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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Over the years I've had to disassemble dead outs. Some of them were just too small to survive or starved. What is the best way to remove the bees with their heads in the cells? I've heard that bees will remove the dead bees in a new hive but not sure this is the best way to do this. I've also heard that putting a frame with dead bees in it will doom the new hive or at least they won't use the frame or remove the dead bees.

I'd just like to be know the possibilities and any drawbacks.

Thanks!
 

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I lightly tap the frames over something and a lot of the bees will drop out. If they're kind of stuck together, I run my hand over them to free them up. I don't spend a lot of time getting them all out. Yes, the new bees will clean up the dead ones but I like to give them less work to do if I can. A frame of dead bees won't doom a new hive.
 

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I turn the frame upside down and tap the inverted top bar on a wall or something solid. The deceased pop right out of the naturally "up" facing comb design. The remainder I grab with tweezers. Can't speak to any harm that may be done by leaving them for the bees to remove. I've never tried it.
 

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I just worry about masses between and on frames that get moldy. A light touch is best so you don't damage the valuable combs. The bees clean them up quickly and easily.
 

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I have experimented with air and water nozzles and shop vacs; all will work but have to be carefully throttled or they will destroy the comb. This was mostly culling uncapped drone brood frames. That was before I discovered OAV for mite control! Used judiciously it will also cut down on the need to blow out dead bees.:lookout:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thank you everyone for your ideas. Fortunately, I don't have many but the frames are in good shape other than a circle of dead bees, so I want to spare the frames.

I've started using OAV and wish I had done it earlier.

Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Dan. To be sure there's no foulbrood do you have to have it analyzed? It's been a long time since I had to check that- decades!
 

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Light brown to dark brown to black scale that is hard to remove. It's on the bottom of the cell if it's still wet a little stir it'll rope out like snot. had it a couple of years ago it's not fun so keep an eye out for it.
 

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Dan,
Do you just throw out the frame? I haven't checked but probably don't have it. Just good to know.
Most hives die from mites but always check for other things you can buy test kits from bee supply stores if you know what AFB looks like it's not hard to see. The best way of AFB control is the fire, yes I had to burn most of my stuff but now I know It's gone for now. That's one thing I look for in every inspection if you don't catch it right away you can spread it to the rest of them.
 
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