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Dead hive full of honey, add new bees?


#1

Hi All,

So I am a new beek using a Warre hive with Hygienic Carniolan. The girls are doing GREAT!!! Here is my question, My father-in-law has a small organic vegetable farm in North Branch. He had a beek running 2 hives on his farm, and this past winter the beek did not winterize them and of course all the girls died. My father-in-law would like for me to take over this persons hives. He has tried to contact the beek many times over the winter and up to this week with no answer. If I should chose to do this, is it too late in the season for nuc installations? Is it okay to reuse the full hives of honey? At what point are these hives considered abandoned?


#2

Dinkpit,

As long as you don’t suspect those colonies died of American Foulbrood, there should be no reason why you can’t re-use the parts. At this point, though, there’s a strong likelihood there’s little honey and lots of wax moths inside. I’d take a look ASAP, and if there aren’t wax moths yet, get the frames in the freezer to keep it that way. Then store then in plastic bags until you’re ready to use them.

If they are on your father’s property and he’s tried that hard to contact the beek, I’d feel comfortable taking them over. You can absolutely install a nuc or a swarm into them and see what happens. You can also try baiting them with lemongrass oil (http://www.beethinking.com/lemongrass-oil)

Best,

Matt


#3

I went up on Wednesday to inspect the hives on my “FiL’s” property. I inspected it from the outside with no signs of life, I then went ahead and opened it up. Right away I could tell there was a problem, it smelled rancid!! Every inch of the inner cover was covered in black looking mold and what appeared to be silk from wax moths?? I would rather burn all of the gear and start fresh…


#4

As long as you don’t suspect those colonies died of American Foulbrood, there should be no reason why you can’t re-use the parts. At this point, though, there’s a strong likelihood there’s little honey and lots of wax moths inside. I’d take a look ASAP, and if there aren’t wax moths yet, get the frames in the freezer to keep it that way. Then store then in plastic bags until you’re ready to use them.


#5

As long as you don’t suspect those colonies died of American Foulbrood, there should be no reason why you can’t re-use the parts. At this point, though, there’s a strong likelihood there’s little honey and lots of wax moths inside. I’d take a look ASAP, and if there aren’t wax moths yet, get the frames in the freezer to keep it that way. Then store then in plastic bags until you’re ready to use them.