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Frame Sterilisation

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Anyone tried sterilising used frames in an old dishwasher ?
Anyone know at what temperature nosema spores are destroyed ?
And, any suggestions about what may be added to aid the cleaning process.
I know that frames are sterilised on a large scale in Danmark.
Why has nt anyone produced a small scale machine that could do this for beekeepers ?
 

Nellie 

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Why has nt anyone produced a small scale machine that could do this for beekeepers ?
They kind if have, most people round here use a Burco boiler to clean frames etc.
 

Beekeeping 

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Do any of you freeze the supers before storing them for winter ?
Is freezing any use in sterilising frames?
I imagine it will kill any wax moth lavae not sure about the eggs though or nosemo
 

oliver90owner 

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what size Burco would be needed to clean frames?

I can only get a few 14 x 12s in my burco, and they need inverting.

Taken apart, you can get lots in.

It might contain 45 litres, full up?

Regards, RAB
 

johnandyrob 

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Hi Rab
What do you use soda crystals? and how long do you boil them for ?
Regards Andrew
 

admin 

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Yes I use washing soda(sodium carbonate) or soda crystals(all three are the same thing) £1 a litre bottle in a pound shop.

Dont get Caustic soda(sodium hydroxide),thats the next one up and is far to strong.
 

Hombre 

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If you have a lot to do, consider removing the top off of a 45 gallon drum and using a bottled gas ring burner underneath it.
 

rowbow 

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Use caustic soda, kills every think, bees love it when frames are air dried, don't forget to ware long rubber gloves, the water needs to be hot and in a well ventilated room.
Regards
John :troll:
 

oliver90owner 

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johnandyrob,

I have done in the past. I added some caustic soda in the last lot to push up the pH (although very likely much buffered by the washing soda) and improve the cleaning rate.

I am considering caustic potash (more expensive) next time, as I can then use the effluent for fertilser (recycling) - as long as no real nasties such as AFB are even remotely involved!!

Every time I open the lid of the boiler and turn things, it goes off the boil, so after scrubbing with a brush they are dunked to boiling steadily for a couple of minutes, inverted and brushed and then reboiled for a couple of minutes.

I rinse them with water and then dunk them in about a 2% chlorine bleach (lidls cheapo stuff) in water for a day or so before drying, stacking, sorting and rebuilding. Then used next season.

Even so, I still store up frames before having a session (on economy electric rate) as I am not a bulk user like some on the forum and the batch needs to be cost effective plus!

Caustic potash and soda are not for the inexperienced. As Admin and rowbow say, much more aggressive (talking oven-cleaner here!)

Regards, RAB
 

johnandyrob 

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Thanks Rab some thing Ill have to consider for next year Regards Andrew
 

beebreeder 

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An old twin tub boiler will do it but weigh the electricity costs against new frames, not certain who wins, but for disease new frames every time
kev
 

Finman 

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Use 3% lye water and heat it almost to boiling point.

Wax and resins will loose via temperatute and lye turns wax to soap.
Lye kill all microbes.
Wash frames with garden hoast.

Your electrict cost? What is the price of kWh there?

********
Propan torch is a good method to clean 10 frames.
 

johna 

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I've just bought a Thornes hive steamer and intend to dedicate an old hive to steaming and cleaning frames.Th's recon it gets up to 105 deg celcius so should sterilise as well.The steam source is a cheap steam wallpaper stripper so easy to make your own at a fraction of the cost of Th's.
 
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Plastic QE

I use an old burco boiler for sterilising frames and removing old wax and propolis. I find this works really well. This weekend I decided to wash/sterilise all my feeders etc before the winter. Boiled up the washing soda, threw them in and hauled out after 5mins. Clean and spotless. I had 2 plastic Queen Excluders, obviouly they cannot be flamed off like the metal ones. I just gently bent them to fit in the boiler. Two minutes and then reversed them. Brilliant!! Came up like new. Boiling water and washing soda are the best combination I have come across for cleaning hive equipment and sterlising.
:banghead::banghead:
 

oliver90owner 

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johna,

There was me thinking that you can't get water to boil at over a hundred degrees Celsius, (unless at more than one atmosphere pressure).

I have never been too keen on these, as I can imagine quite a lot of detritus remaing on the frames. Please let us know how you get on with it.

Regards, RAB
 
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I use a steamer to clean frames but it is not as easy as is sometime made out. The pupa in brood frames tends to stay in place, with the wax melting out around it although it can easily be shaken or knocked out with the hive tool. Propolis still needs to be scraped off by hand although the steam makes this very easy. The biggest problem is with old frames clogged with solid stores, pollen etc which can take a very long time to melt and the bottom of the steamer needs to be cleared of old pupa after each load. If you can do more than about 20 frames like this an hour you are doing well.
 

johna 

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johna,

There was me thinking that you can't get water to boil at over a hundred degrees Celsius, (unless at more than one atmosphere pressure).

I have never been too keen on these, as I can imagine quite a lot of detritus remaing on the frames. Please let us know how you get on with it.

Regards, RAB
I know the boiling point of water O90 but slight pressure will raise the temp up by 5degrees so 105 is possible - Boyles law I believe P1T1 over V1 etc etc.I actually studied thermodynamics when I studied for my engineering HNC and Endorsements. You're not the only one with an education !!!
 

crazy_bull 

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This is what i do:

Cut out all black and old combs or ones that are full of mouldy pollen etc and burn them (I simply cannot seem to justify the energy required in processing really black and crappy combs) the cleaner combs that have less cacoons in them are cut out and saved for processing.

These rough cut combs are then immersed and agitated in a large burco boiler that is on a rolling boil with a strong solution of soda crystals, this cleans then up extremely well and unless really caked in propalis require no scraping. I can do about 100 frames an hour with this method which leaves the frames virtually ready to re-insert foundation, sometimes you just need to run a scrapper down the side channels to clear that last bit of gunk out.

C B
 

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