best medium for cleaning swarm traps?
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  1. #1
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    Question best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    I had a couple of swarm traps (actually, nucs somebody gave to me; I'm combining them into 1 entity this year, to give bees space) last year which eventually ended up housing grungy roaches . I'd like to clean the floors of the 2 but am wary of using bleach, cleansers, detergent, etc.

    Anybody have an idea as to what could be good for cleaning but won't spook any scout bees that come by to investigate? Vinegar, maybe?

    Thx much for any feedback .....

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  3. #2
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    you don't need to do anything just scrape the floors clean.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    I agree with Jerry, clean propolis, ect by scraping. The bees are their own best housekeepers. Your just their landlord, so to speak. Good luck !!! 😊

  5. #4
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Shake the loose stuff out..
    Then - propane torch them inside.

    Kills germs/bugs.
    Burns off the small crap.
    Melts and distributes evenly the large crap across the surface (good for a trap; I would even add old wax/propolis mix and melt it inside, while at it - for a better smelling trap).
    Quick.

    Don't bother scraping/washing/whatever...
    Unless bored and have lots of time to kill.

    The torch - $20 from HF (plus camping propane tanks).
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Besides, a torch is a must have tool for beekeeping. You'll never futz around getting a smoker lit again. And if it goes out, it's relit in seconds. But I recommend a good one with a trigger igniter. You can stuff it down in the smoker, pull the trigger for one second, and you're done.
    Zone 6B

  7. #6
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    [QUOTE=GregV;1607259]Shake the loose stuff out..
    Then - propane torch them inside.

    Not sure this would be the way to go; the nucs are wooden -- wouldn't a torch carbonize 'em?

  8. #7
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    I'd do nothing. Perhaps maybe brush out loose debris.
    Horseshoe Point Honey -- http://localvahoney.com/

  9. #8
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    York, York County, SC
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Based on some field data from larger operations here in SC. It appears a bleach water (couple of caps full in a gallon) rinse is very good for knocking back viral contamination. You need to do it early enough the bleach can be neutralized by time. Outside of that....the bees do an amazing job of cleaning.

  10. #9
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Scrape out the loose stuff, and scorch (propane) if you want. I usually just put them back in service.

  11. #10
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    [QUOTE=mlanden;1607377]
    Quote Originally Posted by GregV View Post
    Shake the loose stuff out..
    Then - propane torch them inside.

    Not sure this would be the way to go; the nucs are wooden -- wouldn't a torch carbonize 'em?
    You can certainly torch your hives to all way to charcoal and ashes if you wish...

    But the intent is to clean and disinfect and do it efficiently.
    You don't want to point your burner to one single point and hold it there so to ignite the wood, obviously.
    You gradually move the burner around just enough so to melt the wax/propolis and have it runny.
    Fine trash and dust will catch fire and burn off quickly - that is fine and exactly what you want.
    The wooden walls will NOT catch fire or carbonize as easily as long as you keep the burner moving around.
    This method will disinfect and clean your hives, just like I said; not carbonize it.

    (Again, do NOT point the burner at a single point and hold it there steady - you will burn the wood then)

    PS: also, obviously, have an extinguisher or a bucket of water handy, just in case)

    TorchingHiveInside.jpg
    Last edited by GregV; 03-09-2018 at 10:06 AM.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  12. #11
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Funny -- I've never even used a torch, so I could only picture a conflagration! Maybe setting the n'hood ablaze .....

  13. #12
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    your making to much of this just scrape the bottoms clean and their good to go.

  14. #13
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    your making to much of this just scrape the bottoms clean and your good to go
    Last edited by jerrystaxidermyhunter; 03-10-2018 at 07:02 AM. Reason: double post

  15. #14
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    I agree; too much effort. If there was no evidence of disease brush them out and the bees will finish the job.

  16. #15
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Quote Originally Posted by Murdock View Post
    I agree; too much effort. If there was no evidence of disease brush them out and the bees will finish the job.
    I am not going to bother cleaning my own traps and dead out hives.

    But, IF gotten someone else's used equipment - good idea to disinfect.
    Easy and cheap insurance.

    In fact, how do you even see if there is any evidence of disease in used equipment.
    I, sure, have no idea how to identify any evidence of infection in used boxes (not paying someone else to do it for me either).
    Quick torch and move along.
    Former "smoker boy". Classic, square 12 frame Dadants >> Long hive/Short frame/chemical-free experimentations.

  17. #16
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    Default

    Iíve been looking for a reason to buy a torch.... ?

  18. #17
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    Default Re: best medium for cleaning swarm traps?

    Unless a mouse moved in, I wouldn't worry about it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

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