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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My hive went belly up recently and I've started breaking it down since it's getting over run by robbers and the handful of bees that are left can't defend it.

The bottom deep was completely empty but plenty of good comb. The deep above that is about half full of honey. I took it off and there were no bees in it. The super is where the remaining Italians are hanging out. Probably no more than about 30-50 of them left. I took the two deeps and put them in my garage for storage. The super I left outside. Put an entrance reducer on and narrowed it down to 1 bee width.

Obviously I can't save the bees that are left, but I do want to save what honey is left in the super. It's about half full. Would it make more sense to put a bee escape below the super or just brush them off and put the frames in bags?

Also, the deep frames have some mold on the frames. Can I save the honey or should I just leave it for my next colony?

Thanks
Rick
 

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If you have more then one hive, you might consider letting your other hive(s) manage and clean up the empties you have. They'll probably do a good job and protect it from wax moths too.

If I had a half super full of honey, I would probably store it now and put a swarm on it presuming I catch one, or use it on a split.
 

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Rick, you indicated there were some bees left, besides the robbers, and you reduced the entrance to one bee, and reduced the colony size. Sometimes the queen is among the last to die, is she still there? If so, there is a possibility you can save that colony. I had one with a small cluster of bees, and the queen, the rest starved. And by gosh, they're making it! In the last ten days the brood nest has tripled in size. Of course I've had to help, but never underestimate their drive to survive.

Otherwise, as suggested, protect the comb and honey, use it for swarms or splits. Good luck to you, sir!
Steven
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Rick, you indicated there were some bees left, besides the robbers, and you reduced the entrance to one bee, and reduced the colony size. Sometimes the queen is among the last to die, is she still there? If so, there is a possibility you can save that colony. I had one with a small cluster of bees, and the queen, the rest starved. And by gosh, they're making it! In the last ten days the brood nest has tripled in size. Of course I've had to help, but never underestimate their drive to survive.

Otherwise, as suggested, protect the comb and honey, use it for swarms or splits. Good luck to you, sir!
Steven
I don't believe so. I opened it yesterday and examined those who are left and didn't see a queen. No eggs either. There can't be more than 30 bees left though. Most died this Winter due to starvation and those that were left got decimated by the robbers. I think the queen died awhile ago.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
One of the other things I had a question on is the honey that's left. Can I harvest any of the honey that has some mold covering it? Any way to clean the mold off? I know it's ok to give to the bees as they will clean it, but wasn't sure if others have harvested honey in this state.
 
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