Getting a deadout ready for new bees

So, you’ve gone out to check your hive in the spring and discovered they didn’t make it. What do you do now? The beeswax and honey stores in a deaddout can be a wonderful resource for a new package of bees. If it is a winter dead out and there was no sign of brood disease the fall previous then you should be fine using the hive as is. Simply dump out as many dead bees as you can, there is no need to sterilize frames or get all of them, but dumping out most of the cluster makes it easier for the new colony. You are then going to want to seal up the hive to prevent bees in the area from robbing out the honey that is still in the hive. Duct tape works fine, you just want to find a way to tape off all entrances to the hive so bees can’t get in. When you get your new package you will start them in the first deep box (if using a Langstroth) like they were a new colony. Just know that with all the wax and honey they will be ready for their second box fairly quickly! If you aren’t sure why your bees died, check out our post on Why didn’t my Bees Make it Through the Winter?


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