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Author Topic: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive  (Read 3802 times)

Offline SoMDBeekeeper

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Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« on: January 05, 2011, 01:42:16 AM »
Hi All,
Any tips out there for cleaning up a dead-out? These particular bees starved  :'( so their heads are all stuck down in the cells. Can I use a shop vac to suck em all out? Is there an easier way?

Do I need to be concerned about disease on these combs now? There has been some warm weather here since they died so some of the bees have gotten a little "ripe" in there.

Is there a way to sterilize the comb after clean up and is that even necessary?  :needhelp:

This is the first time I've had to deal with this situation but I really want to re-use this comb!

Thanks for any input,
The SoMDBeekeeper

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2011, 02:07:49 AM »
Keep the mice out.  Put them on a strong hive in the spring.
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Offline BjornBee

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2011, 08:24:40 AM »
No need to sterilize.

I always break apart the comb and gently brush off any bees that were dead between the combs. This way there is no moisture or rotting bees which you sometimes get with clusters sitting till spring.

The bees with their heads in the comb, not worth attempting anything. The bees will clean these out just fine.

Keep them in the hive, but seal them up to keep out the mice. You should have no problems with wax moths.

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Offline AllenF

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2011, 01:41:01 PM »
Let the bees clean it up, that way it will be done right.   Have you got a package lined up already for this hive?

Offline hardwood

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2011, 02:52:26 PM »
If you turn the frames and give a GENTLE tap on the top of the hive most of the bees will fall from the comb.

Scott
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Offline SoMDBeekeeper

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2011, 04:45:51 AM »
I guess I need to wait for them to dry out then because right now they are wedged in there tightly. I would imagine their bodies will shrink when dry.

I was just worried about letting them rot in there though. Its hard enough to get a good supply of drawn comb. I really, really want to re-use this stuff.

Regards,
SoMDBeekeeper.com

Offline BjornBee

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2011, 07:31:17 AM »
If the middle of the cluster is wet, it will eventually rot the comb. Break apart the frames, brush them off leaving the bees in the cells, and then let them dry out.

If you let the wet rotting cluster sit for several months, you will get a black area of comb that the bees will just spend lots of time cleaning out. The rotting bees will deteriate the comb. Come spring, you will also get small fly larvae that will infest the cluster if it remains wet, especially if stored outside.

Were not talking more than 5 minutes worth of work. You already said the bees got a little ripe. That is the rotting bees. Cleaning up dead out is a normal beekeeper task that is well worth the effort. It doesn't need to be anything more than getting the bees from between the frames and leaving the rest.

And for all the typing on this forum over this one small task, it should of been done days ago.  ;)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2011, 11:21:14 PM by BjornBee »
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Offline rdy-b

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2011, 10:42:29 PM »
  try a shop vac- :lol: RDY-B

Offline Acebird

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2011, 07:28:19 PM »
Quote
so their heads are all stuck down in the cells. Can I use a shop vac to suck em all out? Is there an easier way?


Before you use the shop vac try using a orbital sander like a Black and Decker mouse on the top bar (inverted) to shake them out.  You don't need the sandpaper just a rubber pad to transmit the vibrations.  If you use a shop vac I would use the brush attachment to prevent a full vacuum situation that may destroy the comb.
Never thought I would do it!

Offline rdy-b

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Re: Need advice cleaning up a "dead-out" hive
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2011, 09:46:57 PM »
  try a shop vac- :lol: RDY-B
leave the frames in the box and run the vac along the top bars -RDY-B

 

anything