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Taking over a hive that did not survive winter – can I refuse frames and box?

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Taking over a hive that did not survive winter – can I refuse frames and box?

The hive had 2 deep boxes. The top was filled with capped honey going into winter but has been cleaned out when I opened the box yesterday. Here are photos of the frames from the top box.

The bottom brood box has a few bees that died with their heads in a hex but there are not a lot of bees otherwise. I don't know if most of them left or died elsewhere. There is also mold on the frames – can I boil these frames and reuse or should I replace? Any ideas what might have done this hive in? This was a 1st year hive built from a nuc purchased in March 2021. Starvation? Maybe robbing yellowjackets? Here are photos of the bottom box.The bottom also has what looks like sawdust like powder and some dead bees.

I have a bee package on order that I would like to install in this but wanted to check with yall here first. I'm in coastal bay area, california.

submitted by /u/apkswift
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