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I am a beginner beekeeper with only one hive. This year (my third) I decided to add a second hive, then discovered that my original bees had died during the winter. I'm pretty sure it's because I didn't ventilate properly. There is still a lot of honey in the hive, and the bees were far gone in de-composition when I opened it in the spring. My question is: what do I do with the old comb and the remaining honey? There is some mildew in places. Can that be just cut out? Can I start the new bees in the old hive, with the old comb, or is it better to start with fresh frames? I'd be grateful for advice.
You can cut those pieces out and harvest the honey. The old frames are good and could be used again. There are only a few diseases/infections that require the disposal of the frames. But be aware that a hive died in that box and keep an eye on your new hive; monitor for diseases and what not closely. Sorry to hear about your hive, but happy beekeeping with a new hive! Keep it up. Ciao, j