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Someone gave me a used wooden bee box. I opened it up and there were 100's of dead bees. I took each of the dividers out, and shook the dead bees off. I set the box over by my greenhouse and a week later there is bees flying in and out of it. This has been going on for 2 weeks now. I am pretty sure there are bees inside. I am wondering what to do next?????
 

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I think you are a beehaver now.

>I am wondering what to do next?????

Next you learn to be a beekeeper. Get a couple of beginner books, find a local beekeeper for guidance, and get a veil and go have a look see.

Read all the posts in Beekeeping 101, but get a beginners book and read, read, read.
 

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Carmen, when you opened it the first time were there any live bees in it, or just dead ones? also were the frames (dividers) drawn out with comb, or just foundation in them (flat wax sheets.)??
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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Took me a minute. Bee box. Dividers. Does it have a cover and a bottom board?

Was there any honey in it?

If there was any honey other bees will rob it out.

If there was no honey in it and bees are flying in and out regularly, then you probably had a swarm settle in it.

To check it out safely you'll need at least a veil and it would be nice to have a smoker, but you could take a bundle of dried grass and tie it tightly with string or thread and light the end and blow the smoke into the entrance. After a few puffs of smoke in the entrance and a pause for two whole minutes, put a couple more puffs of smoke in the entrance and, while wearing the veil, open the lid. Move slowly and gracefully. If bees come right at you, close the lid and walk away. If the bees just fly up in the air, but not at you, then they are calm and you can take a better look. If you see lots of bees mostly in one area in the hive they probably moved in. Robbers tend to be spread out evenly through the hive and are not usually really thick.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
There were no live bees in it about 1,000 dead ones at the bottom board. I took and dumped those out. The frames had comb on them I think there were six or seven stacked side by side and one of the frames was closed and had plywood on either side of it. Another frame had a metal thing on the bottom of it? I think one or two frames had just wire on it.
Some of the comb was real dirty and mushy others was clean. There was mold on some of the holes on the comb??? On the Box There is a cover and bottom board. It looked like maybe there was honey in it at one time. It smelled like honey and the frames were hard to het out like they were stuck to the box. There has been for the past two weeks a good consisent flow of maybe 5 to 10 bees going in and out of the box everytime I look at it.
 

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>one of the frames was closed and had plywood on either side of it.

A hole in the top of this? Or not? Maybe a feeder?

>Another frame had a metal thing on the bottom of it?

Not sure what that would be.

> I think one or two frames had just wire on it.

Probably used to have wax in it but it's gone now.

>Some of the comb was real dirty and mushy others was clean.

Maybe webs in it? From wax moths?

>frames were hard to het out like they were stuck to the box.

That's normal. It's propolis.

>There has been for the past two weeks a good consisent flow of maybe 5 to 10 bees going in and out of the box everytime I look at it.

I'd be curious what's inside now.
 

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<BLOCKQUOTE>quote:</font><HR>There has been for the past two weeks a good consisent flow of maybe 5 to 10 bees going in and out of the box everytime I look at it.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

That is what an active colony looks like, but to be sure, if you see any of the incoming bees carrying pollen on their hind legs you are in business. They are bringing home groceries for the babies.
 

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This is an interesting story. So far I have not had the experience of swarming or feral hives, but I did have one that should go under the heading "Safety". I did work alongside my hives yesterday on a new stand and this smarty thought he did not need a veil etc. Well right now I am writing with a swollen left eye, courtesy of one of our girls. Moral of the story, use at least a veil for any activity close to the hives.
 

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Carmen,
there is a beekeepers association in Pierce County, maybe they have members down in your area that could take a look at what you have. http://www.pcbeekeepers.org/ The club has a forum but it looks like it only gets about one message per month and may not even be getting that much.

This board is really great but no substitute for "hands on" help.
George
 
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