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Puck 

New Bee
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Hello Everyone!

It's been quite sometime since I've been on the forums, since in the end, I was never able to set up my hive. It's been 5 years since my last post! I hope everyone is doing well especially in these trying times. I'm looking forward to being more active on the forums from now on!

I'm happy to report that I've now got my own hive! It's hand me down Langstroth hive I got from my uncle's friend after the unfortunate demise of his swarm. It consists of a stand, 1 deep, 1 super, and 24 frames.
128907333_2698507233746509_2086679502831881208_n.jpg

The bees left behind what I'm pretty sure is wax and there are some cells still capped in there. Can I do anything with the wax? It's been there for maybe a year or two.
128566058_139832180908599_3145845013588635771_n.jpg.png

I know it's pretty shabby looking, but I'm looking forward to getting some bees in there after a thorough cleaning (or not, what do you guys think?) I'm also thinking of having one more super made.
 
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Not sure what you mean by the demise of his swarm...
I think it would be wise to scorch the inside of the boxes and “start from scratch” unless you’re sure there’s no disease around. What state is the drawn comb in?

Welcome back though👍
 

hemo 

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Tbh as Poot says, start a fresh. Sterilise/clean the two boxes inside and get rid of all comb so a swarm or nuc/colony can have a fresh clean start next year.
Burn/compost the old wax and either clean sterilise the the frames or buy new.

New comb will be drawn out readily if you use new foundation or just a starter strip and let the bees do the rest, one can add some support for the wax to be built by using vertical bamboo skewers, or fishing line or wire in the frames.
Thread is below
Foundationless Frames | Page 3 | Beekeeping Forum
 
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Puck 

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How would I go about scorching the hive? Could I use a kitchen blow torch? From what I've been told, the bees just died. I'm not sure whether it was all at once or whether the colony slowly collapsed.

All the combs are darker in color than usual, I don't whether that's normal or not. They seem to be intact and don't fall apart and there's a lot of burr comb everywhere. They smell fine, I guess? If not a little musky.
 

Puck 

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Should I just scrap this hive and get a new one or is it still fit to use?
 

hemo 

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Yes a scrape the box insides to get ride of comb and a flame over esp the crevices/corners any propolis just spread it around with a paint scraper when warmed.
The combs may have disease spores or nosema spores so best to scrap the combs tbh and start a fresh, will give piece of mind also knowing when a new colony is introduced they should have no major disease issues (unless you are unlucky with a swarm).
Old comb can be ok if you know it's history (your own) but not from someone else's dead out/failed colony.

From the pics thus far the BB and super appear to look ok.
 
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Puck 

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Will scorching the inside be enough or should I wash it as well?
 
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A blowtorch is fine. Heat it enough to see the crud bubble and as said before the joints and crevices are most important. I tend to use sandpaper after to remove any crusty burnt stuff and then it’s good to go.
I guess you could try to save any good frames - get rid of the wax and then check this forum for tips on cleaning frames. It’s a horrible job so if you can afford new do so as you can pick up second quality frames cheaply in Winter sales.
Good hunting👍
 

bobba 

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This may help:

Beekeeping Basics - Sterilising Bee Hives using a Gas Torch - The Norfolk Honey Co.

Cleaning Beeswax #Beekeeping Basics - The Norfolk Honey Co.
 

bobba 

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Ps, best of luck with your new venture. I hope you have more success than your uncle.
 

Puck 

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How do I tell a good frame from a bad one?

Thank you so much for getting back to me, everybody! I'll be sure to let you guys know how everything goes!
 
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How do I tell a good frame from a bad one?

Thank you so much for getting back to me, everybody! I'll be sure to let you guys know how everything goes!
As in doubt - buy new.
 
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Personally, I would keep 2 or 3 of the frames of comb ... build yourself a bait box and when the season starts put it out with the frames of comb in it and you might well attract a swarm - old comb is one of the best bee attractants and free bees ? Nothing to hate there.

You can melt down the old comb - there won't be a lot of wax in them but it's always worth saving every scrap you can get your hands on ... you can make a double boiler our of a pair of old saucepans - cut the comb up, melt is down and filter the crud (slum gum) out of it through a J-cloth or an old piece of flannelette sheet and you will have a bit of clean beeswax you can use to paint along the tops of your cleaned frames and you could use them and go foundationless. If a swarm moves into your bait box on the old comb then you have enough to start keeping bees at almost no cost.

Don't go overboard with the cleaning - you don't need to char the wood .. a flick over with the kitchen blow torch and a scrape is enough ...

Looking a bit closer at your photos it looks to me as though the hive is made from plywood which is not the ideal material for hives ... and the frames definitely look home made (the thickness of the top bar is the clue) ... you might be better off relegating it to use as a bait box (in which case forget cleaning it) and invest in a new poly hive in the January sales .. and perhaps a new set of frames ..
 

Puck 

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In the Philippines plywood and marine grade ply wood are the most readily available wood. I guess that’s why they used that material. We do have hardwoods here, but they’re not as readily available and are quite expensive.

I printed instructions of how to build a langstroth hive off the internet so today I’m off to see a carpenter to see if they can sort me out.
 
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You are in the Philippines? Always a good idea to add your location to your profile as otherwise we assume you are in the UK ... there will be differences in how you keep your bees over there - the seasons, the forage and as you have already pointed out - the materials you will have to hand are different - but - the basic principles are the same and a Langstoth box would be a good start. So ... welcome back again ... you may have to explain a little more about your local conditions if you are seeking answers on here but I'm sure you will find some sort of answers ...
 
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Would the honey taste of pickled onions?
Like more details on that one... PPE could be a serious issue!

Nadelik Lowen
What -- when eating pickled onions ... only if they are well pickled with serious chillies included in which case PPE might include a pint or so of cold milk ...

Seriously, isn't acetic acid vinegar ?
 
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