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One of my neighbors has several old empty hives sitting around her yard. They are all mediums with frames (with old dried out comb), inner covers, tops, and bottom boards. They were her fathers and she told me that mites came through and killed all the bees. This was, I believe, in the late 80's. As far as I can remember her father passed about 20 years ago. I have lived here for 18 years and the hives have been sitting outside, unused the entire time. She told me today that she might be willing to part with one of them. She also told me I would need to soak them in a lye solution to kill all the diseases in them. Obviously I would have to thoroughly check everything for mold, rot, etc. What else should I look for? Would there still be mites or other harmful insects in there after all these years?
 

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More than likely after sitting for all of those years they would be be pretty much junk.

Wax moth larva are very destructive on the wood, and probably rotten where everything is stacked up. I would buy some new, you would be miles ahead of the game.
 

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I would look for new equipment rather than buy(?) thirty year old boxes that have received no care in that time. Probably no mites(they live on the bees not the equip. ) or other harmful (to the bees) insects, however they may contain AFB spores which is normally delt with by burning the woodenwear. Jim
 
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