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  1. #1
    Jason G in Tennessee Guest

    Question

    My uncle (former bee keeper) recently sold my father all of his dusty extracting and bottling equipment. What do I do to sterilize and prepare the equipment for use?
    Especially concerned since I think he went out of business because of AFB.
    thanks,
    JG in TN

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    I'm not sure anything will kill AFB spores. I'd probably wash it out with boiling water and then lye water (two different things), myself. Be careful with the lye. Be sure to wear goggles, have cool clean water handy and wear old clothes and take a bath as soon as your done. If it wasn't a issue of AFB I's just pour boiling water over it and then wash with soap and water.



    [This message has been edited by Michael Bush (edited August 19, 2003).]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Marietta, GA USA
    Posts
    26

    Post

    I would use Bleach instead of Lye.(I used to make bleach at an old job) The oxidizing action of the bleach will kill most of the molds and bacteria that may be present. This is what most all food plants use for their sanitation. Hopefully, the equipment is stainless steel or plastic and not galvanized. If galvanized, you have a different set of circumstances and will need to coat with a food grade epoxy.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Wyoming MN
    Posts
    406

    Post

    See if you can find a place to steam/pressure clean it. Commercial restraunt supply maybe? My understanding is that unless you are feeding it back to the bees, AFB is not an issue with human consumption. Check with your local food inspectors or restraunt supply, and see what is approved for equipment sterilization. Bleach would be, lye would not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,742

    Post

    The bleach will not penetrate wax. The lye will. All soap has lye in it in some amount it's what lets it disolve grease. If you don't remove every vestige of wax, then you won't remove the spores for the AFB. If you rinse well I don't see why it would be a problem to use the lye.

    Steam would also be a great improvment on killing the AFB. It will get much hotter than 212 degrees F. Be careful steam burns you very quickly. But how many of us have some kind of steam avaialable.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Pomfret, MD, USA
    Posts
    242

    Post

    Check with your state apiary inspector. He/she may run a fumigation chamber (as MD does) or a radiation chamber.


  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Jonquière, Quebec (ABOVE 48th parallel North!!)
    Posts
    150

    Post

    The problem with bleach desinfection is that it becomes inactive when in contact with organic matter. So before using bleach on anything to be desinfected, it needs to be cleaned first, to take away as much organic stuff as possible.

    Hugo

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Lynnville, Ia, USA
    Posts
    165

    Post

    We clean all our stuff with a power washer and then use a light bleach solution. About a tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water. Not all bleaches are approved as disinfectants, however. In Iowa, Ultra Chlorox is okay. This method is approved by the food inspector who visits me on a regular basis. Regulations can vary in your state.

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