View Full Version : Used Hives
09-30-2002, 02:26 PM
A person living near me wants to sell me four used hives. They were used by bees from the spring of last year to the winter, when they were found dead the following (this) spring. After this unpleasant experience, he wants to get out of the "hobby".
My question is, if the bees died during the winter(starvation, improper venelation, mites, etc...) then it is a pretty safe bet to use the hives right? AFB is most likely not present? Or is there no rule of thumb when dealing with some of these germs....?
You said >> My question is, if the bees died during the winter(starvation, improper venelation, mites, etc...) then it is a pretty safe bet to use the hives right? AFB is most likely not present? Or is there no rule of thumb when dealing with some of these germs....?
It could be alot of things, without knowing all of the facts. I am willing to bet they starved, but like I said its hard to say. If I got the hives, knowing what you do about them, I would burn the inner parts with a torch, not to make a fire, but to kill anything there. I have also heard of treating them with lye. I inhereted some hive bodies from a guy as well, and I torched them, and have no problems to date. They may not have even had anything, but an oldtimer told me not to take any chances.. Its your call, I talk to the oldtimers though, maybe there is something else to treat them with. Just my opinion.....
10-01-2002, 06:44 AM
My guess is that AFB would have killed them during the brood season and not over winter, but I'm always a little suspicious of used hives that don't still have bees living in them. The firing method is detailed in ABC XYZ of beekeeping, but I would suppose that a torch would do about as well. The other issue, however is the frames. If you're really nervous about AFB you would have to trash the frames and that seems like a waste. My guess is the mites did them in.
"You pays your money and takes your chances."
10-01-2002, 06:16 PM
I would take a chance on them afb is not that common now days and you can wash them out with mineral spirits killing most spores like wax mothes.
I would think that those bees starved or had a bad case of mites.
good luck =Don
10-02-2002, 05:08 AM
Here in Maine we have a State Bee Inspector who knows all the stuff to watch out for. If you call your loacl Cooperative Extension or the State Government Offices, they would be able to put you in touch with your State Inspector. The nice thing about these folks is that they are a wonderful source of knowledge. They would be able to check all the equipment to make sure everything is O.K. as well as answer any other questions you may have. They can even suggest some tips to help you be more successful.
10-05-2002, 05:43 PM
Well, thanks for the info everone. I am getting four hives for $100, so I cannot turn it down and will just risk it...Turns out he has five hives, and four failed during the winter, one is still going. My guess is that next spring, that one will be for sale also.....