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Author Topic: Scorching the insides of old boxes  (Read 3136 times)

Offline tillie

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Scorching the insides of old boxes
« on: February 27, 2008, 12:45:37 AM »
In this post:  http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php?topic=7245.msg43875#msg43875
Michael Bush says that when he gets old equipment from someone he trusts, he uses it.  No mention of torching.  There have been numerous posts about torching the insides of old equipment.

I am mentoring a Girl Scout troop who are developing a bee badge for the state of Georgia.  They don't have much money and used most of their funds ordering a nuc of bees.  I have some old equipment from a friend who kept bees in it 30 years ago.  He said that some of his hives starved and the other ones the bees died.  He didn't know why they died but said a few bees were walking around on the ground like they were dizzy and then he discovered that the whole hive died. 

I threw away all of the old frames and thought I would scorch the insides of the boxes, but I don't exactly know what that means.  I own a propane torch that I bought for this purpose, but what I need to know is how scorched is scorched?  I've never done this before and have no idea but as always I am learning as I go in this beekeeping world. 
  • Do I pass the flame over every inch of the box?
  • Should it look charred and black?
  • How dangerous is this process?
  • Should one wear safety goggles?
   

Linda T preparing to be an arsonist in Atlanta
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Offline metzelplex

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2008, 03:45:04 AM »
    Hello Tillie,everybody probably has their own ideas about torching boxes what I do is scrape the supers clean and make sure that I get all the wax off that I can then I take a propane weed burning torch like home depot or lowes has for sale and run it over every inch of the inside of the super  especially the corners and up on top where the frames hang from and I do it till the wood just starts to change color to a real light tan it's my understanding that foulbrood is just on the surface of the wood so if the wood just starts to change color from the heat then anything on the surface is already dead from the heat make sure you get the corners and anyplace that wax builds up real good I will set up about 10 boxes at a time I'll  scrape then I'll scorch then I'll sand the sanding probably isn't necessary but I sand off the surface anyway wear any saftey goggles or a face shield that you have and gloves its really quite safe just be careful your working with fire  make sure that what ever you used to scrape out the boxes also gets some heat to kill any spores that may have gotten on it from the scraping  well I can't think of anything else hope this helps a little bit .   metzelplex

Offline beeginner

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2008, 04:01:34 AM »
All my stuff is from the 70's!! and 80s.   I bought them from a old man and he did have efb at one time!!  So I calld my friend the state inspecter that lives  3 miles from me and he said just scrape off all you can and then just get a wallmart torch and just run the flame over the boxes. Well when I do it the inside are all most black! So I know ever thing is dead! But I used a WELDING TORCH!!!!  and im still useing the old frames! no problem what so ever! Even Ed state bee man has some of my frames in his hives from splits!

Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #3 on: February 27, 2008, 06:45:32 AM »
i've never done this but i would use a propane torch with the head that spreads the flame out and then just brown the wood a little.

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #4 on: February 27, 2008, 08:25:14 AM »
The standard method is to stack them up with the bottom box flat on the ground with no air leaks, and a telescopic cover handy.  Then you pour some diesel on some newspapers and put them in the middle and light them.  When you have a pretty good fire going you put the lid on to put out the fire.
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Offline tillie

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #5 on: February 27, 2008, 08:48:48 AM »
 

Quote
pour some diesel on some newspapers and put them in the middle and light them.  When you have a pretty good fire going you put the lid on to put out the fire.

I'll bet I can't do that in the city.  Maybe I'll take these up to the mountains and scorch them there.....

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Offline Scadsobees

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #6 on: February 27, 2008, 09:32:06 AM »
Quote
pour some diesel on some newspapers and put them in the middle and light them.  When you have a pretty good fire going you put the lid on to put out the fire.

And if you forget to put the lid on it, then you can be guaranteed that there isn't any disease left  :roll:
Rick

Offline tillie

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #7 on: February 27, 2008, 09:41:04 AM »
Quote
a propane torch with the head that spreads the flame out

The propane torch I bought has that kind of head and is small enough not to intimidate me - gosh beekeeping takes me into new areas every day - and I am beginning year three - I hope it will continue to be this way - new stuff to learn and try all the time.

