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Discussion Starter #1
Background:

Five colonies that didn't survive the winter. All were wintered in double deeps.

1. One died early winter. It was weak and I should have folded it into another hive.
2. One died in an ice storm - arrived at the bee-yard and the entrance was completely iced over. I think the girls got wet and froze. :(
3. Lost three during the late winter/early spring yo-yo in Alabama temps. I think the clusters were broken apart in warm weather and the cold snaps caught them unaware.

These five hives were in a bee yard far from my house. Others did okay. The two hives at my home did well, as I could add bee-blankets when I saw a cold snap coming.
So, I have five hives that are empty, all with frames of drawn comb (less than 3 years old each). Many frames of honey and pollen. Many empty.

I have packages on the way.

What is the best way to set up the hives to maximize the use of existing pollen and honey for the new bees?

For example: "Two frames of honey on the outside. Two frames of pollen just inside that. As many open frames as I can scrounge in the middle."

Thoughts?

TIA,
K9
 

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Sounds like you would know brood disease. So won't get in to that. I would put a couple empty drawn combs in the middle with the pollen frames directly outside of them. Next the honey available and empty combs outside of that. That is figuring you will divide your assets evenly. Leave an empty comb or two on one side so you can slide frames easily those first weeks. They won't get to them for a bit, but get the hole filled before they do. What does TIA mean
 

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Sounds like you would know brood disease. So won't get in to that. I would put a couple empty drawn combs in the middle with the pollen frames directly outside of them. Next the honey available and empty combs outside of that. That is figuring you will divide your assets evenly. Leave an empty comb or two on one side so you can slide frames easily those first weeks. They won't get to them for a bit, but get the hole filled before they do. What does TIA mean
Yessir, I plan to sort out the full frames and set up each hive the same. If I need to freeze 10 frames of honey and give it back later, that's okay with me.

Like all of us, I try to give my new packages the best start possible. If I can give them a few frames of honey and pollen and avoid feeding them pure carbs (sugar water) - that's victory in my mind.

This is a situation that I haven't encountered before.

(and HM is correct... TIA is "thanks in advance" for advice)
 

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You have probably already done this, but i always clean all the dead bees out of the frames as i can. I then put a cap full of bleach in a gallon of water and spray the inside of the hive and frames with it and let it dry before i put bees back in a deadout hive. Might be a waste of time, but it makes me feel better.:D
 

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You have probably already done this, but i always clean all the dead bees out of the frames as i can. I then put a cap full of bleach in a gallon of water and spray the inside of the hive and frames with it and let it dry before i put bees back in a deadout hive. Might be a waste of time, but it makes me feel better.:D
No, it never occurred to me to use bleach inside a hive. I didn't want to ruin the honey or pollen stores.

Do the girls still eat what's in the frame after a bleach treatment?
 
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