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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Roy Utah USA
    Posts
    4

    Default should i use, used beekeeping equipment?

    there is a gentleman who wants to give me his used bee equiptment cause he no longer wants to do it , I dont want to sound ungreatfull but is this a good idea , his stuff has been sitting for about 5 years and has some condition problems but i am sure i can salvage a hive or 2 out of it .

    he is verry nice and has offered me many boxes with frames both drawn and undrawn some with foundation and some not , all very sun bleached and used heavely , any ideas ?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    I'm a newbie here but I asked the same thing of a seasoned beekeeper in my area because I too have a lot ot used boxes, etc. that I can get. I was told it was risky because of American Foulbrood. I found this and thot I would post.

    When cleaning infected cells, bees distribute spores throughout the entire colony. Disease spreads rapidly throughout the hive as the bees, attempting to remove the spore-laden dead larvae, contaminate brood food. Nectar stored in contaminated cells will contain spores and soon the brood chamber becomes filled with contaminated honey. As this honey is moved up into the supers, the entire hive becomes contaminated with spores. When the colony becomes weak from AFB infection, robber bees may enter and take contaminated honey back to their hives thereby spreading the disease to other colonies and apiaries. Beekeepers also may spread disease by moving equipment (frames or supers) from contaminated hives to healthy ones.

    American foulbrood spores are extremely resistant to desiccation and can remain viable for more than 40 years in honey and beekeeping equipment. Therefore honey from an unknown source should never be used as bee feed, and used beekeeping equipment should be assumed contaminated unless known to be otherwise.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Reno, NV
    Posts
    2,971

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    If this same person called you about a swarm or a trap out. Would you go take the bees? For many the answer is an unquestionable yes. Yet you would refuse the box he has setting behind his shed to carry them home in. And this is Why? You will take all the comb etc from a cut out with no regard to what you are dragging home.

    You can't suddenly click into hygiene mode over one tiny issue and expect to be accomplishing anything. your colony is already contaminated. and if it isn't it will be and it won't come from some old dusty box.
    Stand for what you believe, even if you stand alone.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Polk County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    252

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    The boxes, bottom boards, etc, yes I would reuse after a good bleaching and or scorching. The drawn comb I wouldn't use but that's just me.

    DanielY is right though. I've jumped all over swarm calls before only to bring them home to my one and only yard I have and was glad to do it. So I guess it's just do whatever you are comfortable with and be prepared to deal with the potential consequences.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Pickens County, South Carolina, US
    Posts
    823

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Interesting info. Being a newbie I never thought about relocating a swarm. I may go pick up the boxes and start cleaning. I have until March.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Location
    Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    662

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Lot's of dicussion on used equipment in attached thread.

    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-your-thoughts
    If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lazer128 View Post
    Interesting info. Being a newbie I never thought about relocating a swarm. I may go pick up the boxes and start cleaning. I have until March.
    If you have that much time, freeze all the equipment 48 hours to kill any eggs or worms that may be hidden. Then clean!
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
    Posts
    27,081

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Daniel Y View Post
    If this same person called you about a swarm or a trap out. Would you go take the bees? For many the answer is an unquestionable yes. Yet you would refuse the box he has setting behind his shed to carry them home in. And this is Why? You will take all the comb etc from a cut out with no regard to what you are dragging home.
    Swarms are not a good way to get AFB, generally speaking. Trapouts, I don't know. I guess if the colony in the wall is diseased then the trapped out bees would be a vector for the disease. One can inspect cut out comb to see if AFB is present. Whereas, old dry comb is difficult to see AFB in. If one knows what AFB scale looks like and how to look for it, one may see it. Otherwise, it's a toss up. And easily avoided by destroying/disposing/recycling the combs.

    I thought we were talking equipment here, not colonies anyway. I don't see why you brought bees into the equation. I don't see them as necassarily equal.
    Mark Berninghausen #youmatter

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,918

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Welcome Pam!
    americasbeekeeper.com
    beekeeper@americasbeekeeper.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Bardstown, KY, USA
    Posts
    321

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    I would take all the equipment. Bleach out the boxes, bottoms & tops, save the wax and Bruno the rest......
    Grandchildren are the best.... Bees a close second....

