There is someone in my area who is advertising (2) hives for sell complete w/ bees. They are asking $75.00 for both. This person has had a stroke earlier this year and I know that these hives have not been treated for mites this fall. The lady said that there is still be activity around the hives. What other things should I look for. I plan to inspect the hives before I say I want them.
If you can find a nice day when the bees are flying and it's not too cold, you can check for several things. First, I would plan on treating for mites, and maybe you could do that while you have it open, since the weather may not cooperate again. Apistan would be good. FGMO with a fogger is nice, but I have not been able to find one at a store, because it is considered a seasonable item.
What to look for. A lot of dead bees on the bottom board and, at close inspection dead varroa mites (look at pictures on the web and see what they look like.) this would indicate a bad mite infestation.
It's kind of late in the year to find brood, so it's difficult to check for AFB or EFB, but if the population seems strong (two boxes pretty much crawling with bees on a warm day) it's probably healthy. $75 for two established hives is a real bargin. I hope I can find some here for that price.
$75.00 for 2 hives is good, considering I paid $73 per nuc last year. Even if they are not really healthy, the equipment alone is worth more than half.
Another thing to check is the weight of each hive. This would indicate how much honey they would have to survive the winter. You would probably need to requeen this spring. Something else to think about. Dale