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I scored at an auction.

There were about a hundred used frames both deep and medium. They still have old wax comb from a couple of years ago. I made a comment about cleaning them up and instaling new foundation and a beekeeper said to just rinse them and use them as it. He said the bees will use the old comb.....

The stuff looks cruddy to me but is he on point??

Thanks
 

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Local feral survivors in eight frame medium boxes.
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You pay your money and you take your chances.

The dirt that you see isn't a problem. If it's full of wax moth webs, I'd cut the comb out and scrap it for wax. The bees will clean up the dirt.

The issue is AFB spores which washing will not clean up. You can't really know for sure if there are any significant amounts of spores or not.

You have to decide. Me, if I trust the perople I bought them from, I'd use them, but I hesitate to tell someone else to take the same chances because if it turns out there was AFB it can be a disaster and I woulnd't want to be responsible.
 

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Depends on 'how' cruddy they are.If they have been chewed up by wax moths they may not be usable.If there is AFB scale in them,I wouldnt use them at all.BUT,old black combs are perfectly usable if they are clean.This is a judgement call and every beekeeper has their own standards(or none at all).If the beekeeper who looked at them knows his **** then use them.
 
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Thanks. The elderly lady said she quit after moving up north from south dakota and did not leave ample stores and lost her bees, She did not continue (shes about 85), She said there was no AFB.

The beekeeper manages 6000 hives and has been at it for 35 years, he has switched from barrels to bulk tanks. He had just shipped his bees to Idaho. Says they stay busy all winter. What in the world do they work in Idaho in Jan and Feb???

As a novice it just seems weird to use old bad looking stuff. I am going to give them a go...
 

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When you keep bees for profit,you dont throw anything away if it still has any life in it!I would do what the commercial beekeeper told you.
 
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