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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Location
    Horseheads, ny
    Posts
    38

    Default Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    Almost afraid to ask this because it either the stupidest or most brilliant idea ever. Build a box similar to a pollen trap that fits in front of the entrance and makes the bees go through a short 'maze', so it takes them a few seconds to enter the hive. Along the ‘maze’ have a series of UV lights (solar cell driven). UV-C penetrates the outer membrane of bacteria, yeasts, molds and viruses and virtually kills them. I’m not sure what the effect on mites (or the bees)would be but you would be essentially sterilizing everyone before they entered so they didn’t drag in bad spores etc. with them. Would this work?

    Ok, did I make a fool of myself or give someone a multimillion dollar idea?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    Bergen, Norway
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    It might be a good idea, but I think the bees would be affected aswell, and get their lifespan greatly reduced.

    AFAIK The bees can see UV radiation, and use it to find flowers etc. Going trough a UV-sterilizer might be a little too much for them.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Brandon, Florida
    Posts
    37

    Default Re: Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    Duboisi is right about the UV light, it may be blindingly bright for them. Also, most of the viruses and bacteria you'd be worried about are in the mites that hop from bee to bee. By the time the bees are walking through the maze, the pathogens you want to kill are protected by being in the bees and/or mites. UV light has very low penetration, as in close to zero, so I suspect it won't provide much benefit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Location
    Columbia county, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,540

    Default Re: Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    Like antibiotics, sterilization of bees would also kill all the good microbes and bacteria that are necessary for the bees to stay healthy. Bees weren't meant to be sterile.
    Hmm...Maybe just get plastic bees?
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Corryton, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    581

    Default Re: Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    Try it on one hive and see how well it works. Theorizing is great, but you never really know until you try. You can get UV sterilizers for fish tanks... use one of those to try it with and see what happens.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Medford, New Jersey, USA
    Posts
    102

    Default Re: Ultraviolet Sterilization of Bees ?

    Again, by no means am I an expert in any way, but I'd like to add my 2 cents. The UV sterilizers for fish tanks are embedded in the water line, not over the tank to 'radiate' the fish. They kill algae and pathogens as the water circulates. In no way does the UV light contact the fish. It would kill or harm them. UV light is a form of radiation. Same as with outdoor fish ponds. I have 2 UV lights in the skimmer box, away from eyes and fish. It works on the water as it circulates through. I don't know what UV light would do to bees, but if they see in the ultraviolet then I guess it wouldn't be too good.

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