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Offline 2-Wheeler

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Starting over
« on: February 25, 2008, 10:31:30 PM »
We lost one of the hives this winter and have ordered another package of bees to start over. More details on the problems with that hive are posted here: http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=11724.0

Now we're looking for some advice or guidance on a few details of this process.

1. Can we re-use this hive? or might it be contaminated in some way?
2. Should we try to reuse the empty comb that is left?  (notice how dark and black it looks?)
3. There was still some capped honey frames, can we reuse those?
4. If we reuse the frames, what's the best way to clean them up and remove the dead bees?
5. Should we start with some new frames, all new frames or what combination?
6. There are still a few bees still flying in and out, should we clear them out in some way?
7. Should we move the hive, disassemble it and "air-it-out"?
8. What else can we do to assure success of the new colony?

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Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Starting over
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2008, 11:34:58 PM »
Open the top of the hive and dump the new bees into it.
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Offline indypartridge

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Re: Starting over
« Reply #2 on: February 26, 2008, 08:09:12 AM »
I'm a bit confused myself. Your link where you described this hive "in bad shape" is dated Oct 21, 2007, and here it is late February and you still have bees flying. To me, that's a good thing - they've nearly made it thru winter. At this time of year, I wouldn't expect to see more than a few bees - and then only if it has warmed up above 50 degrees. For now, I'd feed them and try to get them the rest of the way to spring. I had a colony last year I thought was a dead out but somehow it survived and then went gangbusters in the spring.

If it's truly a dead out when your new package arrives, do as Jerrymac suggested and just dump the bees in.

Offline Brian D. Bray

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Re: Starting over
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 11:35:11 PM »
Quote
1. Can we re-use this hive? or might it be contaminated in some way?

If there was no evidence of AFB use away.  Better to reuse it, the drawn comb will give the new tenants a head start.

Quote
2. Should we try to reuse the empty comb that is left?  (notice how dark and black it looks?)

Yes, by all means.  Dark comb means brood comb unless the comb is 5 years old or older I'd go ahead and use it.

Quote
3. There was still some capped honey frames, can we reuse those?

Yes, to that too.  It will reduce or do away with having to feed a package.

Quote
4. If we reuse the frames, what's the best way to clean them up and remove the dead bees?

Let the bees do it, they are very good at it.  they will remove dead bees and everything that needs cleaning up unless you have excessive wax moth damage, then cut out the comb and put in new foundation.

Quote
5. Should we start with some new frames, all new frames or what combination?

The frames you have will be  sufficient.  If you want to build them up fast take 1 or 2 frames out of each box, replacing them with new frames and put them into a 3rd box with mixed draen and undrawn frames.  You should be a strong 3 box hive my mid-June even if you get your package in late April

Quote
6. There are still a few bees still flying in and out, should we clear them out in some way?

Do they live there, if so your hive is still alive--nurse with syrup and pollen patties.  If they are robber bees remove any remaining honey frames for use with your package or it will be gone.

Quote
7. Should we move the hive, disassemble it and "air-it-out"?

Moving it is not necessary unless you have a better spot for your bee yard.  Just clean it up (remove bottom board and shake it out and replace it) and leave it alone.  A swarm might decide to establish residence.

Quote
8. What else can we do to assure success of the new colony?

Study Michael Bush's web site and the info on this forum.
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Offline 2-Wheeler

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Re: Starting over
« Reply #4 on: February 29, 2008, 12:40:15 AM »
indypartridge,

Most of the bees died, but when we looked in on a warm day there were a few (less than 100). I'm not sure if they were visitors (robbers) or if they were survivors. Can't see much point in the healthy hive next door robbing this hive, since the healthy hive still has excellent stores, but maybe the "grass looks greener"...

Brian,
Thanks again for your helpful responses. The new package is supposed to arrive mid-April. We'll try Minnesota Hygienic this time.
-David Broberg   CWOP#: CW5670 / CoCoRaHS #CO-BO-218
Blog: http://beesandblooms.blogspot.com/
My Weather: http://www.leyner.org/
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Offline sean

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Re: Starting over
« Reply #5 on: February 29, 2008, 02:30:52 PM »
based on what i have experienced once you have/have had robbers you tend to see lots of chewed up bits of wax/foundation on the bottom board.

 

anything