Dead hive....what to do now?
I have two well-established hives that were here when I bought this house.One has been a little weaker since I've lived here (Nov '05), but they made it through the winter, and still had tons of uncapped honey, at least 3 full supers, in March before the cold snap.
Last week there was still activity on one warm day, today nothing with the weak one...I opened both, the strong colony had so much honey I didn't even put on the feeder I'd bought, and they've definitely hatched out some new brood, and are bringing in all kinds of multi-colored pollen.
The dead colony was also full of honey, and the bees were scattered throughout the hive, i didn't take it all apart because #1, I was suffocating in the bee gear, and #2, I wasn't quite sure what all I should be looking for. The top three supers were all pretty normal looking, except for the dead bees, random sections had been emptied out. I didn't see and brood, but I'll look when I take it all apart. Maybe the queen died?
I would appreciate any suggestions to help me determine what happened to the hive, and need to know what to do with the hive itself. DO you think I should get it away from the other colony? they're maybe 6 feet apart.
I want tobe able to reuse the hive, it would be nice to have handy if my prospering hive gets overcrowded. Any suggestions or wisdom are appreciated regarding cleaning out the dead bees and honey and making it safe for future use.
Thanks in advance for your time and trouble!