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My DD expressed interest in keeping bees as a homeschooling project, so bought 2 big used (reputable keeper) hives in 05,and got two nukes, which were kinda late in the season because of wet spring.
I helped get everything set up then because it was DDs project I let it ride all summer. The short of it is we did not check hives often, and by Oct, they were dead.
I figured they starved. But we never found out what killed them.

I did notice a weby stuff on many of frames that we did not use. I did not like the look of it : Definitely NOT spider! I asked everyone I could about the web but was told it was fine.

I brought hives to barn and left them. A week ago a neighbor stopped by and offered to give me a swarm he would be unable to winter.
I am cleaning up the frames now.
Would those of you with bee experience look at the pics I took and offer your advice or thoughts.

http://s2.photobucket.com/albums/y38/milkwitch/Bee%20frames/

Can you wash down frames? With a mild lye solution(made from a gal of water and 2cups of wood ashes)
Do the frames NEED washing? There is some mustyness and mold.
I really want to do all I can to keep from killing these bees.

I have a bee book and a blank look. :help:
 

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Dialup forbids viewing the photos but, the webbing you saw was from wax moths. A healthy hive will keep the critters at bay but a weak or dead hive and they move in quickly. They eat the old cacoons (sp?) and burrow through the wax. Make a mess and look nasty but not the end of the line. The bees will clean the mold/webs and rebuild the wax......A lite brushing is all you really need to do. Yes, you can wash down the frames. I never have. Starting a new colony this late means you will probably have to feed,feed,feed to get them enough stores to last the winter. In your region I would offer a minimum of one full deep box of stores for the winter.
 

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What you have is wax moths. Just clean the frames out, replace the wax foundation and you are ready to go. The frames only need scraping to get rid of the wax moth residue, they don't need any special treatment.

On the unlikely case that the bees died from American foulbrood, the next bees will die also. The only way to tell is to use them and have the bees checked by your local bee inspector after they are established. Again, it is highly unlikely that they had AFB.
 

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Iddee said:
What you have is wax moths. Just clean the frames out, replace the wax foundation and you are ready to go. The frames only need scraping to get rid of the wax moth residue, they don't need any special treatment.

On the unlikely case that the bees died from American foulbrood, the next bees will die also. The only way to tell is to use them and have the bees checked by your local bee inspector after they are established. Again, it is highly unlikely that they had AFB.

Yep..that is pretty much what my opinion is as well. Look around in your area to see if you can find a mentor for your daughter. It is not really an easy beginners hobby.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
thanks so much everyone! that is what I needed to know!!!
I will for sure have to feed a lot, but a free nuke can't be passed up!
The fellow who offered the bees is helping us too! he is not very experienced but has been successful so far. He suggested I ask someone else about the weby stuff just to be sure!
Thanks again!!!
 

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there is an old ryme about timing and colonies.. it ends in: a swarm in july not worth a fly.. its mid august.. you only have a nuc. it will a take a lot of sugar water and hope the numbers increase to be able to maintain warmth to get it through winter.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
thanks ace A.
I think they are more then a nuc actually.. somewhat well established... the fellow just does not want to winter them... I am not sure why... probably the high feeding bit I suspect. He said he had a lot of queens and swarms ... he lost some and saved some and now has more than he wants to winter. I heard what he said but only understood loosely.
Likely I will 'get it' in a year or so....
 

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Munro Honey in Alvinston Ont over winters single deep hives. They feed heavy in the fall and use those waxed cardboard wraps on there hives. I have also over wintered single deeps here in Michigan with out the wraps but do have lots of vents and a 3/4 inch insulation sheet in the outer cover.

Here is a link to munro honey. I am sure John would be more than happy to explain how they over winter.
http://www.munrohoney.com/index.asp

I soak all used frames from unknowen sources after removing all comb and such in a 4:1 mix of bleach and water in a 30 gallon grabage can. They come out in 3 to 4 days nearly snow white.

:D Al
 

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Milkwitch said:
I heard what he said but only understood loosely.
EXACTLY where I am in beekeeping!
Well said!!

Good luck with your bees and do post here from time to time about how it's going, what's doing well and what challenges you have. It helps folks like me learn along with you.
 

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Hello all, I did get the bees and they are doing good so far. I am feeding a Qt jar of 2 to 1 sugar & water every two days. so about a pint a day. We even had a gov. inspection, and it was fine thou they thought the bees will not last the winter.
I would like to ask thou what anyone knows about feeding pollen. The book we have says they must have it. I do not have it. but maybe could make some if I knew what 'casein' is..... ???
I will have to suit up later this week and have a look inside, which I have not done yet sense settling them in. I was not here when the gov. inspectors were here.
 
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