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Discussion Starter #1
I recently came across some used frames with drawn comb on them. The hive that they were in had mice in it and some of the comb got dirty/damaged. If I put these frames in a new hive, will the bees clean it up? Or would I be better off just scraping the comb off the frames and starting over?

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If there is no sign of AFB scale I would use them. Are they all full of pollen like in your pic?
 

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About 2 years ago, I picked up over 100 medium boxes from a local commercial beekeeper for free. He was discarding them. They ranged in condition from needing only paint to 'good only for cutting down and making shims'. All came with frames and drawn comb (again, in a wide variety of conditions).

I have been reusing the better frames since then. I have removed ALL foundation from the frames, pressure washed the frames (those that held together, made the 'cut') and then boiled the frames in hot water to remove as much residual wax as possible.

I am down to only 8 boxes now and, to date, I have had no issues with any diseases from that equipment.

That said, I would emphasize, I would NOT recommend using the foundation - only the frames after you clean them up. You can't know what sorts of chemicals are in the wax, nosema spore levels, AFB spore levels, etc. To me, the unknown risks are too great when the alternative is $15 extra in sugar for syrup to get the bees to draw them out new.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All the frames look about the same as the ones in my pictures. My concern was the parts of the comb that were broken and all pieces of insulation that the mice left behind. The woman that I got the hives from said that the bees did not die of foul brood and that she did not use chemicals in the hives. They have been sitting out in a barn all winter, so I am not really concerned about mites left in the hives.
 

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The comb in your pic looks like it was recently drawn out(within the last few years). Shop vac off what you can, the bees will clean it out nicely and it is already mostly drawn for them.
 

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i would freeze them for 72 hrs just in case ????
He's in Michigan. They'll freeze on their own for 72 hours all winter long ;). They look 3 years old at the most. The mice damage will be quickly repaired once a hive gets in there. Personally I'd use them. However, I've never gotten "free" supplies or dealt with AFB so I may not be weary enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
They were sitting out in a barn for a few months. They are very frozen. I think the woman that I got these from had bees in them last year. I think I will follow your advice and clean the insulation off them and give them a try.
 

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Dump them. The worst thing I ever did was use old frames. As cheap as frames are just buy new. Even with my own frames I rotate out old frames for new ones about 1/3 each year...so for the nine frames I run in my brood boxes I replace three each year. Remember, comb is used by bees to absorb all kinds of nasties so just because they may look "ok" doesn't mean they are.
 

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Knowing the history of these frames, discounting any AFB and seeing the condition I wouldn't be afraid to use them, assuming the bees died of mites, assuming you have confidence she used no chemicals.
Sheri
 

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Sorry Sherri. I vote with Alpha6, buy new frames. Char the rest. Sounds like Alpha6 and I have had similiar experiences with used equipment. The best money spent by Christian and I was for new equipment.

Roland
 
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