Howdy, I lost my bees this winter, looks like mostly starving, thought they had some honey left, but in the outer frames only, I did not take any honey in the fall. I had lost the first queen in late May last year but it took several weeks before I realized it. then a new queen installed and I lost her also seems like almost immediately, not sure why. another queen (and more lost time!)and feeding for much of the late summer and early fall. anyway, first warm day this spring I checked, sure enough all dead, some larva cells but mostly bees head in to empty cells. not much mite activity, less than 50 in 24 hours when checked last september, so I don't think that was a problem.(fmgo) I think my main trouble was the lost queens. anyway, I'm getting new bees tomorrow, so I began to clear out the hive and ready it for them. I have a green mold, like penicillin, or a mold like you would find on cheese, this mold is heavily covering only the dead larva cells. so what do I do,
1) leave it for the bees to clean,
2)scrape these cells out and let the new bees clean?
3)cut the "dirty" foundations out and burn them, replacing the foundation with new?
I'm not giving up that for sure, had an interesting time learning, and wish to try again. hey thanks for the info this last year, you guys taught me some things I didn't read in the books....
>1) leave it for the bees to clean,
That works fine.
>2)scrape these cells out and let the new bees clean?
I wouldn't bother. Too much work.
>3)cut the "dirty" foundations out and burn them, replacing the foundation with new?
That works too.
Penicillin is not dirty. It's an antibiotic.
By "getting new bees", I assume you mean a package? With the luck you've had so far, I think I'd start them out on some new foundation and feed, feed, feed.
Your old moldy frames are useable or you certainly can get them back into service (eventually). But since these frames are more than moldy with all the dead larvae and/or starved adults, I wouldn't recommend putting that additional stress on a small package of bees just trying to get established. Let the new package (and queen) get focused on drawing out fresh, clean wax and laying eggs rather than cleaning out dead bee bodies and other trash.
To help your 'build-up', IF you can put in a couple of frames that are relatively clean, this will help the new queen start laying eggs faster and thus help the colony population build more quickly.
When your colony gets to full strength and crowded, then give them the nasty frames to clean up - they'll do a good job on it then.