out to check to see if there is any foundation in them. To extract, I am just cutting open the bottom of the thawed Press N Seal packet and pouring (squeezing) everything into sieves over containers. Great idea! The larvae of wax moths destroy combs while they search for food—mostly cocoons of bee pupae and bits of pollen. Freezing overnight will destroy all stages of wax moths. Stay tuned for the first newsletter in the morning, straight to your inbox.

Today when I opened it, it is full of moths and some black residue? Procrastinated too much after taking honey off and extracting (awaiting extractor loan also) and a quick loom in the boxes today to remind myself shows a wax moth infestation!!!

If a frame has been infested with wax moth larvae, the honey should not be used for human consumption.

Leave them in the bag or remove them? As a bonus, some of these plants also deter other insects, as well, such as mosquitoes. The honey bee is an insect and is preeminently a bee; “honeybee” is equivalent to “Johnsmith.”

They seldom if ever cause the demise of a healthy colony. I have six hives and still have more frames to extract. A strong colony of bees does a good job of controlling the moths, but a weak colony can become overrun.

Thanks again, Rusty! Even with low humidity, if the comb is cold enough, it is best to keep it protected.

I’ve since put all 25 boxes in the freezer to kill the little buggers.

But overall, the moisture did seem to collect outside the wrap, absorbed by the towel wrapped around the packet. This can happen while the frames are in the beehive or in storage.

After the bees are out of the honey supers, prepare to process your honey as soon as possible (within a few days).

There is no exact way because everyone’s situation is different.

But the experience, thus far, has led me to believe there’s an easy way to deal with frame recycling. Besides, extracting honey is easier to do when the honey is still warm from the hive because it … 1. Storing bee equipment “sealed and closed” is always the worst thing you can do because (as you found out) it encourages wax moths and mold. They did a stellar job, only leaving a bit of pollen on some of the frames. I’m still confused. It was in a storage for about two months sealed and closed. I think combs store best if allowed to breathe. They eat beeswax and honeybee larvae cocoons left behind when the bee larvae matures into an adult bee. After they’ve had the freeze treatment, put the frames back in the supers and store them in tightly sealed plastic garbage bags.

Comb can be frozen even if it contains honey. Another post you wrote mentioned how brittle the comb can get from freezing… Well, THESE combs have essentially disintegrated.

Suspend the bottle close to your hive onto a tree branch or shepherd’s hook. Not garage since it’s opened too much? Pour your warmed beeswax into a container that will allow for easy removal.

The harvest of honey is referred to as extraction, which typically takes place once a year. Question: when freezing jars of chunk honey, do I wrap them like I do frames? When looking for a natural method to deter wax moths, certain plants have demonstrated the ability to deter wax moths.

Maybe you are over-thinking it? But freezing will not prevent the immediate re-infestation of wax moths if the comb is placed where moths can reach it. I’m guessing from your question that you didn’t wrap the combs in plastic before you froze them. If so, isn’t that in the dark? So if the honey supers have not contained brood, and if your hives do not have obvious waxmoth infestations, chances are pretty good that the wet frames will not become infected, especially if they are indoors and in the sunlight. I’d like to save the comb, but I don’t have any freezer space to spare.

It is designed to be informative and fun, but also to remind readers that pollinators throughout the world are endangered. frames & foundation, since people will be eating the So I pulled a few frames of honey last week, and had some “issues”, dropped a frame, ticked off the bees, etc.

I packed jars last week…I didn’t know honeycomb should be frozen to prevent things growing. Do I just cut out the parts containing larvae? Could I just put all the frames in a big Tupperware bin with a lid, and leave it in the shed for the winter? We have no idea how long they sat in the freezer. After freezing, you need to leave the wrapping on, otherwise re-infestation will occur. Do you need to wrap comb honey that in the box as well? The larvae are most unattractive and can ruin the comb, but they are not harmful to humans. For this reason, comb that once contained brood is much more susceptible to attack by wax moths than comb that has contained only honey. It wasn’t 2 weeks after extracting honey that I had wax moths all in the perfectly drawn empty combs because I didn’t store them correctly.

