lost my bees
I did my first hive check on the first day that it got nice and warm...yesterday. I had been feeding with sugar water in a top feeder for a little while, and had noted bees climbing in to get some so I felt they were probably okay. WRONG. I opened the hive to find a little pile of bees on top of the frames, with the queen inside the middle of them. The hive doesn't smell very nice, either. I checked and found that there was a lot of capped honey, but I did find hundreds of dead varroa mites in the bottom board, so I guess that's what did it. I guess my herbal remedies didn't work like I'd hoped.
This was my first hive and my first year. I have already ordered my nuc to replace this hive, but I need to know how to clean out this hive to prepare it for the new bees? How do I make sure that it's varroa mite-free, as well as other diseases that might be a left-over problem.
What sort of chemicals do you use to wipe out the varroa mites? I have heard there were pretty heavy casualties from the bugs this year in Indiana.
It's sad, but I'm not giving up, yet.
It's the queen bee who sets the temperament of the hive.