How to clean harvest equipment?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    53

    Default How to clean harvest equipment?

    The fun of the harvest is over and now I have buckets, sieves, spoons, plastic sheets, and an extractor to clean! Any ideas besides hot water? Im planning on going at the stuff with a 5 gallon bucket of hot water and an old towel but am wondering if there are any tricks or secrets to make the job easier. Any advice would be much appreciated!

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Location
    Izard County, AR, USA
    Posts
    130

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Leave it outside and the bees will clean up every bit of it and put it all back in your hive(s). Why wash honey down the drain?
    8 years, 30 colonies, no chemical treatments

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    Lees summit, missouri, USA
    Posts
    73

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Cold water on the extractor.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Quincy, Mass USA
    Posts
    813

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    +1 on the cold water.... Melted wax and/or propolis is no fun to remove....
    Since '12 Zone 7a 42.25N 71.00W 17H OAV Amitraz
    Seaside Apiaries

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
    Posts
    573

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    I load my stuff on the pickup and head for the nearest car wash.
    54+ years 16 colonies Treat using OAV
    http://99-40.com

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Sedgwick Co. KS
    Posts
    1,145

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob J View Post
    +1 on the cold water.... Melted wax and/or propolis is no fun to remove....
    YES, YES, yes to this.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Derry, New Hampshire
    Posts
    2,295

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    throw out the plastic......it will be sticky forever. in the future use shower curtains that you can wash in the machine if no wax on them.
    as for putting out for them to clean.......make sure its away from your hives. I had a jellow jacket invasion last time I did this. I did find them easy to squish when they are eating. works really well on strainers. my mesh strainer was completely clean the wax just fell off it.
    Terrence

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    6,101

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Most of my equipment goes out for the bees to clean up. Once they're done I use soap and water to clean the rest. It's really only the uncapping tub, some SS sieves, the knife and the extractor. Not too bad for me.
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    2,514

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    I wheel everything out on the driveway and turn on the garden hose. Any missed areas the bees make short work of. I lost too many bees and they became aggressive when I let them try to clean up once. I don't do that anymore. I'm in a neighborhood and don't want that type of trouble
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    I have had the same thing happen as D Coates. I have lost bees when I put the equipment out for the bees to clean. They get stuck in the honey and it becomes more of a mess than it is worth. How do you keep the bees from getting stuck in the honey?

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Dayton, Ohio
    Posts
    249

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    I use a power washer on everything except the extractor.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Ayer, Massachusetts
    Posts
    837

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Cold water , and bees.
    Or Ill sell it as a "used" model
    www.maxantindustries.com
    American made Honey Processing Equipment "Built to last a lifetime"

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Location
    Shelby, Missouri USA
    Posts
    526

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by MAXANT View Post
    Cold water , and bees.
    Or Ill sell it as a "used" model
    Hey I could use a used 3100P with legs. Do you have any of those laying around that would be a great deal over the new price?

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    I found that two layers of painter's plastic is great for clean up. ! layer may tear. I know.

  16. #15

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Power washer for me. I have used both hot and cold water. The cold works great for everything but propolis . For that I need the hot water. I have a powerwashing seller that I have rented at a reasonable fee. But I do know the owner. And I pick up at closing an return first thing in the morning.

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,165

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Quote Originally Posted by JimD View Post
    I found that two layers of painter's plastic is great for clean up. ! layer may tear. I know.
    What is painter's plastic?

  18. #17
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Vauxhall, Alberta, Canada
    Posts
    297

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    My bees must be different, they don't take anything of that is close to wax or propolis. I use hot water, the hotter the better. Steam would be best. The plastic goes in to the dishwasher.

    Edit: I put cardboard on the garage floor and reuse it. Once done it goes to recycling.
    Summ Summ Bienchen summ herum

  19. #18
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    Bucks County PA
    Posts
    356

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    We don't put down plastic (we extract in our kitchen which has a brick floor)...we use a very large cardboard box opened up and laid flat on the floor under the extractor and brown paper (two layers) on the top of the island where we do our uncapping. We let the bees clean up the cardboard out on the lawn before disposing in recycling. Cold water on the patio to rinse out the extractor and then attention from bees. Bins and buckets get "bee cleaned" in a remote area of our lawn and once they are scrubbed by the girls, they get washed and disinfected before storage.
    Humble assistant to beek Alison as well as family purveyor of luxury Bee condominiums and Paparazzi activities...

