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Preparation to start over

When my third colony absconded about 18 months ago (they were all small rescue colonies) I gave up and didn’t get around to cleaning out the hive. (And then my mentor absconded too!) They had reached the point of putting the top box on but not filling it with honey before they left.
Yesterday a swarm of bees settled in a mulberry tree about 5 metres from the the abandoned hive.
What do I need to do to clean the hive before I can (hopefully) rehome this swarm?

Hiya Naam, where in the world are you?
It would be nice to find out why the previous colony’s absconded to work out what went wrong, this could change the prep required for your hive box.
Not sure of the frame situation either.
So, giving the wooden ware a scrape down to remove the detritus and refitting some foundation in the frames would be a good start.
Scorching the box, using old brood frames and adding a frame of brood from another colony may also be advantageous.
Problem is that you need to house that swarm quick smart before they move on.
Regardless, bees will clean up themselves if they decide to stay.
Hope this helps.

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