Linda T preparing for arson in Atlanta
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Offline Bennettoid

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2008, 11:20:52 AM »
i've never done this but i would use a propane torch with the head that spreads the flame out and then just brown the wood a little.

You can get a spreader for the torch that widens the flame very cheaply. This is what was recommended to me and what I use on all my used equipment.

Offline annette

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2008, 01:14:30 PM »
Linda

I know that feeling. I have a torch that I use to get rid of the creosote buildup in the smoker. It is so much fun turning on that torch and burning up that crude.  At first I was so frightened to use the torch,thinking it might blow up in my face, but now I am a pro at this.

Have fun
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Offline poka-bee

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2008, 01:48:58 PM »
OOhh, that sounds like fun!  I have one of those torches you hook up to a 5lb propane tank for weeds..it's great to start the burnpile with..putting kero or deisel in a box sounds fun too though...hmmm theres stuff in the barn I want to get rid of to make room for my bee stuff..guess our Sat nite entertainment is all set! Our family loves fire... :evil:
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Offline Robo

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2008, 02:09:43 PM »
I used a method similar to Michael's, less the diesel.    I just stack them 5/6 feet high and crumble some newspaper inside and lite it.   It doesn't take long for the propolis and wax to catch on fire and start burning the wood.   Once you get a good fire just throw the cover on to put out.   It is really quite quick and the flames are mostly hidden in the boxes so it is not a real eye catcher for the neighbors.   The problem I see in using a torch, is not just the exorbitant about of time it would take to do them individually, but chances are you will inevitably miss some crack or clevis. Also how do you keep putting the fire out to continue to a new area.  It is more than just turning the wood black,  you want it to burn.
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Offline Bennettoid

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2008, 04:13:05 PM »
Also how do you keep putting the fire out to continue to a new area.  It is more than just turning the wood black,  you want it to burn.

No, you don't have to actually burn the wood. Your killing germs with the heat of the torch. Yes, you have to pay close attention to cracks and crevices and joints, but using your method you can miss those spots as well, and actually burning the wood instead of scorching it causes unnecessary damage. At least with the torch you can control where the heat goes.

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2008, 06:23:53 PM »
Just a thought here,
I think when preparing wooden barrels for wine or other fermentables,they burn sulfur inside to kill any and all yeasts microbes etc. Would this not kill spores also??
Just wondering,does any one know??

Offline Michael Bush

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2008, 07:33:24 PM »
>Would this not kill spores also??

I don't know.  AFB spores are VERY virulent.  It takes a lot of heat to kill them.
Michael Bush
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Offline randydrivesabus

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2008, 08:49:52 PM »
so following along with that....what is the temperature required to kill them? and i think you can use bleach instead. not as exciting though.

Offline Jerrymac

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2008, 11:05:00 PM »
Wouldn't burning diesel leave some unwanted carcinogenic residue? 
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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2008, 12:24:35 AM »
Burn until the grain of the wood rises.  The smaller, darker, line of the grain will rise as it is burned since the softer, lighter colored wood burns more easily.  Once its a little wavy it should be fine.  The bees seem to prefer this type of wood for some reason.
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Offline Cass Cohenour

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #18 on: February 28, 2008, 01:33:52 AM »
There is description on my blog about how and why I torch the inside of hive bodies. If you don't feel like reading the entire post read the second to last paragraph.

http://wvbeekeeper.blogspot.com/2008/01/repairing-hive-bodies.html

Offline Cindi

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Re: Scorching the insides of old boxes
« Reply #19 on: February 28, 2008, 11:09:33 AM »
Jody, oh the joys of living in the Pacific North West.  I presume that you have fairly soggy weather too, like me.  Our firepit is a great source of weekend marshmallow and weenie roasts too in the spring (and summer too).  We don't have fear of burning up the forests here because we are such a moist climate.  Late summer we don't light the firepit though, there are chances of sparks as the summer has dried the trees so much, though.  Have a beautiful and wonderful great day, Cindi

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