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I started two hives last year, this one didn't make it. I lost the queen mid summer, they tried to requeen, which didn't work possibly bc of all the rain we had. I discovered this in Sept, and requeened asap but too late I suspect. I took the hive apart last weekend and it's a sad site, looked a bit like the last stand at the Alamo. I suspect I did a lot wrong here, but for now the question I have is: what I am seeing in this picture? there is a chalky, bright yellow stuff in some of the cells. The wax is very dark almost brown. Can I reuse these frames when I restart with nucs in ~May?
thx!

oops, couldn't upload photo, strange instructions here, doesn't seem to allow jpg I will keep trying. thx anyhow.
 

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A+ for effort on your behalf. Unfortunate for the hive though.

The bright yellow chalky stuff may be stored pollen.

Brown wax ? If it doesn't smell & not slimy it's probably good for the next hive. I've inherited a couple hives from a mature lady I do yard maintenance for. When I took apart the hives, there where just but a few hundred dead bees head first into the comb for honey stores. Starvation, I'm sure. There was other brood comb too and it was clean but a dark brown in color. Maybe the aging of the cells through winter does that to wax.

One of my hives lost its queen early after the install in June. Somehow it managed to produce its own queen and thrived from there. Far as I can tell, it's still alive. No unusual amount of casualties on the bottom board of the hive.
 

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If you started them on new foundation, the brown combs are where the brood was. Over a period of time the whole comb will turn brown to dark brown. The yellow stuff is probably pollen as stated above. No reason not to use them again but I would store them with wax moth protection.
 

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As stated, store the combs protected from wax moth. A day or two before using the equipment, set the super on it's end, put a box fan up against it, and air it out real good. Then use it again. The bees will clean it up, even if there's a little mold on the comb. Dark comb was used for brood. That's the cocoons and natural discoloration of brood rearing. The colored stuff more than likely is pollen.
Good luck this year!
 
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