December 2018 - Mary's Question
Question: I have a deadout that is being robbed. How Should I proceed? How do I Know if the hive is able to be used again? The hive was treated for EFB in September, could this be a problem?
Hive Configuration: Single deep with four mediums
Mite History: Fall treatment, summer and spring Apivar strips
Mary, unless your hive has been infected with American Foulbrood, there’s generally no reason you can’t reuse at least some of the equipment. The antibiotics used to treat European Foulbrood and mite treatments like Apivar are lipophilic, meaning they can be absorbed into beeswax. For this reason, it’s best not to use any supers that have been exposed to these chemicals as honey supers. You can use them in the brood nest, though. EFB does not generate spores like AFB but the disease can linger in bee bread and nectar. Irradiatiation can kill it but is not always practical for the small beekeeper. I have reused frames that have been contaminated with EFB and not had recurrence of the disease but there is no guarantee that this will always be the case. To be on the safe side, you might want to consider destroying frames that have had brood or pollen, cleaning the frames well, perhaps using a bleach solution, and putting in new foundation.
I’m assuming the colony died because it was weakened by the bout with EFB. I’d suggest closing up the entrance to prevent further robbing. Leave the entire hive outside. The freezing temperatures will prevent wax moths and small hive beetle damage.