I opened my TBH today after noticing there was less activity at the entrance. It was full of honey and lots of agitated field bees but absolutely no brood, old or new.
I harvested all the honey on nine bars but the other bars were very wet with scarce capped honey. The bees were highly agitated of course. My question is how do I prepare this hive for winter storage? It's full of bees and wet frames. How do I get rid of the bees and prevent wax moths from moving in. I have six Langstroth hives nearby so expect robbing to begin very soon. I live in Northern Nevada, day time temps mid eighties, nights mid forties. I do have a TBH nuc box that will hold nine frames. The dying TBH is four years old so needs a good cleaning. Thanks very much.
One option is to let nature take its course. Eventually winter will come, and you can use Mother Nature's freezer to kill wax moth eggs, and SHB eggs. Then seal the hive bee-tight. The current bees will likely follow the robbers home. In fact you may have found robber bees rather than "house" bees. There are accounts of house bees in hives which weaken and get robbed then just follow the robbers home.
It is important to diagnose as best as possible why the hive died. If it never thrived, was continually re-queening, those can be signs of European Foulbrood. And a hive that never thrived could also be suffering from Nosema. Those can be spread through comb. If it was very strong then in a month or so dropped precipitously, could be a swarm that failed to re-queen or a high mite load - not communicable in the same way (though the house bees migrating is a great reason to check/treat for mites).
Yeah, it sounds like robbers already, maybe...it can be as busy as a regular hive. Can you try listening at night to see if there's any activity? I think at this point I'd just leave it and recheck everything in the spring. At that point I'd take out any cross-combing or weird comb and maybe you could do a split from one of your Langs.