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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Dead TBH - what to do with the honey and comb? Pictures.

Checked on my TBH today and it is a graveyard. Plenty of stores but looks like they just plain froze. Suspended animation in there. What should I do with the capped honey and comb? Put it in the freezer for a spring swarm or harvest?
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

Are you sure they just froze, a colony won't die of cold if they have plenty of stores and young bees going into winter, were the bees heads in the empty cells... this could be isolation starvation, defecation on the frames is nosema....... not knowing the cause of death I would certainly burn the frames wax and pore the honey down the toilet, scorch the hive to sterilise it. Not a good idea putting a new colony in a box full of nasties
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

I don't see any defecation. Both capped and uncapped honey and bees hanging onto comb with each. A few on some empty comb but not many. I'll look more closely though.
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

It's so sad when you see bees like that, I would have them checked out as Nosema ceranae as it leaves no marks on the frames, if you have a microscope with 400 magnification it is quite easy to do your own checks
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

Here are some photos. Looks like some bees in the middle of the cluster buried in empty cells with areas of clearing around them and honey on the outer edge.
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

>not knowing the cause of death I would certainly burn the frames wax and pore the honey down the toilet, scorch the hive to sterilise it. Not a good idea putting a new colony in a box full of nasties

I would not follow that advice, looks like useable comb to me. Millions of colonies are dieing with the same symptoms from mites and mite vectored viruses. The population fell to unsustainable size in freezing weather. I would cutout the honey and harvest, protect the remaining comb from pests, re-use.
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

Thanks to you both. Already stored away for a better day. Hoping my vertical hives are fairing better. Too many weeks of -20 windchills and single digit temperatures has me less than optimistic.
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

small cluster...i would reuse everything, no problem keeping the combs in the box outside until things warm up
 

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Re: Dead TBH - what do with the honey and comb?

It probably is actually dead, but I don't try to declare hives dead until it's at least 50 F or more. Cold bees often look dead and then they warm up...

When a cluster gets too small they do freeze to death.
 
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