My hive unfortunately did not survive the winter this year - I strongly suspect that it was due to an overwhealming mite population, as when I finally decided it was a problem late in the fall, it was too late to treat. That is not what I am debating here, though.
I want to either install a new package or catch a swarm in this hive. I just cleaned out all of the old bees, excess propolis, etc. Hive is in great shape, no evidence of wax months (which is great considering that the hive has been just sitting there empty for two months.
There are two deeps, the bottom is empty built out comb with some honey and pollen. Not much though, considering that this was the brood chamber. The top is completely filled with honey. After the bees died I did not extract this excess honey because I fed them sugar water towards the end of fall to build their stores.
What do I do at this point? Do I install my new package of bees with everything as is or would you recommend me cleaning out the top deep and storing it before hand? I also want to try to attract a hive before my package comes in (this would save me $125), would take out the existing honey or leave it in there?
Any advice would be greatly appreciated! Thanks