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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I have taken over some hives from a friend and have 4 dead/outs (double deeps) to make some decisions on... they have been neglected for a while but have cleaned up pretty well. With 8 boxes, I can cherry pick the decent frames and come up with prob'ly 6 boxes, but hate to toss drawn comb if it is still worth using....it's mixed frames: some wax, some plastic (frames) and some standard wood with plasti-cell....

Question on frames:

A number of them have mixed stores of capped honey, open nectar, wet capping and pollen, etc....a little mold around but not too much, and the mold is mostly focused on the cell caps of the pollen....I'd like some opinions/ideas on options:

  • Get rid of these mutt frames and replace with new foundation?
  • Clean up the bad spots and let the bee's fix 'em?
  • Give them back to the (coming) new bee's on order and let them clean them up, drag away the bodies and rearrange stuff the way they want?

Short of a strong opinion, option 4 would be to toss the questionable one's and consolidate down to standard equipment (lose the wax and plastic frames) and move forward....
Thanks!
 

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Unless your predecessor used a lot of acaracide for mites, the frames are valuable as you say. Now as far as your frames being mismatched. Are you a beekeeper or an interior decorator? The bees winter better on old comb and the stored honey is valuable feed.
 

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I will be watching this thread with interest as I too have a dead out and not sure how to clean or if to clean or replace frames . Sounds like you have a great start for splitting/growing your apiary .
 

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Remove as much mold as you can without destroying the comb.Put all the frames in the freezer for a couple days. Split away and load with bees. I have a few dead outs this winter thanks to the polar vortex. On the plus side, the old drawn comb is very valuable. I'm on it in the morning. Those are of course. My opinions though. I could be wrong about using the moldy frames soo if I am....please experienced people please chime in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Unless your predecessor used a lot of acaracide for mites, the frames are valuable as you say. Now as far as your frames being mismatched. Are you a beekeeper or an interior decorator? The bees winter better on old comb and the stored honey is valuable feed.
That's funny right there, I don't care who you are.....:)

I plan on feeding the stored honey back to the bee's for sure, and will hopefully have an opportunity to lay a couple of frames into my existing hives next week when the temps go up if needed. One hive (that I took on) is very light, and they'll benefit from this immediately.

My question still remains as to the pollen with the white fur on the pollen caps (each cell) is good or bad for the bees or do they even care....
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I will be watching this thread with interest as I too have a dead out and not sure how to clean or if to clean or replace frames . Sounds like you have a great start for splitting/growing your apiary .
....or a good producers for my existing hives. When it gets a bit warmer I'll be able to get inside them and see how they are doing. They are bringing in pollen now when its warm enough to fly, so things are happening.

After scraping through 50+ frames tonight, I got a real chance to look at a lot of history. Classic Frames/half moon with capped honey in the corners, open cells, same thing with half dozen frames, but were obviously back filled with open nectar making wonder if this was the result of a swarm commit at some point, spotty frames for brood patterns, all kinds of stuff....bee forensics...and got a full 16 oz cup of propolis.

I'd tell you to go and get your hive and pull it apart, clean it up, see what you can see and get it ready for what's next....do it now or do it later, your going to do it anyway....you can head off some moisture issues, mold etc. if you take care of business now....IMHO
 

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!!!!!! FREEZE THOSE FRAMES for a couple days. Trust me. U snot want any pests or viruses to come back. I know this from experience. It's one easy step that is good security. I'm sure others will agree.

Just lookin out yo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
!!!!!! FREEZE THOSE FRAMES for a couple days. Trust me. U snot want any pests or viruses to come back. I know this from experience. It's one easy step that is good security. I'm sure others will agree.

Just lookin out yo.
I hear you, but I'd have to buy a freezer....mine is currently filled with venison, pheasant and antelope...I'll have to think about this a bit more.
 

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Hahaha mine too. Well....except for the antelope :(
U can always fit a couple in if need be. Maybe u should just have a barbecue. It would be a good enough reason on our farmstead to grill some back straps and morels mmmmhmmm.


Shalom
 

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Tacoma bees,

Where have the frames been stored this winter until now? Seems like they will have been well frozen at some point this winter if they have been in an outside yard anywhere in the northern hemisphere.

Lee
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Lee,

Good point! I was originally going to say "not likely" in western Wa., but we have actually had a couple of good freezing snaps in January and one if Feb. where the temps were in the low 20's for more than just a couple of days...warmed up a bit in the daytime, but I'm going to have to call it good....I really didn't see much evidence of critters in the boxes or the wax...
 

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I restarted two dead/outs last year that had been down for three years. When I opened them to clean they were full of black ants, snakes and mice. But a lot of the comb was still intact. I cleaned up best I could and both did well for starting late last year. They looked good till the multiple days of sub zero weather hit. I just cleaned them out again today after another dead/out. There was plenty of un-capped and capped honey as well as good amounts of pollen. I think it was to cold. they died in areas with no food. All they had to do was move eight or nine inches. New bee will be here mid April.
 

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I wash out old pollen frames with water hose nozzle, and let all frames air out for a week or two then re use-them. I also tear or scrape out any wax moth webbed comb that I see, but for the rest of it, I let the new bees clean it up.
 
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