5.8.2. Protecting stored combs via climate manipulation

  1. Stored combs that are free of honey and/or pollen in supers.
  2. Stack the supers in an “open shed” (a covered pavilion with only 1-3 walls).
  3. Stack the supers in a crisscross pattern. To do this, place a super on a solid surface (such as a hive lid) that is situated on the ground. Place another super of combs on the one on the ground, orienting it at a 90° angle from the bottom super. Repeat this pattern until the stack of supers is a desirable height (a maximum height of 2 m is recommended).

The open shed and super stacking pattern ensure that light and air will penetrate the supers. This minimizes wax moth attraction since the moths do not like light/airflow.

Modifications of this method include stacking the supers in a climate controlled room with cool (0 – 15 °C) temperatures, an oscillating fan, and constant light. This method is best used to protect white combs (combs in which no brood has been reared). Dark combs (combs in which brood has been reared) is best protected in a freezer (see section 5.8.1.) or on strong bee colonies (5.8.3.). Heat treatment is also possible. The combs must be stored for 80 minutes at 46°C or 40 minutes at 49°C (Charrière and Imdorf, 1999).