Monday, November 9, 2009

Wax vs. Green Mold

I've have trouble with a Green mold that keeps appearing in Mary. It beat up some honey supers last year (click here to see) and recently go into my new T-cover this year. I always assumed it was a moisture problem. I did everything I could to vent the hive and still the mold came back.

I posted the problem in the on-line Bee Master forum. Many good responses also dealing with moisture. Then finally one beek mentioned that new wooden ware may sprout mold if the bees have not properly sealed the surface with propolis/wax.

BOOM! There it was!

When I thought about it all the wooden ware that came down with the mold was new. So I need to make sure all the wood is treated by the bees or someone else. Like me.

The current victim is the telescoping cover on Mary. It's a year old but the bees never waxed it. So I took it upon myself to wax it.

Notice that you can see the inner outline of the hive

First I washed off the mold with bleach then dried it. Then warmed up the wood underside under a lamp. While that was happening I melted some bees wax & got a metal scraper. When all was ready I removed the lamp and poured the wax onto the T-cover. To keep the wax soft as I spread it I used a blow-drier. I did not coat to the edge of the T-cover. I feel that exposed wax may attract Wax Moths. After a good coating I put the T-cover back under the lamp to help the wax melt in. When completed the T-cover went back out on the hive.

Wax soaking into the wood

I remembered Michael Bush's article on how he wax dips his hives. So I got the idea to hot wax the inside of my previously painted equipment. If this works (no more mold & no added pests like Wax Moth) I'll be sure to do this in the future when the bees don't do it themselves. I imagine that a strong & healthy hive will have no problem with this task. Mary on the other hand has always limped a little.

aun Aprendo


Anonymous said...

Wow, BEEK is that slang for bee keepers? Sounds like you are becomming a first rate keeper.

Thank you for sharing.

Polar said...

Ha ha! Yeah if becoming a first rate beek takes 20 years. I have some info I want to send you about beekeeping. You've commented that following the jargon is difficult so I have a list of definitions that may help you. I sorry to hear 'Ohgeez' will be going away. But I'm having trouble maintaining 'The Court' as well. Love ya.

Anonymous said...

Interesting new look to the site. Looks like it took you a bit a time to develop. I do like the scrolling photos.

I am getting use to the rest. But overall it is really great.