Just received a dozen hives that have been stored in a barn for 5 yrs.(Owner died)....Hives just need fresh paint, but combs have mice damage,black comb and wax moth damage. Would you reuse the old but stable frames with new foundation or purchase new frames and foundation?
Check the frames for dry rot and mold. Discard any pieces of frames that show evidence of either. The wood will last a long time but when resurrecting old abandoned equipment it is best to proceed with caution.
1. The wax that is left is unusable, melt it or destroy it.
2. Check the wax for scalings and debre in the frames, that will give an indication if the hives were diseased.
3. If evidence of disease you're better off burning the frames (including wax) and starting over.
4. Pull the hive bodies apart and go over the inner surfaces with a blow torch until the grain rises, that will kill the disease spores that might be left behind. Same goes for tops and bottoms.
5. Reassemble what is usable/salvagable, inventory it, and see how much of what you need to buy.
6. Paint and reassemble salvaged hive parts.
7. Buy and assemble what is needed to bring to the point of a top and bottom for every 3 boxes and frames to fill every box, foundation if option and the beekeepers choice.