Polynuc Hygiene Question

Beekeeping Forum

Help Support Beekeeping Forum:

BugsInABox 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
477
Reaction score
154
Location
South Yorkshire
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
2
Have just aquired an old poly nuc. Pretty grubby, old comb and I suspect not used for a few seasons. Is there something I can use to get it safe abs clean before putting bees in it?
Neil
 
Last edited:

Ian123 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jun 20, 2018
Messages
3,038
Reaction score
678
Location
surrey
Hive Type
none
Depends on the source of the poly nuc is it yours have you ever had any issues, if not then little to worry about. Take out bin the comb/frames give it a good scrape and spray down or soak in bleach. Job done.
 

Erichalfbee 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Jul 23, 2009
Messages
21,011
Reaction score
2,796
Location
Ceredigion
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
7
Throw the insides out spray in Cilit Bang. Leave overnight and scrub in warm water.
 

BugsInABox 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
477
Reaction score
154
Location
South Yorkshire
Hive Type
tbh
Number of Hives
2
Depends on the source of the poly nuc is it yours have you ever had any issues, if not then little to worry about. Take out bin the comb/frames give it a good scrape and spray down or soak in bleach. Job done.
Not mine and source is friend of a friend of a friend sort of thing so want to be thorough. I'm worried more about disease than hygeine really. If it was wood I'd just scorch the surface.
 
Last edited:

ericbeaumont 

Drone Bee
Joined
Sep 23, 2010
Messages
1,252
Reaction score
732
Location
North London, West Essex and Surrey
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
70
I'm worried more about disease than hygeine really.
For cleaning polyhives it is suggested you use 0.5% concentration so 100ml of bleach plus 900 ml of water will give you 0.5% concentration. If using bleach to clean hives then give them a good rinse and leave them for several days to dry before putting them back into use. That will give time for the sodium hypochlorite to break down. The NBU says that 20 minutes in 0.5% sodium hypochlorite will destroy AFB and EFB spores.
Courtesy of Dorchester & Weymouth BKA.
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
25,878
Reaction score
3,361
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
For cleaning polyhives it is suggested you use 0.5% concentration so 100ml of bleach plus 900 ml of water will give you 0.5% concentration. If using bleach to clean hives then give them a good rinse and leave them for several days to dry before putting them back into use. That will give time for the sodium hypochlorite to break down. The NBU says that 20 minutes in 0.5% sodium hypochlorite will destroy AFB and EFB spores.
Courtesy of Dorchester & Weymouth BKA.
that's if your 'bleach' is 100% hypochloride - it isn't
 

amandaj57 

House Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
May 4, 2011
Messages
155
Reaction score
196
Location
Derbyshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
4 + 1 nucs
Not sure what you mean

Domestos is 4.5% Sodium Hypochlorite
So diluting that 9:1 gets you to 0.5%

No?

Actually, it should be 8:1 .....
Just beat me to it :D
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
25,878
Reaction score
3,361
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Neither did I,
maths in a hurry was never my strong point - bit of a handicap for a VAT officer which is why I ended up in uniform 😁
Doesn't help that I buy my Hypochloride at full strength by the twenty litre drum then have to follow their ready reckoner to thin it out a bit - saves me a fortune compared to buying it at Tesco
 

Newbeeneil 

Drone Bee
Joined
Jan 1, 2018
Messages
1,803
Reaction score
705
Location
Sussex
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
40 plus 19 that I maintain for clients.
Doesn't help that I buy my Hypochloride at full strength by the twenty litre drum then have to follow their ready reckoner to thin it out a bit - saves me a fortune compared to buying it at Tesco
Ah that takes me back!
When I was still at school and worked on weekends and holidays as a lifeguard at my local council swimming pool we used to have to swab down all the tiled floors in the changing areas with diluted Sodium Hypo-chloride. If you splashed it on your shorts they would go into holes at the next wash but it was great, if not a little painful, for treating athletes foot as we always swabbed down in bare feet 🤣.
 

