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Volunteer hive in old hive box and don’t know what to do.

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Volunteer hive in old hive box and don’t know what to do.

Hello. We have an old hive box left over from last year we did not dismantle and remove. So it has a bottom box and two supers. The bottom box and first super were full of brood and or honey. The top super hadn’t been used by the last colony. The hive died last year and we neglected to clean up. Long story. Fast forward to now. I noticed a couple of weeks ago some bee activity around the hive. I thought it was just opportunistic robbing. Nope. We now have a hive mostly full of bees. I opened it up today and the hive is a mess to say the least. The bottom box has no comb drawn on any frame. The box is full of frames about half of which have foundation, the other half have wire. The next super has a fair amount of comb drawn on all but three frames. The top box had about half the frames drawn. There were wax moth cocoon leavings every where but I didn’t see any active wax moths, no beetles and no mites. There was a family of palmetto bugs living in the bottom which I cleaned out along with any debris. We pulled most all of the frames out with no comb and replaced with foundation frames. There are still about 6-8 frames total that need to come out. We also saw a queen cell which may or may not have been damaged when I put the hive back together. I have another hive that is empty available. I’m not sure what to do next after I go back in for another cleanup and possible consolidation. Especially if they are in the mood for a swarm. It wouldn’t hurt my feelings to do a hive split, I’m just not sure there are enough numbers there and I’ve never done one. Any ideas you might have would be great or any insight into the survivability of this hive living in an abandoned box would be great.

submitted by /u/jackdarcy0194
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