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Author Topic: Frames from dead hive  (Read 1421 times)
House Bee
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Posts: 107

Location: Michigan

« on: May 26, 2006, 02:50:23 PM »

I have a question on what to do with my old frames from my hive that died over the winter.  This hive had two brood boxes - and I used one for the new package - that one was mostly empty.  But I have one full box left - but this is mostly capped honey, old pollen, and dead bees.  I would like to use these frames for the second brood box - but really don't want my new bees to have to clean all this up.  Do I go ahead and scrape off all of the frames and let them start new?  Do I uncap the honey and let them consume? And do I let them clean out all the dead bees?

This box also has an odor - not a real foul odor - but almost like Golden Rod honey smell - like in the summer when bees bring in the Golden Rod - could it be that the honey in it is Golden Rod?

I guess if you guys can tell me what you do with your dead hives - and what route I should take.

Thank you much.
New Bee
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Posts: 4

Location: Maryland

« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2006, 05:23:12 PM »

Have a state inspector check the hive out.  If you have AHB you should (by law) destroy the hive to prevent spread of AHB.  The inspector can possibly ID the reason for the die out.  For the future you can contact the USDA.  The USDA beltsville, MD research center has testing free of charge.  Unfortunatley they need fresh samples of dead bees.  this website will help you in the future with bee die outs.

The problem could be from the cluster not being able to reach the food stores, pesticides, disease AHB, mold, or even some curuious person opening the hive in winter droping the hive clusters temp to a dangerous level and them not being able to recover.  Unless you send in samples every person posting is just taking a wag or swag (scientific wild a$$ guess).  

See posting "begginers map to success" for good information and suggestions
Brian D. Bray
Galactic Bee
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Posts: 7369

Location: Anacortes, WA 98221

I really look like this, just ask Cindi.

« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2006, 05:26:56 PM »

If the old hive died from starvation  then it should be ok to use the frames.  But I'd check all of them for moldy brood cells and other such things.  It still might be ok to use the honey but in either case be prepared to take counter measures against various diseases.  Using honey from a dead or abandoned hive is never risk free.

Life is a school.  What have you learned?   Brian      The greatest danger to our society is apathy, vote in every election!
Field Bee
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Gender: Male
Posts: 823

Location: Florida

« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2006, 06:16:45 PM »

Did the bees die with thier heads in the cells?  That is an almost sure sign of starvation.  It would be unusuall for a hive to die of AFB in the winter, although, if they were weakend over the summer and fall, that is a different story.  Did you ever notice greasy cappings with multiple holes in the brood nest in the summer or fall when the bees were still alive?  I'd have to say that there is a very...very small chance of your bees getting any possible disease from these used frames.  Probably the biggest risk is a few Varroa related viruses which can actually survive in the comb but, just about every hive (every hive I've been in) has this so, it's of minor concern.

Michael Bush
Universal Bee
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Posts: 13989

Location: Nehawka, NE

« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2006, 10:47:14 AM »

If there are no signs of AFB (scale, pierced cappings, ropey brood) I would just reuse it.

Michael Bush
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"Everything works if you let it."--Rick Nielsen
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