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Cleaning dead out/ package bees clean dead out

906 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Vance G
I had a hive starve out about 2 weeks ago. Yeah my mistake, I had given them some sugar water two weeks previous but I had underestimated how bad this spring would be in Milwaukee.

Anyway. I have a 2 lb package coming in some time this week. I've already shaken out most of the dead bees from the dead out, but was kind of upset and in a hurry so i had left the dead brood in cells. I'm not sure what are healthy limits for a package to deal with themselves. I would assume that since its been almost 3 weeks now the brood has gotten unclean/bacteria growth.

Should I cut out the 3 week dead brood out of my previous hive for the package or leave it to the package bees to clear it out?
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i would advise against allowing the new colony to clean out the dead brood, although i have seen it reported here that folks have done it with no ill effects.

i am not recommending this, and i am now rethinking my ways, but here is what i have done in the past:

use a garden hose with an old fashioned spray nozzle and/or compressed air to uncap, dislodge, and blow out the dead brood

wash the entire frame of comb with the garden hose, shake out the water, allow to dry well

use a spray bottle to mist 3% bleach on the frame, allow to set for a while, then shake out excess bleach, allow to dry well
Set aside the frames with dead brood until the package has been building up for a month or two. Put them in the second box and the bees will clean them up pretty painlessly. Bees clean the dead up pretty easily.
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