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I posted this question last night, but don't see it on the board today. Not sure what happened, but appologies in advance if the other one somehow shows up and this one becomes a duplicate.

I have a hive that died due to starvation. I want to clean out the dead bees and leave the comb for the package bees to use, which I will obtain in April. I doubt it's a good idea to just leave the dead bees in there between now and then ... disease, bacteria, etc. What's the best way to clean them out? The two supers just have a few dead bees in various cells, so I can probably get them by hand. But down in the hive body there are a lot of bees in what was the center of the cluster. Any way to get these out, other than picking them out by hand?

Also, I'm planning to put the one deep hive body and two supers into a freezer for a couple days, to kill any SHB and/or moth eggs/larvae that might be there. Thoughts on this?

Thanks.
Adam
 

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Having been there, done that, I simply pulled out the frames, and with a bee brush, brushed off the dead bees, then vacuumed out the ones with their heads stuck in the comb with a shop vac.

I didn't get all of them but probably 90%. With the frames out, I vac'd the dead ones out of the box, set it up with the same old frames and the following month poured a swarm in on top of the box. No problems. What I didn't clean up, the bees did.

I had no problems with moths, SHB or diseases.

Grant
Jackson, MO
 

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Adam, Im pretty new to bee keeping but I had the same thing happen this winter. A man gave me a hive in late summer that had swarmed and was pretty thin on bees. I added a top feeder and build them up somewhat but looks like not enough. When it warmed up after our pretty long cold spell this winter I went to check with them all dead. I took the hive to the shop and tore it apart using a shop vac to clean up most of the mess. The shop vac also sucked most of the dead bees from the cells of wax but not all. We had plenty of cold enough weather to kill any eggs or pests. Im wanting to divide the 20 frames of wax with capped honey into 4 packages this spring. I think the cluster was just too little and they all froze to death, I couldnt find any other reason and they had plenty of honey and syrup. I cleaned them all up as good as I could but there are still a few dead bees in some of the cells, so I'll be watching your post as I am interested also.
 

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Good to hear Grant, Im trying the same thing.
 

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Since it's so damp here in the late winter and early spring, I have taken many a box of frames, cleaned out the dead bees, shook water out of the frames, and put them near a big barn fan in my outbuilding to dry them out...helps keep the mold away. Once they are dry, I put them back out in the freezing weather, covered, until I need them. If I am concerned about warm weather and wax moths, I sometimes spray them with BT to protect the comb.
 

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If I am concerned about warm weather and wax moths, I sometimes spray them with BT to protect the comb.[/QUOTE]


What is BT ?
 
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