Gilberdyke John 

Queen Bee
Joined
May 5, 2013
Messages
4,041
Reaction score
382
Location
HU15 East Yorkshire
Hive Type
14x12
Number of Hives
10
Doesn't help that I buy my Hypochloride at full strength by the twenty litre drum then have to follow their ready reckoner to thin it out a bit - saves me a fortune compared to buying it at Tesco
What concentration was your full strength Emyr? In one of my jobs in the starch modification industry we used to take deliveries to our plant tank farm in bulk tankers. It was pretty nasty stuff to handle. From hazy memory I think it was about 16% concentration in aqueous solution. The pumps, pipes, valves and other components were all carefully designed to resist the corrosive effects of the solution especially to avoid any cross mixing of the other chemicals used to modify the starch depending on the final product. Products were sold to the food industry as thickeners (eg instant whip) the paper industry (stabilsers), adhesives etc etc.
Who knows it's possible to buy concentrated food grade Hydrochloric acid, Caustic soda and a host of other things you'd never survive consuming. 🤔😎
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
25,878
Reaction score
3,361
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
What concentration was your full strength Emyr?
Don't panic, not that strong, when I say full strength - I don't mean neat 12 to 15% IIRC, they've brought it down a bit lately, It's what's sold to dairy farms etc, bleddy great for cleaning footpaths and gravestones (first just sprayed on neat then wetted with a spray hose and left for ten fifteen minutes) a pint or so in a bucket of cold water will clear any black mould stains in your beesuit if you soak it for half an hour then throw it, sopping wet into the washing machine.A cupful in two gallons is great for cleaning hard floors indoors as well and a heck of a lot cheaper than buying domestos -one container load usually lasts a year including a deep cleaning of all the paths and patios
 

Apple 

Banned
Joined
Jan 15, 2014
Messages
1,518
Reaction score
717
Location
South of Watford
Number of Hives
140
Do you mean the Dairy Red Label hypochlorite?

Our local Mole Valley will only sell to farmers with an account, I buy it in 20 liter drums and do the 100ml to 900ml ratio for 20 minutes in a 50 gallon drum..... have a clamp system to hold the pollys under!
Rince well and dry.

Chons da
 

jenkinsbrynmair 

Super Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 30, 2011
Messages
25,878
Reaction score
3,361
Location
Glanaman,Carmarthenshire,Wales
Hive Type
national
Number of Hives
Too many - but not nearly enough
Do you mean the Dairy Red Label hypochlorite?
Might be called that with you but that's only a trading name, but yes that's the stuff. I have a holding number so no quibble with the farmer's coop, to be honest though, that is a bit of a joke, I just get it at the local animal feed store, saves me a trip to Llandeilo or Crosshands, sold as a yard/stable cleaner, ideal for patios, whatever.
 

Into the lions den 

Queen Bee
BeeKeeping Supporter
Joined
Mar 4, 2011
Messages
2,455
Reaction score
520
Location
Various
Hive Type
smith
Number of Hives
>4000
We buy it from Monarch Chemicals in IBCs..the chemical cost around £240 for 1000litres at full strength. (they have depots covering all of the UK)

The mix, as stated, is approximate. But spill it and your jeans look like the work of a hippy in 1969....all white patches.

We sterilise all the poly in decapitated IBC's shoving about 100litres into a two thirds full tank of water...it lasts for a few days of work.

A bottle of Domestos in 20L of water will be plenty strong enough. Scrape ALL detritus off the poly box, then scrub with the hypochlorite. Do not rinse it off as the trace of fluid remains active until it dries in the air and the extra time allows it to penetrate all the nooks and crannies....which you often don't see in poly between the beads.. the last ones at night we just weigh down with stuff set on top and after scrubbing leave them to soak in it overnight.

It is more efficient than scorching of wood.......although it is not suitable for smaller beekeepers due to cost of equipment etc (but associations could go down the route) hot wax dipping is how we sterilise wood now., 10 min at 160C both sterilises against both foulbroods 100% effectively and preserves the wood for up to 20 years.

Thinnish plywood warps in 160C wax however.....so they must still be scorched or soda boiled.
 

Latest posts

Top