I am new to beekeeping. My hive starved during the winter and I am trying to get the hive ready for another try. There are lots of frames with all of the cells with dead bees in them with only the butt showing. Is there some way to clean them out and reuse the old wax or do I need to start over with fresh foundation?
Re-using old comb?
Try to brush them out with a stiff bristle brush. don't worry about damaging the comb the bee will fix them.
Your new bees will clean the comb out also. It sounds like those bees starved so if you are not afraid of disease and the comb is not too old.. re use it .
I also lost a hive this winter and was planning to reuse the same comb with a replacement nuc. I noticed that some of the comb has mold on it! Some of the comb still has honey in it. I am afraid to reuse moldy comb but I hate the idea of wasting all that honey when my new nuc could have used it. Any advice from more experience beeks about reusing comb with mold on it? Is it safe? Will the bees clean it up?
Mold is fine.. the bees will clean it up. The other idea is you could get your bees on new comb... set the old comb up in the sun well away from the hive..(hang it in a bush...etc ). let the bees rob out the honey and the mold dry in the sun. Once cleaned out and dry... you can add that comb back to a hive and they will polish it.
Thanks for the great insight. I was going to be very unhappy to waste all of that comb.