Tips to clean a dead beehive and reuse it
Beekeeping is a fun hobby that is increasingly popular due to reports of a reduction in the number of bees on the planet. Bees are our friends and the key to keeping a green and beautiful planet as they pollinate plants. With beekeeping, you can create a nice home for the bees to form colonies and do what they do best!
However, sometimes, the bee colonies can die off due to harsh weather conditions or diseases from pesticides. You can clean and reuse the beehive if an entire colony dies off. This process should focus on all areas and parts of the hive. This will also prevent any re-occurrence of mass death. Cleaning and reusing a dead beehive can save costs. Although sometimes you may not salvage the entire frame, try your best to save as many parts as you can. All parts should then be cleaned and sterilized before reusing.
Here we will look at how you can clean a dead beehive and reuse it:
· On an empty beehive box, strike the frame lightly. Lay the frame flat down so that lodged bees can fall off the comb. This method isn’t the most effective as some bees might still be lodged because you can’t apply too much force.
· In extreme cases, you can cut out the honeycomb from the frame by melting. You can then discard the melted wax together with the dead bees. You may sieve out the bees and use the wax to produce other products such as candles and soap.
· Take a brush to clean out the remaining debris.
· Store the boxes alternately to promote ventilation and also light to prevent wax moths.
· Wipe off any mold with a cloth and vinegar.
· Check for diseases in the hive as it can pass diseases to other hives.
· Freeze the usable frames for 48 hours.
· To store the frames properly, use a container with a tight lid and ensure that there is sunlight to prevent molds.
· Check the combs periodically for molds or larvae.
· Many beekeepers like storing dry comb which allows the bees themselves to clean any remaining honey.
· Some beekeepers also prefer to keep them in the freezer.
· Clean all the areas around the frame including the hive stand.
Lastly, keep your head up as a dead hive is very common and highly unpredictable. Do not be too hard on yourself as there are many reasons for a dead hive and always remember that it is all a learning process. If you are still struggling, do not hesitate to ask an experienced beekeeper for help and take ideas from him.