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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for info on cleaning used equipment.....hive bodies and frames especially....talked to an established beekeeper who cleaned all his hives and frames by "cooking" them in a heated bath of water/lye mixture for ten minutes or so, and another who said he just pressure washed everything with hot water....I'd like to hear from someone on the forum .... need input in order to get ready for next year, which will actually be my first year, as I'm gathering equipment and information before I begin....thank you
 

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Lye is effective, as a strong caustic it can damage paint and glue joints (and your skin on contact). For American Foulbrood ozone is the most effective but you will not find it in concentrations adequate for beehives, except where it is being currently tested. Florida has sites approved by the Dept of Ag to radiate beekeeping equipment. Try fruit packing companies. The oldest and least expensive remedy is to scorch the inside of supers and frames with a propane torch. Scrape all the wax off first or you will discover how well beeswax starts fires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Can I use a small butane torch ... the kind used to sweat copper joints ? afterwards brush the ash away with a wire brush ? is it that simple ?
 

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A former state bee man told us in a bee meeting, 1 lb. of lye in 10 gallon of water, boil for 20 minutes. Be prepared to re-paint.

Will have a hard time finding lye if there are any meth cookers around, they use it in the meth making process.

Stay out of the fumes.

Also, remove as much wax as possible prior to boiling and rinse the objects off good after boiling.
 

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New Beekeeper here so take this for what it's worth. Last year I had my 2 hives die out, so I did the torch trick on all of my boxes and frames, even with the foundations drawn. Everything went well and now my 3 hives are doing great. I used a butane torch I got at the hardware store and burned off all the stuff that wasn't supposed to be there. I only scorched the wood a little, not burning it black (except for a few splinters). If you only doing a few boxes (12 in my case) then this approach works fine. The frames were a little tedious and I did melt a little wax here and there that the bees fixed, but no major fires. Unless you know the hives have been filled with diseased bees, then I would shy away from the lye approach just because of the mess working with a pot big enough to cook hive bodies in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
roger that on the big pot for boiling ..... I thought it was a little overkill unless you have a pretty big operation....and right now, I don't even have an operation, much less a big one.....the only thing I'm trying to do here is to be as well informed as I can, and have a lot of options going into this thing before I actually get my feet wet.... I have been able to obtain quite a bit of equipment, hive bodies, frames, extractor, foundation, smoker, veil and gloves, etc, etc, and many other things that should make the startup a little easier next spring.
thanks for all the input, I do appreciate it, and look forward to starting my first season as a beekeeper.
 
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