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Discussion Starter #1
This is the beginning of my second year, so my first time having to deal with hives that didn't make it through the winter. I had two deadouts and as I broke them down, I came up with the following questions. Any help answering these is greatly appreciated.

1) I have quite a few frames of capped honey. What is the best way to store these until I need them to supplement a split/swarm?
2) I have some frames that I believe have fermented honey. What is the best way to clean these out?
3) I have a box and a couple frames with mold on them. What is the best way to sanitize these before reuse?
4) I have some frames of pollen, but the pollen looks damp. Can I save these? If not, how do I clean these out.

and the one that bothers me the most...

5) One of the hives actually had a queen and about 100 bees around her. I did find some spotty capped brood, but it was all dead as I'm sure they couldn't keep it warm. I took the small amount of bees and the queen, a couple frames of honey, a frame of pollen and a couple frames of empty comb and put them in a nuc. I know they won't survive like this, but I thought it was too early to try and take any brood or bees from one of my other hives that has survived. Is there anything I can do at this time to try and save the queen and boost a very small colony like this one?

Thanks in advance for any advice. Much appreciated!
 

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If it is feasible you might try a light bulb under it to give them some heat. I have play with a couple of Christmas light bulbs to help kick start a hive in the spring.
David
 

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You could put a queen excluder on top of an existing hive and put the tiny colony above that...
The excluder would keep the queens apart but let the brood bees move up to the crippled group
to tend to any brood, the queen would generate- and also allow the heat from the good hive to
warm the survivors,,,,When the survivors have a good enough start to make it in a nuc, move
them to that, and remove the excluder----I'm not sure if you would need to put a super between
the survivors and the main hive (to keep the queens seperate) or not. just a thought,-- you might
be able to save the survivor queen and a few survivor bees, and it wouldnt require a lot of
resources other than the heat, and the few nurse bee that would move up to help out the
situation.....

==McBee7==
 

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To answer your cleanup questions: let the bees do it. If you want to keep the capped frames, you can put them in a freezer.

For the queen with the small cluster - most likely they are not going to make it. If you decide to put her above another hive, use 2 queen excluders as queens will sometimes fight through one.
 

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Rather than a queen excluder they make a double screen board (Snellgrove board) that is wonderful for putting a weak hive on top of a strong one. Also has many other uses for making splits, etc. However if you're count is accurate (100 bees) it would be difficult for that one to make it.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have 7 mediums (70 frames) that came off the 2 deadouts. Alot of the frames are covered in dead bees, dripping honey, etc. I do want to use some for splits/swarms and letting the bees clean them up sounds alot better than me doing it! :) I guess my biggest question is where do I store these 70 frames for the next month or so until I have new bees to clean them up? I don't have a freezer big enough.

Some are just empty comb, so I don't think I would need to freeze those...but what is the best way to store those without having to worry about moths?

Thanks again.
 

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The moths most likely will start in the brood combs they are after the protein. However, if you still have nights below freezing, you can leave them outside. Otherwise, you can rotate the supers through your freezer or use something like ParaMoth or Bt Aizawa. You can also put a super at the time over your hives depending on their strength, so they can start the cleanup (start with the brood frames since you want to keep the honey for the new packages).
 

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I kind of had the same thing last week. I noticed my strongest nuc from last year wasn`t flying. I popped the top and there sitting on the sugar was the marked Queen, all but a few bees were dead. I took 2 frames of brood from another nuc, caged her and made another nuc. I opened it yesterday and I have eggs.I sat both nucs side by side to split the foragers. So far it is working. I have 2 boxes of honey (mouldy too) so they didn`t die from starving. I don`t treat, that might be the cause. Try to make a nuc with her. If it don`t work put the brood back. If it does............Pete N3SKI
 
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