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I just wondered if anyone has used one of these to sterilize hive equipment, and how well it worked for them? Obviously, for me as a hobby beekeeper with only 2 hives at the moment, there isn't a big, pressing need to do a lot of this. But, I have a pile of old equipment from 15 years ago, which I will need to sterilize before use just to be on the safe side.

I got a steam cleaning machine for Xmas, a McCulloch 1275, and it's been great for cleaning around the house. I walked the dog past the beehives the other day and had that lightbulb moment -- hey, why not use it on the bee equipment?

I think it would do a great job steam sterilizing hive bodies, covers, frames, and should melt excess wax and propolis in the process, allowing pretty easy removal. It has enough tools and attachments to fit into pretty much any crack or crevice. Steam comes out at pretty good pressure, but it doesn't leave things overly wet.

Any thoughts on this?
 

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The best way is to use a weed burner and toast the inside of the hives. I do it every spring. just remember to pull out all frames and girls first:lpf: and as old equitment I tend to shy a way from it like the plag. my reasons are simple nothing will kill AFB except burning the whole hive AFB spores live up to 75 years. so I tend not to take the risk. but your bees a toasting on the inside followed up with a dip in liquid beeswax may help but Beek beware on used hives.
 

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That is going to be too small except for the smallest of jobs. I hot pressure wash equipment all the time with a washer that produce 1500 lbs. pressure at near boiling temps, 4 gpm. That does a good job of cleaning, but does not sterilize such diseases as AFB. Even with the washer I have I would not want to clean more than a few dozen hives a year. I do about 100 frames a year with it after they have been in the solar melter. It is even too slow for more than a few excluders.
 
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