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Author Topic: disinfecting used hives  (Read 1460 times)
charlie b
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« on: September 17, 2013, 05:38:09 AM »

My question is what whould I do to ready old hives and bars to be able to use them. I bought out a retired keeper and don't really know if I have to "disinfect" the boxes and frames before  put bees in them next year.
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rwlaw
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« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2013, 07:24:12 AM »

Depends on the age and condition, if they've been stored properly, clean and newer comb, it's worth a try to reuse the frames. If everything is gnarly and old comb,toss the frames and scrub everything down with a bleach/water solution and repaint. Frames and foundation are cheap, packages aren't.
IMO it ain't worth buying used equipment, just like cruising the bars, you don't know what you'll pick up.
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GSF
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« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2013, 08:40:00 AM »

First let me say you can count my beekeeping experience by minutes.., apx 3.5 months.

Just from what I've read, I am scared to death to get any used equipment.

rwlaw - pretty well put about crusing the bars.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2013, 09:25:19 AM »

Look in old brood comb for "scale".  That would be dried dark stuff stuck in the bottom of the cells.  If you don't find that, personally, I would just use it as is.  If you do, I would burn the frames and scorch the boxes.

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Michael Bush
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rwlaw
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« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2013, 03:12:24 PM »

Mr Bush, I bow to your experience
GFS, I speak from experience  grin
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2013, 04:22:44 PM »

> it ain't worth buying used equipment, just like cruising the bars, you don't know what you'll pick up.

I agree.  Unless it's really really cheap, it's not worth the worry or the hassle.
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Michael Bush
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charlie b
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« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2013, 05:32:56 AM »

Mr Bush. These hives were really cheap. More then 100 boxes, frames in them, covers, inner cover, bottoms, and more......$150 dollars........can anyone suggest how to bleach or torch? Really do want to use them to start next year......
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chux
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« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2013, 07:44:58 AM »

That's a great deal!! Congrats. I've heard of beeks submerging boxes and frames in a barrel of bleach water for several seconds. Let them dry, then use a torch to "cook" anything that may be left hiding in a corner. Unless the equipment is really nasty, the bleach water alone should be enough to kill anything lurking in the shadows. That's what I hear, anyway.


 
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rwlaw
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« Reply #8 on: September 18, 2013, 07:54:01 AM »

If your going to scrub use a cup or so (I don't measure) of bleach to a bucket of water.
I your going to char stack the boxes & LOOSELY pack in some newspaper & light. Fire extinguisher and water hose are not optional till you get the hang of it LOL
Another option, Micheal Bush has a very good write up about paraffin dipping boxes, maybe somebody in your area does it. If all those boxes are in good condition, it might be worth the investment.
Micheal hit the nail on the head, look at the cells in the combs before you make a decision.
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Michael Bush
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« Reply #9 on: September 18, 2013, 09:20:29 AM »

>Mr Bush. These hives were really cheap. More then 100 boxes, frames in them, covers, inner cover, bottoms, and more......$150 dollars.......

A bargain.

>can anyone suggest how to bleach or torch? Really do want to use them to start next year......

If you want to scorch them (which I would not unless I found some scale or had other reasons to believe they were infested with AFB) I would pile them up with no frames in them, on concrete.  Put some newspaper in the middle (crumpled) and light it.  When you have a good flame going (the propolis will catch and it will get roaring pretty good) put a telescopic lid on to smother it.  Of course, have a fire extinguisher handy and do this away from anything flammable...
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Michael Bush
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #10 on: September 18, 2013, 11:45:33 AM »

Charlie,
If you are not sure what to look for, as would be expected, take some sharply focused pictures of the brood comb, the darkest comb and send them to Buzzbee so that he can post them for you and we can look at them. You can also send to to me and I can look at it if you would like. Just click on sawdstmakr and it will take you to my information so that you can PM it. This is what you are looking for: Send this member a personal message.

Jim
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Ken
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« Reply #11 on: September 18, 2013, 05:55:28 PM »

If you are a member of a bee club'see if anyone is getting stuff irradiated.
I don'tt think its that expensive if tthey are doing  bulk quantities.
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charlie b
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« Reply #12 on: September 18, 2013, 06:42:04 PM »

Thanks alot everyone for all the advice and willingness to  help me out....You don't know how much it means to see so many willing to help. I do have a bee club here that I will be going to the 12th of Oct. for the first time. I will be sharing with them what I actually want to do up here in Northern Wis. and also see what advice they will give on this topic.
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #13 on: September 18, 2013, 09:46:01 PM »

Charlie,
Take a couple of the darkest frames with you and let them have a look.

Here is a picture of a frame with AFB.
https://www.google.com/search?q=afb+pictures&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari#biv=i%7C8%3Bd%7CLpowflQhC_JANM%3A

Jim
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sawdstmakr
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« Reply #14 on: September 18, 2013, 09:49:27 PM »

We would be looking for a piece of scale sticking up from the bottom of the cell. It looks like a tongue sticking upwards.
Jim
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tefer2
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« Reply #15 on: September 19, 2013, 09:45:37 AM »

I would ask myself why this stuff is so cheap to start with.
Every time something happens you will be wondering if it was something that came with that equipment. Not worth the risk for us.
You'll have enough to deal with just starting out.
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D Coates
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« Reply #16 on: September 19, 2013, 05:45:01 PM »

I would ask myself why this stuff is so cheap to start with.
Every time something happens you will be wondering if it was something that came with that equipment. Not worth the risk for us.
You'll have enough to deal with just starting out.

Ditto...  I'll take them off your hands for $100... Wink

Seriously, for that price it may be worth the risk.  I'd take it and unless you find trouble while reviewing everything I'd use as is.
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charlie b
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« Reply #17 on: September 19, 2013, 06:21:14 PM »

Here goes, I will be using them and more then likely will be bleaching them. We'll see next year how it goes. Thanks to everyone who has shared and everyone else who will.
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BeemanATX
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« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2013, 07:16:29 PM »

We assemble our own from kits we purchase.
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sterling
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« Reply #19 on: September 23, 2013, 09:58:50 PM »

It would be worth doing some investigation on the boxes to make sure they didn't have something serious wrong. I was given several boxes this fall from some friends who's Dad had kept bees and found he had lost his bees to varroa mites and not any kind of disease. Made me feel better about using the boxes.
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