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I had two hives. Wax moths invaded one and the bees abandoned the hive a couple of months ago. The other one seemed fine until I discovered them all dead last weekend.

So now I have no bees.

What should I do with the hive boxes? Leave them outside? Disinfect them in some way?

Suggestions appreciated.

thanks
 

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Freeze all of the frames for at least 24 hours. Bag them up until spring. Clean up boxes (scrap, paint, etc.). Set aside until sprint. Order packages. Set up hives with bagged frames a week or two before packages arrrive.

At least that's my thoughts.
 

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Another thing..... need to find out what caused the hives to die off. I would find another place to put the newly packaged hives this spring. By that I mean more than 10 - 20 feet from before.
 

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Instead of getting packages, start with two 5 frame nucs purchased from a local beekeeper with new locally raised queens. Do you belong to a local beekeepers's association? If the same trouble happens next year, even with local bees, you could have a club meeting over at your house for the club's "experts" to find the source of the problems. Nucs will start much faster, produce more the first year and perhaps be more resistant to what was bothering your new hives this year. OMTCW
 

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Spray your frames with bt (bacillus thurigensis (sp.?) and stack them outside or in a barn. I suspect that you may not have fed them enough and they ate through what they had and perished. You are not far from me. We had months of rain this spring and early summer ( a very different year ) and if the bees were not fed during those months, they died. Also because of the rain, even the most experienced of beekeepers's hives swarmed, which may have happened to yours with the wax moths in it. OMTCW
 

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Sorry about your losses.

This Aussie Farmnote has a temp/time table for making sure you kill the entire life cycle of the wax moth.

http://www.agric.wa.gov.au/objtwr/imported_assets/content/pw/ins/wax_moth_and_its_control.pdf

I encountered some wax moths in an order of unassembled nucs and frames. Because they were long forgotten stock, I got them cheap. I loaded a cooler with frames and parts in a vertical configuration, put a 5# block of dry ice on top and left them overnight. An indoor/outdoor thermometer with a remote or wired outside probe can be used to track temperatures. That did the job without my wife finding a pile of bee gear in the basement freezer.

I hope this doesn't discourage you from trying again.

To save cash, I'd start as early as you can with a single package or nuc. When they build up and the weather warms, you may want to grab a frame of fresh eggs, a couple of brood with plenty of workers, put them in a single deep and feed. They should raise their own queen and build up for the following winter. Michael Bush has good guidance for queenless splits and I use it to increase my hives.

If you start with a nuc, you may get a harvest in the coming year even with a split, less likely with a package.

Good luck.
 

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I agree with Cedar. Nucs are better. With the established comb you already have, the bees should really flourish.
 
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