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Salt Lake City, UT
    Posts
    1,127

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Grab a roll of quarters and head for the car wash. That was suggested to me by a local beek last year. It was far and away the easiest of anything I had ever tried. That will clean up all of the larger equipment, your extractor, uncapping tank, and buckets.

    To wash the smaller utensils go get yourself a box of washing soda. Sold at Walmart in the laundry soap aisle. You want the stuff called washing soda not baking soda. Washing soda is a different chemical. It has a higher PH and you want to let chemistry do the work. Fill a plastic tray with very hot water. Stir the washing soda into it until no more will disolve. After that add a good squirt of Dawn dishwashing soap. Now soak all the tools and utensils in the tray. Within a few seconds is will start turning yellow. That is the propolis being dissolved by the chemistry. Wait until it cools enough that you can put your hands into it. Wear rubber gloves, the wash is very alkaline. Some of the utensils will come out clean and only require rinsing. Using a disposable washcloth any of the remaining propolis and wax should wipe right off. While you are at it, put your hive tools in there too. They will come out sparkling clean.


    Extra tip: A cup of washing soda in the laundry with your bee jacket will help get the propolis off of it and help it stay dissolved and go down the drain instead of staicking on the wash tub. That will greatly help you avoid hearing your significant other using your name as a cuss word followed by a string of profanity.
    Last edited by JConnolly; 10-21-2019 at 12:50 PM.
    Zone 6B

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
    Location
    Spring, Texas
    Posts
    271

    Default Re: How to clean harvest equipment?

    Painters plastic comes in different sizes but I have an old box that is 9'x400' roll but Home Depot has it in much smaller rolls. I just cut about about 2 10' lengths and tape it to my garage floor where I am working. I like the idea of the card board because I usually loose a cup or two before I am thru and the plastic is not bee friendly if you try to put it out.

    I need a better way to clean up my cappings. I use a 5 gallon bucket with a clean frame tie wrapped across the top to cut on and this has worked well. And when finished I set this up to drain thru the strainers into another 5 gallon bucket. I had about 3 gallons of honey drain from this earlier in the month over night when I netted 10.5 gallons.

    I had the cappings out along with a couple of suppers to be cleaned up for 5 days. I do not usually save the wax but is there an easier or quicker way. I just put a sign under the boxes to pick up the cuttings. I am not sure that I had my cappings spread out enough for the bees to get to easily But with the rains here? Opinions. I was just cleaning them up for a friend.

    With elections coming up I will get more political signs which I use for hive stand bases and for shade rain covers on the hives. They are great for me to set splits on since the bugs do not get on them like they do with a concrete block or such. I did not have to but you could but a grease line on the bottom of these signs if needed to keep the bugs out and they are coming up into the hives.
    ______________________
    From the old discussion on how to keep hive ant / bug free I found that 5/8 or what ever cotton rope dipped in new car oil and greased have worked well for the regular hive stands that I have. I did this 1.5 years ago and my regular hive stands have been bug free. I did go out one time and rewipe the rope with grease again just as fall maintenance. I use the bearing grease.

    I have the double stand built from the old bee equipment book and was having lots of problems. Down here I had ants that could cut the screen wire I put over the 1/8. I do not like 1/8 alone because it lets SHB's into the hives.

    If you want to try this then cut enough rope to go around the leg of your stand a minimum of 2 times plus. You want to put a small nail in the rope then wrap the rope around as tight as you can then put another nail at the end. apply grease to the rope esp into the grooves and bottom rope. I did this on the legs of my double stand just below the top frame and it has worked well. Top ledge keeps it covered and it is the easiest and best way that I have found that works and maintenance free compared to here where we have a lot of rain and warm weather.

    Jim

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