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After Colony Destruction


We had a hive split this spring and the new colony a) turned out very VERY aggressive, and b) initiated a swarm after only three months – they were honeybound (the honey cap in the bottom brood box can stop the bees from going to the upper boxes and make them think they need to swarm). Because they were so aggressive when I tried to move some brood to a new box to attract the swarm back, I had to destroy the colony with soapy water – I live in a suburban area and am not actually supposed to keep bees here, but my neighbors have been very gracious and I don’t want to inflict aggressive bees on them. Since they were swarming, there was no time to requeen. I didn’t think this would happen within a season, but it happened to others in my area as well. Bad beekeeper! Should have been paying closer attention.

My question is whether, after the soapy wash to kill the colony, can I just rinse out the flow hives and reuse them or are they ruined?



As they are made from plastic I cannot see any problem with rinsing them really well. However, your comb in your brood boxes may need throwing out.



That’s a shame to kill them. There’s ways of dealing with angry bees without killing the colony. Even in a suburban area. Sorry, I’m not really answering your question. However, I’d have to agree with Rob, what I would do is cut the comb out of the brood frames to render the wax & reuse the frames.


Thanks, Rob – I’m already starting on the regular frames, but I was afraid the Flow frames were a loss. Thanks for the reply!



I totally agree, Jeff, and given any other choice I would not have done it. But they initiated a swarm and beekeeping is illegal within the city limits (our beekeeping club is working on that), so there really wasn’t a choice – it would have been irresponsible to leave it to chance whether or not someone could have assisted with the swarm and we had already had one swarm a week before (from a different colony – very gentle bees that time). I readily admit it was my own lax practices that let it happen and it won’t happen again if I can help it. Spent all day yesterday diving the remaining hive, and splitting and checkerboarding it as it was getting crowded again already.