Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
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Entire hive, 4 supers, full of wet honey, mold, and dead bees after bad winter. Salvageable at all?

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Entire hive, 4 supers, full of wet honey, mold, and dead bees after bad winter. Salvageable at all?

Due to time constraints in the fall, I didn't have a chance to extract my hives last year. So I left my 2 hives with their 4 boxes of honey for the winter. They got overtopped by snowdrifts in one of the worst winters in a decade, and I was sure they would be dead.

One hive survived in decent condition and is starting to expand for (late) spring. I pulled one full super of honey that they don't need and am going to try to extract it. Never done spring extraction before but it's supposed to be 29C tomorrow, so why not.

The other hive must have died early. It weighs probably 150-200lbs of capped honey and moldy bees. Because of the snowdrift and the lack of bee activity, it's completely full of mold and very damp. The honey appears to have absorbed moisture as frames are weeping liquid when removed.

So is this good for anything? I considered pulling all remaining capped frames from the hive that survived, extracting them and giving them these frames as a replacement. Or maybe using them to help boost up the splits that I'll be making in a month. But will the moisture have ruined them?

Also considering just uncapping them and leaving them out for other bees to rob, but this resulted in the comb getting all slumped in the sun in the past since I run foundationless frames. I'd like to salvage the drawn comb if possible, since I'm fairly low on it at this point and this deadout represents a significant loss of comb.

Also, what to do with the brood frames? Will bees clean up and salvage these if added to a healthy hive?

submitted by /u/evranch
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