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Hello, I joined your group looking for some direction. I recently came across some old hive boxes that had been sitting in a relative's barn for at least 12 years. I want to fix them up and put them back to use... I intend to salvage as much of the original material as I can and re-start a colony with them. But I really have no beekeeping experience at all, and I have another hurdle... they're homemade and therefore not exactly like contemporary ones on the web. They were actually used by a farmer who lived off the land at that spot for 50 years.

I've completed the first step-- pulling them out of the barn & dusting them off. They were filled with old dirt dobber nests, ancient honeycombs, looks like there was a family of mice in there at some point. After I cleaned them up a bee landed on one of the box tops so I took it as a good sign! I've since been doing some reading and joined a local group. Wanted to say hello, and welcome any advice. I've already found a lot in the archived threads.

Ryan M.
Briggs, TX
 

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Welcome to the site! There are many posts on here about using used equipment. Some say don't do it and others see the risk as worth taking. Good luck. I am excited about getting started this spring too.
 

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With the price of bee equipment now days I would take a chance on using the equipment. The thing to realize that it might have had disease so watch the hives and try to be aware of any problems. I am guessing that the scales from American Foul Brood would be difficult to find yet I woulod try. Maybe don't start out using all of the equipment but rather just a couple of hives the first year. I think yur county extension office may help you a lot. Try to find a local bee keeper group to learn from. Good luck. Years ago I used some old,very old comb and found the bees used it though I wonder how much of a cleaning job they had to do. Only part of one hive box or two and I thought maybe they would like it better than nothing.
 
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