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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello - First time poster here. I was given two relatively mature hives by some friends last Spring, thus began my experience in beekeeping. Unfortunately the hives died over the winter. I think it was a result of condensation and freezing as the inside of the hive (and the dead bees) had a dusting of mold AND there was still a fair amount of capped honey left behind. I live in the Seattle area, which is of course damp, and we had a fairly cold/snowy stretch of winter.

I am purchasing two new packages of bees to install in the hives at the beginning of May. I broke down the two hives to examine and clean them, and here is what I have:

- Several frames of clean, empty, built out comb
- A handful of frames partially full of capped honey
- Several frames that are a mess of uncapped pollen, dead eggs/larvae, or scraped off comb

My question is how best to rebuild the hives to support the new packages. Should I put all the clean empty comb in the bottom brood box, a mix of clean comb and honey in the second super, and add the messiest frames as honey supers later in the season, once they are established? I also have feeder frames that I can add to the mix, but there does seem to be a fair amount of leftover food already in the frames. Any advice for setting up successful new home for my incoming bees would be much appreciated.

Thanks,
jared
 

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Thanks Alex - I am fairly certain that condensation was the culprit. There were some dead mites on the bottom board but not a lot.
 

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Thanks Alex - I am fairly certain that condensation was the culprit. There were some dead mites on the bottom board but not a lot.
Be careful not to trivialize mites. That is many new beeks downfall. Embrace that the mites killed your hive and develop a treatment plan for your new bees.
 

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did you insulate the I inner cover with foam? I am starting my second year in Massachusetts. We insulated the inner cover with foam board and treated aggressively for mites in late summer. 3 of 3 survival rate. You can mostly leave the frames in the order you found them. start with I deep, honey on the outside, empty drawn comb in the inside. Rule of thumb I have heard is it takes 1 cell of honey and 1 cell of pollen to make a bee.
 
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