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Use leftover comb for new bee package?



My bees in my TBH died this winter despite my efforts to keep them going. Everything looked healthy when I checked it recently (i.e, there were dead bees, but no weird smells or other signs of disease that I could tell) so I think they froze or starved. They left a number of combs they had built last season, some of which are quite complete (at least 6, plus some partially build combs). These combs are partially filled with dead brood, some have nectar, and some are empty cells.

My question is whether I should leave this comb in place for my new package of bees. This would help them (I think) since they would not need to build comb from scratch and could dedicate their efforts and resources elsewhere. So is there a downside to doing this that I am not considering, or is it OK to let them just use the leftover comb and start filling up the empty spots?





Sorry to hear about your bees.

I would remove any combs that are crooked. I would also brush the dead bees off outside the hive, and then put the empty combs back. There should be no problem leaving the combs for the next colony – in fact, it should speed up production as the next bees will have some built combs ready for them. They’ll clean off any mold or remaining dead bees.