Dealing with Deadouts (Part 1)

(dreamy guitar music) – Hey, there. We’re here in the spring
of the year, it’s 2018, and it’s May the ninth. We’ve been through our hives
a couple of times already, but we’re now out cleaning up dead hives, my least favorite job of the year. But we gotta do it. I wanted to talk through
how to deal with dead hives, how to diagnose some of the
issues that you might see, and how to clean up the colonies. We’re gonna make the best
of a bad situation, here. We’re going to be able to
renew combs, fix boxes, and make this dead hive
an opportunity to kind of, refresh things a little bit. So, first Stephanie’s gonna
unwrap the hive over here. Just to back up a little bit,
two weeks ago we came along and we took these wraps off. Go ahead, Stephanie. So, the lid comes off the
hive, and then these wraps, that are made by the Wellington County Beekeepers Association come off. I like to flip them
upside down on the ground, to let any bees out. And then, this is our
inner insulation here, that keeps the hives nice and warm and prevents condensation. Some of our hives aren’t
that strong this year. We’ve got about three frames
of bees there, in this hive, and that’s what we’ve marked on the lid. Marked May first, three frames. So, that’s one got a ways to go, but everything’s kind
of, variable this year. It was a tough winter, and we’ve
had more losses than usual, and our colonies are a
little bit more even, in terms of strength this year. This is a dead hive here. You can see some bees getting in there to rob a little bit. We’re trying to get
these colonies put away before that happens, because that could be potential to transmit American foulbrood. But, we’re gonna check the hive over, and make sure that’s not a problem. So, lid off there. Inner cover off. And, you can see some dead bees there. But, what we want to do
is clean this hive up. We’ll flip it over, and
on the bottom we have screws that hold our bottom boards on. We’ll just unscrew those. And, then, we’re going to
clean out any dead bees that we have. There’s our bottom board there. There’s our screened inner cover. All this, we’re going to
clean off in a wheelbarrow, over here, so we’re not spreading debris all over the bee yard. For biosecurity reasons. To get the frames out of the
box, I find the easiest way is to drop the box like that, pick it up like that. Then, we got the empty box. That makes it kind of easy to go through, and clean up the comb,
and the bottom board. So, we use a wide scraper. Clean up the bottom board. The screen itself,
pretty much tap that off to clean it up. Most of our hives have
a wooden slide in there that we put our roll of sticky papers on. This one happens to have a metal one. Again, the reason we’re keeping
all the debris contained, is so that there’s not
risk of spreading disease from all the gunk that we’re spreading all over the place here. We can then take frames,
and brush dead bees off. Oh. I see, actually, right
away what the problem was with this hive. We’ve got really uneven looking comb here. If I hold it from the side. You can see some drone
pupa in worker sized cells. So, we know there was some
kind of a queen problem. That was a real significant
problem last year, the mating was really terrible. Very often the queens were mated
with just one or two drones so they petered out, in
the fall of the year, and that means the colony
has no chance of surviving Because, they don’t have a
queen going into the wintertime. We can see that on that comb there. The frames just go into here,
and we keep brushing them off. Some hives have more dead
bees than others in them. With these, there’s not
much to brush off there. But, we’ll see. I think we’ll come to a bit of a cluster. There’s some bees there. Lots of pollen, inside the cells. You can see lots of pollen in there. They weren’t able to use any pollen, because they weren’t rearing
much in the way of brood. Can see some queen cells
there, where they’ve tried to raise a queen. A few dead bees inside
the cells down in here. This is old comb. That’s probably a frame we’ll get rid of. Just brushing the bees
off, cleaning things up. If we leave dead bees in
there, like you see there, they’re just gonna mold, and stink. So, we’ll get rid of them right now. Can really see that uneven comb there. That’s definitely a frame that
we’re going to get rid of. It’s all got holes chewed in
it, there’s a real mish-mash of cell sizes in there, there’s
a wire sticking out here. It’s time to renew that, and
replace it with a new frame. Okay. We’re gonna take these
boxes inside, and sort through the comb, and scrape them, and check them over for other disease.


  1. Thank you, Paul and all the crew for making these beautiful videos

  2. I am happy to see Paul again with more educational videos , i love the vibe of your center, i was always interested in bee keeping and your channel made me understand all the basics and how to do it , living in an urban area makes it hard for me to do right now, i am hoping one day i can manage to call myself a bee keeper.
    Thank you for these inspiring lessons, and to David Borish for his amazing video production, keep it up

    Marwan from Tripoli, Libya

  3. Great you are back. Thanks a lot for sharing so much professional knowledge, best regards from Cologne, Germany – Joachim

  4. Hello Paul, it's nice to see you're posting new material !! How do you take care of comb from a hive that has starved and the bees are left in the cells ? I assume they died of starvation looking to get the last drops of honey. I'm ashamed to admit that I have one in that condition right now.

  5. I’m a newbie keeper I started with two hives last spring they were really strong lots of honey but one of the hives all the beers left they left behind Cap honey And just left there were no dead bees

  6. Paul:
    Great to see your new videos. Excellent as always. I'm still waiting and hopeful for some additional ones explaining your single super hive management. Thank you once again to you and UoG for sharing your tremendous knowledge and experience

  7. Thank you so much for all your videos Paul and Team !!!!!!!! I am curious about the new videos and what to learn. Pls keep on going thus fantastic educational material – Greatings from Germany

  8. Wonderful I am soooooooooooooo glaqd to see u back this was great thanks keep them coming I just love the videos

  9. Yaaaaaaaaay more vids! Kindly drop another 20 ASAP so I can spend another spring falling down a YouTube bee hole 😀

  10. Glad to see you all back on here I am a new bee keeper getting my stuff ready to get my bees in April and May here in West Virginia I have learned a lot from watching your all’s videos hope you have many more in the upcoming weeks.

  11. Blessings … So Happy your back. You have been sorely missed. Your video productions are some of the best out there, and helped mold me into a fine beekeeper. Now … Dont go away ever again … or else.
    (btw …Love the new intro.)

  12. hello sir . how are u. sir i love6 beekeeping bussnèes. and i comeing to you country . plz help me sir . and plz reply me.

  13. I hate to make a negative comment on an otherwise great video, I would recommend turning the hive up into a roof when you want to undo the screws on the bottom board and you could do the same with a sharp knock to release the frames. That way you’re collecting all of the hive debris. Bio security and discouraging and other critters..

  14. what do you do when the cells are filled with dead bees? and when you say " get rid of frame do you through the whole thing away or just the was? tia

  15. Do you scrap the comb which has bees inside the comb. I had a number of frames in a dead out that the bees are in the comb not easy to get out?

  16. What a teacher…excellent presentation. No aloofness or condescension, just straight forward delivery of knowledge and skills. I do lose patience with some of the armchair experts in the audience that expound their superior views as a matter of fact….yawn!
    Enjoy the accent too….sounds like that of the Tidewater Virginia area…oat and aboat!

  17. 2:57 “we try not to spread debris around the bee yard”
    3:12 throws frames on ground
    😜 wonderful video series though, much love!

  18. Thank you to everyone for watching and supporting our videos! If you have any questions about our videos, please check out our list of FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS on our website, which can be found at .

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