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Author Topic: Second hand hives  (Read 1355 times)
Johnny253
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Location: South Australia


« on: July 19, 2012, 05:27:00 AM »

I picked up an awesome deal on some used bee hives. 16 used full depth supers with frames, lids and bases plus enough new timber to make another 15 or so full depths.

About half of the used frames are full of capped honey, while most of the other half has been attacked by wax moth. There is a bit of brown sticky fluid running out of the boxes.

I have stacked and sealed the hives so my bees can't rob them and will freeze and clean up the frames attacked by wax moth. Does anyone have any suggestion as to what to do with the frames with honey? I intend setting these 'new' hives up at a separate site away from my other hives.
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OzBuzz
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Location: Melbourne, Australia


« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2012, 05:39:53 AM »

Do you know their disease history? I'd be getting an AFB test on the honey... Other than that add them on to the hives
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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2012, 06:18:43 AM »

Yes Johnny, I wouldn't transfer any equipment such as your hive tool between those hives and your original hives till you have tested for AFB.  Freezing won't kill AFB.  The hives just have honey not bees?  You need to know what happened to the bees.  If AFB positive I'd extract the honey and don't let your other hives rob it or get anywhere near, and burn all the supers and frames.  Otherwise you could add the supers to your other hives, or make splits or whatever.  Bees keep the waxmoth away.
The brown sticky fluid could just mean the waxmoths ruining the honeycomb, or maybe beetles or something else.  Clean those frames up with a heatgun then freeze them.

Lone
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Johnny253
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Location: South Australia


« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2012, 07:10:37 AM »

Thanks for the advice guys. I'll be getting an AFB test done asap.

I don't know the disease history and neither did the guy I bought them from. They were in the shed of a house he bought and he just wanted to clear some space and make a few bucks.

Yes, there is honey but no bees. There would be about 8 full depth supers full of it and I am still not sure what to do with it all. If the AFB test confirms there is no AFB present, I could add some to my other hives but I doubt that the bees will need extra honey reserves now.
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Lone
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Location: North Queensland


« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2012, 07:39:15 AM »

Hello Johnny, it's not just about extra honey reserves, but to protect and store the honey, combs and frames.  Unless you have a big enough coolroom to store them all in, the pests will completely wreck them in a short time.  You can extract the honey as you normally would.  I don't like tall hives so I'd be using the good combs to start new hives.

Lone
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Johnny253
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Location: South Australia


« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2012, 09:30:21 AM »

Okay, thanks Lone. I've only been beekeeping for about a year and yet to do a decent extraction. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

From what I understand, most people confine their bees to a single deep box over the winter. I actually left a couple of mine as doubles since they started building in the top super and I figured it may as well stay there so they could use the stores if they needed them and so the frames would be 'safe' as you say. Why is it that people don't generally store their frames in a top super over the winter to protect them? I would not think that heat loss through an empty super would be much different to a ventilated lid.

Anyway, thanks for that and I assume the idea is that the frames would be left there until the weather warms up and the honey is extractable. Only problem is that I won't have enough hives for them all unless I build skyscrapers so I'll have to keep some sealed up. I don't know how long the honey has been in the frames, it looked like it had all been stored for years.

Yes, I intend doing some splits and buying some ligurian queens to make some new colonies when the weather warms up.
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the-ecohouse.com
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Location: Mallee Australia


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« Reply #6 on: July 26, 2012, 11:33:53 AM »

go the ligurians!!!
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