I recently received a donation of a langstroth hive, many boxes, nice....but they were stored with moth balls. I was very upset when I discovered this....as mb make me ill, let alone small bees. I don't use ANY chemicals in my beekeeping.
My question is - is there any hope for this hive? I'm going to cut out all the wax and foundation from the frames ( I prefer natural comb anyway) but what about the wood? They are currently out in the sun, rain and alt cold and warmth.
I otherwise have 3 Warre' hives and wanted to experiment with a lang.
Do you know if they are wax moth balls? Beekeeping wax moth balls are of a different chemical make up then commercial household moth balls. Chemicals still the same. If they are beekeeping wax moth balls- removing the comb wax and airing out the wood work should be enough to use the equipment safely. If they were commercial household moth balls, I personally would not use the equipment. One possible suggestion- prepare the hive as you feel will make it safe, set it out next spring and see if bees come around to inspect it. If you have bees going in, out, and around it I would say it is safe to use.
I don't use any chemicals in my hives either. I would not put bees in that equipment; I wonder how long it would take the bees to leave anyhow. This is potent and toxic stuff, I don't know how it will wear off over time so I wouldn't take a chance.
If you are worried about the chemicals, ditch the equipment. Use the equipment if you don't care about the chemicals. Starting fresh is basically the only way to be sure your equipment is free from beekeeper introduced contaminants. Beeswax, and thus combs, are notorious for absorbing chemicals. Do the bees a solid, and get some new boxes and frames. If it smells nasty to you, the bees probably wont like it either. New wax is the most beautiful anyway.
Learn permaculture beekeeping from your home! You can find it here at :