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How to prepare a hive after the colony was lost during the winter


#1

It suddenly got warm here in the NE US and I was very excited to see a lot of activity around my hive even though I did not have a good feeling about it during the winter. Inspected the whole hive and turns out the frames of honey that I had left for the colony were still nearly full and it looks like perhaps they were being robbed. So I have a few questions about this-

  1. Can any of the bees around the hive be from the original colony or all they likely mostly robbers i.e. might they make a queen and there is any way for me to tell other than just checking periodically.

  2. I have removed the frames of honey and was going to store them. Should I leave one in there in case it really is the original colony and they need the food?

  3. If these are just robbers and will be gone when the remnants are gone, what do I have to do to prep the brood box for the new bees (package) that I have ordered?

Thanks
Pat


#2

Wait till dark then seal the hive up.
If lots of bees appear in the morning then they are robbers
If there are any original bees they won’t make a queen unless there are fertile eggs in there, i.e. you must have some sort of queen in there.
As for a new package. You could store the frames and use some to feed the new bees