Dead hive clean up

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by Barbie, Feb 9, 2012.

  1. Barbie

    Barbie New Member

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    I put my ear to the hive yesterday, no humming so I took a peek. Dead :beg: How do I clean the hive to make sure that no disease is transmitted to any future bees that I place in that hive?
     
  2. Barbarian

    Barbarian New Member

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    First job ---- seal the hive----- don't want any robbers taking away disease.
    I would sterilize the frames and wax combs with the acetic acid method.
    The boxes etc. can be sterilized with a blow-torch.
    Excluders and plastic coated SBB mesh may need a bleach solution.

    The UK National bee unit/ Beebase has a download on the options.

    I will post a link if requested. :eek:ldtimer: :D :wave:
     

  3. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    First of all, you should examine the frames to figure out why the family died.
    If you don't see any food reserves, it's most likely that a healthy hive starved to death.
    Is there any brood left in the frames? If they look healthy and the cappings are normal, open several cells to see if there is any sign of Varroa infestation.
    If there is no Varroa, and you're convinced that they died from starvation, you can safely save the frames for use in another hive when needed. The bees will clean out the remains that were left behind.
    However---if you find signs of death from disease, clean out the combs from the frames and set them aside to be sterilized (best method in my opinion is to scorch all surfaces of the frames with a blow-torch) and re-used as needed. Scorch the inside of the supers as well.
    If there are no signs of disease but you do find signs of Varroa, set the frames aside till they all emerge (or better yet, freeze them for several days--your remaining winter weather might help you do that outdoors) and later on in the season you can place the frames in a hive that needs them.
    As to the dead bees, clear them away into a bag and either dump them in the garbage (if they were healthy) or burn them (if the hive showed signs of disease).
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    If this was your only hive, in NW Ohio, the chances are 1 in 10,000 or less that it died from transferable disease.

    My opinion, leave out for a few freezing nights, then store until you can get bees to replace them.
     
  5. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    One of the key words being "store." I had a hive die out last winter, and got busy in spring and forgot about it. I ended up with the most disgusting wax moth mess I have ever seen. Ugh... I shudder just thinking about it.
     
  6. brooksbeefarm

    brooksbeefarm New Member

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    I agree with iddee. Jack
     
  7. riverrat

    riverrat New Member

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    If I may I would like to ask a question before I give my take on this. What are you seeing in the hive that is convincing you that the hive died of a disease. :goodpost:
     
  8. gunsmith

    gunsmith New Member

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    My 2 cents worth, if there are a bunch of dead bees head first in the cells-probably starvation. They go in to scrape up the very last bit of honey, and die while there.
     
  9. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    ef writes..
    If you don't see any food reserves, it's most likely that a healthy hive starved to death.

    tecumseh:
    small clusters of bees can starve with food resources still in the hive. most times the cluster simply get frozen in place away from the feed remaining in the hive and starve before it warms up enough for them to relocate to the feed. the area around the cluster will be devoid of feed and the bees will appear just as gunsmith describes above.
     
  10. Hobie

    Hobie New Member

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    I second that, tec. I lost a cluster about the size of a large grapefruit... with the other half of the frames solid with honey.
     
  11. efmesch

    efmesch Active Member

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    When Tec says something it's authoritative.

    But Gunny said it really well-" if there are a bunch of dead bees head first in the cells-probably starvation/"