The length of time necessary depends on how cold your freezer is, but you need all the eggs (if any) to freeze solid. Wax moths can destroy beeswax combs, especially combs in weak colonies and those in storage. You can do this step a few times to ensure your wax is smooth and pure. Knowing When to Harvest Honey and Beeswax. Join us on our next post where we'll discuss how to repair frames. Wrapping in plastic. When you extract honey, the cappings that you slice off represent your major wax harvest for the year. Two types of wax moths frustrate the efforts of beekeepers: the Greater Wax Moth and the Lesser Wax Moth. In warm weather, wax moth eggs hatch in 3 to 5 days and these new larvae do all the damage.

Cut the banana peel into strips that will easily drop into the bottle. On occasion, however, the moths will destroy comb that has never contained brood.

I was thinking to scrape it and freeze the frames. It’s Monday . This post may contain affiliate links.

But producers of extracted honey can freeze their frames as well, especially if they want to delay extraction until the entire crop is in. Its purpose it to discuss contemporary issues in beekeeping and bee science.

If a frame has been infested with wax moth larvae, the honey should not be used for human consumption.

Wax moths can do large-scale damage in a weak beehive. Are any of these plastic wraps ok? It sounds like you don’t have much webbing, so you might be okay.


Hi Rusty, Thanks,

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That is good advice.

I’m in Michigan and it will start to dip below freezing very shortly here.

If handled carefully, it can be frozen and thawed with no loss of quality and no change in appearance. Replace old comb with new foundation. Since wax moths don’t normally like comb that didn’t contain brood, it may be that only some has the moths. It is non-discriminatory, encompassing both honey bees and wild bees. If the frames contain wax combs, that will be harder to do.

While they’re expensive for a hobbyist, so is all the other beekeeping equipment. There was no sign of larvae, just some webbing and what looked what looked like moth debris. I don’t have a refractometer. Disclosure. Utilizing your hive tool, remove all signs of the wax moth - eggs, larvae, cocoons, moths, webbing and feces.

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This wax can be cleaned and melted down for all kinds of uses. Cover the remaining wax with warm water and swirl it around to remove the remaining honey, but don’t overheat the wax with the water or it will melt. Extracting Honey from Frames with Wax Moths? Then, after freezing, you can uncap the honey and set it out where the bees will find it and retrieve the honey. It is the cocoons, excrement, and bee parts they are really after. The most important thing is to freeze or process your honey as soon as you harvest it.

Extracting Honey from Frames with Wax Moths? What you can do is to freeze the frames with the honey intact. Any advice is greatly appreciated! You don’t say if the frames contain combs or not, but one thing you have to do is get the mothball smell completely out of them. This year we experimented and did one shallow super of wax foundation that we turned into cut comb honey. Where is out of reach of moths? But, in truth, wax moths are not interested in honey frames unless those frames have contained brood. You also have the option to opt-out of these cookies. This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. For now, feel free to continue reading. The freezing kills any eggs, larvae, or adults that are present on the combs. My problem is that I don’t have a freezer in my house. Your support matters. I have a question about freezing frames…. Do I just crush and strain at this point? I ended up sticking two full frames into the freezer, bagged, but not tightly wrapped. Do you mean not in dark place? At some point, the frames must have become infested with moths again. Once fermentation begins, drill a 1” hole in the side of the 1-liter bottle just below the bottle’s shoulder (the slope on the neck). Do you think that will be sufficient to prevent any damage? I usually leave them in overnight. Once dry, just go ahead and use it.

But everything had been fully capped (therefore fully ripened) when I harvested….

Can I Extract Honey from Frames with Wax Moths? Thanks It has been an invaluable resource to me during my first two seasons as a beek. You should either freeze your frames immediately after harvest or extract within two days of harvest.


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