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S/H hive cleaning

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Frenchie 

House Bee
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Normandie
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Hi, I'am new to bee keeping and have just joined my local bee-keeping group.I've just purchased a secondhand hive an plan to spend the winter cleaning/restoring it.I plan to clean the outside and then treat it,but not sure what to use?Also I believe it's not good to treat the interior so I plan to just clean,but once again not sure what to use?(possible sugar soap?).Thanks for any advice.
 

winmag270 

House Bee
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lichfield, staffs
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not saying anymore in case SWMBO reads this... ;o)
give the inside a stiff brushing to remove loose debris, then a go with a scraper to remove any wax / propolis that may be anywhere on the inside, then give the whole of the interior a go over with a blow torch
 

OXFORDBEE 

Field Bee
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Make sure the blow-torch gives a pukka hot flame and is not a weak flame... The wood should be a decent chestunt colour after blow-torching...
 

Dewin Dwl 

New Bee
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My way is perhaps a little excessive but I know I have no hidden-grot ready to harbour disease.

1. Dismantle the boxes: care pulling nails or drawing the wood over the nails.
2. Remove all old nails, frame rails etc.
3. Scrub & scrape all surfaces to remove loose paint or old-grubby-creosote, beeswax, propolis, moth-shucks, moulds etc - don't foget to clean the joints. (I use jeyes fluid, a very-stiff nylon scrubbing brush & elbow-grease. Then wash down all surfaces and nooks & crannies with fresh water.)
4. Leave to dry then look for splits and repair or fill them with waterproof glue.
5. Reassemble using decking screws for the main joints.
6. Paint outer surfaces and mating edges with creocote (~£6 for a gallon which does a lot of hive boxes). Inner surfaces need no treatment - let the bees decorate that bit.
7. Leave to air & weather for a week or two before use.

OTT maybe but the nasty tarry looking boxes I inherited all look quite pleasingly tidy & workmanlike.

Obviously finishing with creocote is not to everyone's taste (or smell!!) so that is your choice. Its just cheap, lasting, gets into the joints/gaps /splits and effective.
 

Frenchie 

House Bee
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Thanks for all that,not to sure about creocote as can't stand the smell and it does tend to linger.Anything else I can use? Thanks again.
 

Black Comb 

Queen Bee
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Standard advice is to flame inside and out but esp. the interior as Oxfordbee & Winmag say. Make sure you give all the joints plenty of heat.

Exterior only is treated with Cuprinol clear - preferrably the one with the green top.

Some also advise Cuprinol ducksback for outer but never used it myself.
 

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