Winter Time Bee Help
Good afternoon all. I am a teacher who has two hives going at our school and it was going great until the end of this summer. We installed one hive two years ago and it made it through its first winter and then this fall we lost the hive. I don't think it was Foulbrood but a bad case of mites (I know it can be prevented but we were not allowed at school for a while this year and that was out of my control). Our other hive we just installed last spring. It did really well all summer and was full of honey. We treated for mites and then this winter we lost this one. It is full of honey and not bees. We pulled out a bee today that had not emerged and she was black and covered in mites. We have also had a problem with wood roaches infesting the hive.
So a few questions:
1. How do we get rid of the roaches? I feel that they are not helping our situation at all.
2. Can we reuse the hive and if not can we clean it in some way so it is sanitized for a new group of bees? We would like to start over but don't want to get rid of all our supers since they are all brand new.
3. Any other advice that anyone could give we love our bees and this is very depressing.
Thank you all in advance!
Re: Winter Time Bee Help
Sorry for the loss.
1. The roaches found a free place to live that was stocked with food. Once you clean up the hive, they will not be a problem. A live colony of bee will keep them away.
2. You can reuse everything you have. Try to get most of the adult dead bees out of the comb by holding the end bars, and tapping the top bar on a firm surface. Don't worry about the capped brood. the new bees will clean that up. The best thing you can do is freeze all the frames (brood and honey) until you are ready to install your new bees. The bees will do the rest. There is no need to wash or sanitize anything unless you have evdience of AFB or EFB.
3. Do you use a screen bottom board and do mite counts to moniter the population? This is a complete science project alone, and you will know when you reach the threashold levels.
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