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Reuse comb that bees died in through starvation

 
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mal
Nurse Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 46
Location: Rutland, Leicestershire, UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reuse comb that bees died in through starvation Reply with quote

Hi,
One of my hives starved out over the winter [based on there being absolutely no stores and one big pile of bees in hive] and I have just gone to clean it out in the hope of repopulating with swarm/split from one of my other hives in a few weeks. Unexpectedly (for me) the carcasses still massed in the comb cells were not bone dry and there is mould and a lot of broken bodies in 3 of the combs. I have currently opened spaces between bars in order that it dries out, but should I ditch these combs or leave them for new bees to clean up ?
There are poss 5 combs pretty much clean - thanks for the advice.

[img]https://photos.google.com/album/AF1QipPQlkCwgPwWlhC1dgtQI-rK6PIvdCHKMf8Wwa0P/photo/AF1QipOjJvv83eEOb0PPyNGTbM-SK_YVUzWrV2qxZLdm?key=CK_P453IheGTbw[/img]
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trekmate
Golden Bee


Joined: 30 Nov 2009
Posts: 1137
Location: UK, North Yorkshire, Bentham

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 7:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't get the link to work, but starved bees have their heads deep in the cells. If that's the case you should be OK to re-use the combs. The new bees will clean anything out they don't want, so don't try to make them too pristine - you may do more harm than good!
John
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mal
Nurse Bee


Joined: 11 Jul 2013
Posts: 46
Location: Rutland, Leicestershire, UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 8:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi John.
Yes that is the situation - bees head first deep in the cells.
This was a first year colony from a swarm so it would be shame if a new swarm is unable to build on last yrs efforts.

Thanks for the advice - will leave comb it as is, just with debris shake off cleaned out of the hive.
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Barbara
Site Admin


Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 1753
Location: England/Co.Durham/Ebchester

PostPosted: Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For what it is worth I agree. If this was a feral colony there would be no beekeeper to clean it up for them, and it is much easier work for them to clean it up and remove the dead bees (even mouldy dead bees) than it is for them to build new comb from scratch. I've seen bees clean up some pretty shockingly mouldy combs before.
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