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I had my first experience killing a colony with AFB this week, and wanted to pass along my experience using sulfur in a smoker to kill them.

I'd read here about using sulfur, and decided to give it a try as it sounded like a lot less trouble than using soapy water. I bought plant fungicide powder at the local Agway as 90% sulfur - cost was $10 in a plastic container the size of a 750ml wine bottle.

The problem hive was a removal I did earlier this year. It was on a double stand and had a screened bottom board. I decided I should close it up tight to keep the smoke in as long as possible.

I lifted the hive and put a plastic garbage bag under it, and pulled it up along the sides so it would enclose the screened bottom. I had a migratory top on the hive, so there was no need to close up a top entrance. I closed off the hive with a reducer and hardware cloth at the entrance the night before.

I figured I would smoke the hive when I arrived at the yard, then dig a pit for burning the frames, then by the time I was done digging, the hive should be dead and ready to burn.

The reality was it took well over an hour to "kill" the colony using sulphur smoke. I smoked the hive for a half hour, got tired so I dug the pit, then returned to smoke the hive a while longer.

While a thread here suggested that a "tablespoon" in a smoker would do the trick, the reality is I used something more like 5 or 6 tablespoons, over a period of at least an hour, filling the hive with smoke every 5 to 10 minutes. When I was "done," most bees were dead, but there were still hundreds alive enough to crawl away from the fire while I got it going. I didn't see any flying away, but I could have missed them.

Long story short, sulfur in a smoker is convenient, but it certainly isn't a quick or easy way to kill a colony.

If anyone has any other ways to kill a colony *that you've actually used* and have been satisfied with, I'd like to hear about them for the next time I have to undertake this sad and distasteful task.

-Pete
 

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Close up everything except the bottom entrance and then stuff it with a gasoline soaked rag. They'll be dead in a matter of minutes.
 

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Seal it off as you did and dump a cup of gasoline in the top. Bees dead in 30 seconds. Let it sit for a while after killing the bees to let the fumes dissipate. Dismantle the hive and burn it. Don't try to set afire before dismantling as a loud and violent explosion will result! To set afire, throw a lighted wad of paper from a safe distance. When nothing but ash is left bury the remains.

Barry; we're talking about killing AFB infested bees here. You kill them quick to prevent any escaping. Who cares about toxic when you're killing them anyway?
 

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Dry ice works good. Place an innercover over the frames then an empty box. Put the dry ice in the box and put the lid on. Of course close off everything else.
 

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Wow sulfur, gas and what ever. Beekeepers trying to kill them selves as wall as the bees. Soap and water will kill bees in less then a min. Works on all insects. 1/2 cup per gal of liquid dish washing soap and a 5 gal bucket is the way I kill hives. Its safe for the beekeeper and environment. Yes it makes it hard to burn but once you get the wood and wax going the water will not stop it and most will drain off.

Close up the hive open the top and dump the soapy water in, make sure you get between all the frames. Wet bees don't fly very well and die soon any ways.

I liked the Dry Ice idea too. If the hive needs to bee killed and it does not have AFB and you want to use the equipment again.

I have used liquid nitragen to kill a hive but most people don't have a large suppy of that setting around and liquid nitrgen can be costly.
 

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Use DE. Kills everything in the hive, including the SHBs that are probably present. Close the entrance and open the top. Spray the DE into the hive using a "duster". The same type that you put seven dust. They may fly out but they will not go far. The more they move the quicker they die.
 

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1/2 cup per gal of liquid dish washing soap and a 5 gal bucket is the way I kill hives.
1/2 cup of what per gallon of liquid dish washing soap? Seems like alot of dish washing soap. At that concentration why not jusy dump in the soap itself?
 

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can you save the honey or boxes?
Yes you can... but why would you want to?

The cost to replace the equipment from one or two hives is a small price to pay for not having to replace a whole apiary of bees and equipment when the infection spreads and you can no longer afford to keep feeding them Terramyacin like it was candy. Burning is preferred and often required by state law.

As for the honey, as far as I know AFB has no effect on humans that consume the honey, but are you really so hard-up for honey that you'd contaminate your extracting equipment with those spores so that next time you left the door to the honey house open all your hives get infected? It's just not worth it in my opinion.

1/2 cup of what per gallon of liquid dish washing soap? Seems like alot of dish washing soap.
That is a lot of soap, you could probably get by on half that... on the other hand, if you go too light with the soap it might get more difficult to kill them and dish soap's just not so expensive as to fret over an extra quarter cup of it.
 
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