Wax worm/larvae aftermath – what to do with 20 frames from a colony that absconded?
Hey y'all. I am a 4th year hobbyist/backyard beekeeper with three colonies in NY's Hudson Valley. My colonies all were relatively healthy in the past weeks. I treated all three hives for mites in April as a preventative measure. I see the occasional hive beetle when inspecting, but the colonies all appeared to be strong in the last three weeks. I had an extra set of hands a couple days ago and decided to use the opportunity to harvest from my supers. The first two hives were fine, honey was a nice golden color, no signs of problems.
When I got to the last hive, I noticed that the bottom board was saturated with honey. Bees were still coming and going but they turned out to be robbers. When I popped the lid I saw the disheartening sight of a full on wax worm infestation. The colony was gone, and every frame in the brood boxes had been effected. No webs, but enough larvae to make you lose your lunch.
I pulled the entire hive, did my best to get the worms off with an air compressor, and now have twelve full frames in my freezer (my neighbor was kind enough to let me put the remaining eight in his freezer). The frames are approaching 48 hours in the freezer, and I need to get them out today. I am trying to figure out my best bet for salvaging the honey off of these frames.
I would like to put them out (away from the hives) and let my remaining bees do their thing, but I don't want to create a free-for-all for all the neighborhood wasps, yellow jackets, etc…
Any advice on what I should do with these twenty frames? Should I put them back in the brood boxes and hope I catch a swarm? Should i put them in a plastic bin with a cover to keep rain out?
Thanks for reading, I'm looking forward to your replies.