Fredrick is an expert gardener, plumber, and author of farming guides. He loves to write about pest control, fish farming, and beekeeping.
Molds are a major problem for beekeepers, especially in winter. The problem is caused by moisture, but it can also be the result of poor beehive insulation or a declining bee colony.
In this article, I will discuss how to get rid of molds in a beehive. Read on to learn how to stop and prevent the problem, which can destroy combs and also damage the hive itself.
1. Reduce the Moisture in the Beehive
Molds are fungi and thrive in areas with high moisture. They can therefore grow in hives which are usually moist. Bees can maintain the right moisture content in their hives, but sometimes, i.e., in humid weather, they can get overwhelmed and fail to regulate it.
To help them reduce the moisture, you can place a quilt box on the top of the hive. This box allows excess moisture to flow out while at the same reducing heat loss. You can also fix a layer of foam on the inner cover to trap the droplets of the condensing air.
2. Improve the Beehive Ventilation
If a hive is poorly ventilated, it is highly likely to be affected by the moisture problem. The warm, moist air generated by the bees is trapped inside the hive, and it can turn into water during the cold weather.
To improve the ventilation, you can create a small hole on the top cover of the hive to allow excess air out. You can also place your hive on a raised area that is well exposed to air.
3. Install a Watertight Roof
During the rainy weather, water can easily enter your hive through its leaky roof and increase the moisture inside. If a lot of water enters your hive, it can kill or drive out the bees in addition to causing molds.
It is therefore recommended to install a high-pitched roof that allows water to flow down easily. If the roof has spaces and holes that can leak water, you can fill them with a suitable sealant.
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4. Remove Dead Bees, Wood Fragments, and Other Waste
Waste in a hive can encourage the growth of molds and related fungi like mildew. Dead bees and wood fragments are examples of waste that supports the growth and survival of molds in a hive.
So it is important to remove any waste in your hive immediately after noticing it. Bees die a lot in winter, and you should therefore check your hive regularly during this season for any dead bees and other waste.
5. Repair Worn-Out Parts of the Beehive
If parts like the entrance reducer, inner cover, supers, and frames are worn out or have irregular surfaces, they can encourage the growth of molds. The worn areas capture debris and moisture which promote the growth of molds and the decay of the wooden parts.
It is therefore recommended to inspect your hive regularly for any broken or decaying parts. If you find some damaged parts, you need to repair or replace them immediately. If your hive is damaged beyond repair, you need to replace it. I recommend the BEEXTM Langstroth, which is well-constructed to prevent mold formation and many other problems that affect beehives. I have replaced my old hives with BEEXTM hives and I no longer experience the mold problem.
6. Bring in a Healthy Bee Colony
As mentioned above, bees can regulate the moisture in the hive and keep it free from molds. They warm the air inside allowing it to absorb more moisture. The warm, moist air then flows out and is replaced with dry air.
Installing a healthy colony can therefore help get rid of the mold problem. Bees can also deal with molds that are just starting to develop, so introducing them to an affected hive can help stop the problem.
7. Use Chlorine Bleach to Clean the Mold
Most people prefer to scrape off the molds from the affected parts, but it is easier and more effective to use chlorine bleach to clean the parts. This solution can also be used on the affected combs and wax.
The solution should be in the ratio 1:10, i.e., 1 part chlorine to 10 parts water. To apply the solution, you just need to spray it on the affected parts and let them dry in the sunlight. The bleach will kill the molds thus helping you eliminate the problem.
Now you have it. With the help of this article, I am hopeful that you will get rid of molds in your beehive. Whether the mold is on the capped honeycombs or inner cover, you can stop it from spreading and also prevent it from forming again in the future.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Fredrick JS