Good point about "haven't been sprayed"
Please tell me what you do differently with bees that have been sprayed, vs. those that haven't.Thanks,
Skep, good question.
First, let me say that I think probably 3/4 of the colonies that take up residence in buildings have been sprayed at least once, some time or another. Most of the time in my experience though the spraying has been done very in affectively by a scared homeowner who does little or no damage to the whole colony and only manages to kill a few bees on the outside of the building.
So, for me it all comes down to comb management and what I see during the removal and how I manage their cutout comb during future inspections long after the removal:
If the colony is thriving; lots of bees, brood, food stores, bees acting very normal and content, I assume no long term damage and save all the active brood comb and try to put up at least half to a full medium box with capped honey and pollen stores that’s been stored in newer comb.
If the colony is doing only fair, but not thriving, all I’m going to save is the brood comb. I will give them a box with new foundation over the top of the box with cutout comb right away and feed them heavy. Typically the queen will move up to lay in the new boxes that are added as the colony grows and I can discard the original cutout comb frame by frame after the brood has all emerged.
If the colony is under full distress (i.e. queenless, listless, no open brood, chalk brood, moldy comb) I will shake out the remaining healthy bees near another weak hive in my isolation yard for them to join and discard all their original nest and food stores.
I haven’t run in to it yet, but any case of foul brood everything will get tossed, bees included.
About follow up cutout comb management, during future hive inspections. As a general practice I want to discard all cutout comb so by next spring it’s all 100% gone out of the hive for next year’s production. Because I’m for the most part only saving brood comb, I keep it all down in the bottom box or two of the hive and just swap it out for new foundation anytime I find it empty of brood during inspections. I just keep inserting new frames into the center of the boxes and rotate the old comb out to the sides till they come up empty of brood. Generally I’m left with only one box left come fall with old cutout comb, which I make sure stays on the bottom of the hive and can be discarded next spring after the bees have moved up into higher boxes.
It's all about next year, regards