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Chesterfield, NH
    Posts
    499

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    Swarms are not a good way to get AFB, generally speaking. Trapouts, I don't know. I guess if the colony in the wall is diseased then the trapped out bees would be a vector for the disease. One can inspect cut out comb to see if AFB is present. Whereas, old dry comb is difficult to see AFB in. If one knows what AFB scale looks like and how to look for it, one may see it. Otherwise, it's a toss up. And easily avoided by destroying/disposing/recycling the combs.

    I thought we were talking equipment here, not colonies anyway. I don't see why you brought bees into the equation. I don't see them as necassarily equal.



    IHHO Just Like a lot of another posts on Beesource.


    BEE HAPPY Jim 134
    Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA.
    http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Genola, Ut
    Posts
    56

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    They are free. I would take them. I have not had any diseases that would cause me to run away from used equipment(Knock on Wood). Those telling you NOT to take them may have had first hand experience and their worry is probably valid. However, I think the odds are relatively low(inexperienced opinion), they are free boxes, I would take the risk and use them--But that's just me.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    6,101

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeepin equiptment?

    Welcome to Beesource!

    Reusing hive equipment with an "unknown" history is a risky idea. But beekeepers, big and small, do successfully buy/reuse some else's equipment. The trick is to do so only if you are confident that the equipment is not infected.

    I suggest that you talk more to the potential donor. Ask him about his experiences and practices. Bring up the subject of possible contamination. See what he says. If you don't like what you hear, then graciously decline his offer.

    This is a judgement call, and you will hear lots of opinions about this. But few things in life are certain, and every day you are faced with decisions [unrelated to beekeeping] that have an element of risk. This is no different.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Location
    Las Vegas, Clark, Nevada, USA
    Posts
    105

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeeping equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by pamarrero View Post
    there is a gentleman who wants to give me his used bee equiptment cause he no longer wants to do it , I dont want to sound ungreatfull but is this a good idea , his stuff has been sitting for about 5 years and has some condition problems but i am sure i can salvage a hive or 2 out of it .

    he is verry nice and has offered me many boxes with frames both drawn and undrawn some with foundation and some not , all very sun bleached and used heavely , any ideas ?
    Talk to the guy and ask about his bees and diseases in the past and what he did if he ever did have American Foulbrood Etc. Look for the signs of disease,particularly any scales or signs of old dead bees and try to figure out how the former bees were doing. Why no bees living in the hives now? I believe the inside of hive boxes shoulld not be painted because sometimes anyway bees prefer to remove the paint and that must take a lot of work. I live in Las Vegas and would appreciate having the opportunity to use some used bee boxes, etc. Years ago I use to make a medicine patty out of lard and some antibiotic that seemed to work very well for me and I never did have to burn a hive box as the state of Montana required at the time. My problem was that I went up to 75 hives before selling the bees and I found my most enjoyable hobby no longer fun but rather plain old work. I appreciate all of the comments here. Good luck. I now have one hive of bees in a strong 35 or so gallon cardboard drum and due to inability do get the honey out without tearing every comb apart I just leave them alone. Someday I will make a hive of some sort and try to have at least two or three.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    966

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeeping equipment?

    It truly does depend on your tolerance for risk.
    American Foul Brood certainly will stay with the equipment, and the spores be viable for decades after infection.

    And the traditional control for AFB is burning hives that are infected. So if it is infected, you'll lose the boxes and all the bees in them.

    That said, most bee colonies don't have AFB.
    That means the equipment probably isn't infected.
    Is the savings the free equipment gets you worth the risk to you?.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Issaquah,WA,USA
    Posts
    2,382

    Default Re: should i use, used beekeeping equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by pamarrero View Post
    there is a gentleman who wants to give me his used bee equiptment cause he no longer wants to do it
    Sounds like some of the best priced equipment you will ever get. Give him some honey next year so you can even the score. Bleach and freeze accordingly.

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