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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had three hives that came out of winter with very bad dysentery. One hive died in late winter and the other was flying and seemed to be the strongest but crashed hard in March. There was a mountain of recently dead bees in that hive when I cleaned them out. It went into winter with zero mites in an alcohol wash. Anyway, they all seemed to have struggled with Nosema the one that survived is a shadow of what it was last year. My question is what to do with the comb. I figure I should melt it into candles. Should I get rid of the frames too? It seems like such a waste to lose the whole hive as well as the bees.
 

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Not necessary at all. I scrape off the woodware and reuse with no ill effect I have noted. Some fumigate with acetic acid which is vinegar. Search that if you feel the need to research. Put them on a strong hive and they will clean it up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replys. Definitely not starvation as they had atleast a full super of stores and a large cluster. From what I read on line moving the comb around spreads the fungal spores. They can recover easily in the summer when they are out flying and not deficating in the hive but in winter the fungus begins to build up inside the hive and zaps the energy of the youngest bees who are cleaning the cells. I will look into fumigating as a way to save the comb.
 

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the only way to tell if they "struggled" with Nosema is to send a sample off for a laboratory examination. Read about how long Nosema spores can survive under varying climatic conditions. I doubt the spores survived long in a NY winter.
 

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Margot,

I fumigated lots of wooden ware (supers full of frames stacked five high) this spring with glacial acetic acid vapor after major winter losses due in part to Nosema. Be careful! Frames also got cleaned up in 5 gallon bucket of water with some chlorox.

Steve
 

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Bear creek Steve when you fumigated did you just stack and seal in the acid?
 

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Smoke,

Started fumigating early spring when clearing out my dead outs, and continue. Stacked supers ~ 6 high with bottom super empty of frames but containing a flower pot saucer holding a rag and about one cup of acetic acid. Ratchet strapped both ways and assume that residual propolis makes a near perfect seal. Also sealed top and bottom Let it set a week or two while doing other spring chores and then open up and scrape and clean individual frames and supers. If frames pooped on, soak 6-7 in a 5 gallon bucket of diluted bleach water with a couple drops of detergent. Over night with the right side in liquid and then overnight with the left side in liquid, then blast with fresh water and scrub if necessary. Shake water out of comb and air out and dry in the sun. If badly soiled, then chuck them.

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Cheers,
Steve
 
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