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Author Topic: Will bees clean old hives?  (Read 691 times)
New Bee
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Posts: 1

Location: Hopelessly Lost

« on: May 25, 2011, 02:20:14 PM »

I inherited hives from my Dad. I cleaned one out, and hadn't got to the others yet. But the next day a swarm moved into an old one. There was a hive in there last year, but I didn't bother it, just let them live there. My question, will the new swarm clean out the old hive enough that I could collect the honey later? or would that not be a good idea to eat it?
Universal Bee
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Gender: Female
Posts: 15318

Location: boring, oregon

« Reply #1 on: May 25, 2011, 03:43:46 PM »

yes, they will clean out the old hive.  whether of not you get honey is another question  grin  you'll be putting honey supers on for that and if they look dirty, you can change the foundation.  in fact, i like to use new frames when i do that because putting new foundation in old frames is a pain.  frames are not expensive. 

.....The greatest changes occur in their country without their cooperation. They are not even aware of precisely what has taken place. They suspect it; they have heard of the event by chance. More than that, they are unconcerned with the fortunes of their village, the safety of their streets, the fate of their church and its vestry. They think that such things have nothing to do with them, that they belong to a powerful stranger called “the government.” They enjoy these goods as tenants, without a sense of ownership, and never give a thought to how they might be improved.....

 Alexis de Tocqueville
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 8186

Location: Hiram, Georgia

« Reply #2 on: May 25, 2011, 08:44:26 PM »

The bees will clean and polish everything on the inside of a hive.   They will do a much better job cleaning it than you could ever do.  And welcome to the forum.
Queen Bee
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Posts: 1487

Location: concord, tn

« Reply #3 on: May 25, 2011, 08:50:55 PM »

As Kathy said you will need to add supers to the hives so the bees will have winter stores to survive. Depending on where you are located will depend on how much honey they will need to over winter.

see my swarms and cut outs at

those hot bees will have you steppin and a fetchin like your heads on fire and your @ss is a catchin!!!

Bees will be bees and do as they please!
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