Greetings from a 1st time poster. I found this site today and am impressed with the amount of feedback. Now I have a few questions:
I had two hives die off and the moths moved in, destroying everything inside. New Mann Lake supers/frames/ritecell arrived today, two packages of bees arriving 4/15. Are the mothed hives and ritecell foundation salvagable? Can I scrape and clean and use the equiptment as spares? Or throw it all away? I bet the ritecell would make it through a cycle in the dishwasher (and since my wife is away the next few days its a good time to try it!)
New equipment means I wont have any stored honey or built up cells for the new bees. Is that okay? I'll feed them sugar syrup, but have concerns that it wont be enough, the bees will have no cells, and the queen wont be able to lay until cells are built up. How long will it take?
Based on the replies to question #1, if possible I'll use an old super to cover up the syrup on top of the hive, if I cant use it than I'll have to use the frame feeder, but I never likes that method, so many bees drown, and it looks like my hives will have a natural downturn in population right away, they don't need me to kill off a few hundred more.
Has anyone ever made an entrance feeder? Seems simple, but a plan to follow would sure make it easier.
Any general advice is extremely welcome. I've been doing this for about 7 years, with mixed results - some years the honey flow is tremendous, the bees love me and survive a winter to prosper again. Other years (like this one) its a total failure. But I have the "bug" and will never give up. I've repopulated with nucs some years, packaged bees other years (love the call from the local post office when the bees arrive), so I have enough knowledge to know that I dont have enough knowledge! Learning from people here would be most appreciated.
Thank you again...