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What disinfectant should I use?

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kazmcc 

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We were given our bee keeping suits yesterday :) We are using washing up gloves on our hands. Problem is I think they are intended to be reused. What should I do? Should I bring them home and wash in normal disinfectant before each visit? They are being stored in the school boiler room during the holidays, but will be stored in the Gardening Club shed until bee shed has been delivered yet. What issues could reusing the gloves cause and how can I avoid them?

Also, how should I store the bee suits? Should I store in a plastic bag? How often should they be washed how do you wash them?
 

thedeaddiplomat 

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Many people use washing soda for gloves and suits (pretty good at removing propolis). I wash my suit about every other time I check the bees - the purists might argue that this is only half as often as I should.
 

Rosti 

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Warm caustic soda solution, wear them and 'wash your hands' with them on. Watch out for propolis because this will 'protect' and bugs / viruses etc within the body of or under the propolis. The quickest way to get rid of propolis is not caustic but by using a mild organic solvent like wd-40 (acts on the resin component), turps if you need stronger stuff, then hit it with the caustic. If you are feeling particularly diligent spray after rinsing with a propriatory methanol gel /rinse.

Edit add: eye protection when handling strong alkali's
 

Black Comb 

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For the gloves add one teaspoonful of WASHING soda + a few drops of detergent to some hot water and wash as Rosti says. (You can buy washing soda at Asda)

The suit, they tell you on courses to wash after every apiary visit but that may be over the top. Just put it in washing machine (separate the hood) and normal powder with half a teaspoonful of washing soda.

As well as keeping me cooler on hot days this is why I prefer my polycotton suit as it washes "better" and dries quicker than the cotton one.
 

kazmcc 

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Thanks everyone, I think I will go with PeterS as I am on a tight budget and there is no money left in the projects pot.

How to store the suits? Would it be better to store them in a bin bag whil;e they are in the boiler room?
 

louiseww 

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If my jacket is very stained I soak in a dilute bleach solution before putting it in the washing machine (minus the hood of course!)
Always wear a hat under the hood to stop it from getting stained with sweat as you can't wash it very often.
 

Erichalfbee 

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My suit hangs in the utility room. It and gloves are washed after ever weekly check.
I have a jacket that I use for minor stuff like topping up feeders and diddling about with the wasp traps..... (I didn't used to bother as my bees were OK but OH got stung helping me one evening so I decided to half-suit) which gets washed every second full suit wash. A bit OCD perhaps.
I use soap with no perfume, separate the hood and put it in a washing bag, (like a net pillow slip).

PS I have industrial quantities of Virkon ( potassium peroxymonosulphate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, sulphamic acid) which I liberated from my surgery when I retired. I use it for chicken stuff. Is it any good for bee stuff?
 
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kazmcc 

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Thanks for the advice, I think I will wash them after every inspection, but if we are just feeding or not being intrusive then I will leave it. If I put the veils in a pillowcase, will that keep them safe? And I take it you don't wash the hoods as often.

I think I will keep them hung up or folded in clean big bags, untied so the air can circulate. As we will eventually have the children nearby, I think it is best to be safe.

The gloves will get a wash every time and be inspected for rips.

Thanks again guys and gals :)
 

victor meldrew 

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Warm caustic soda solution, wear them and 'wash your hands' with them on. Watch out for propolis because this will 'protect' and bugs / viruses etc within the body of or under the propolis. The quickest way to get rid of propolis is not caustic but by using a mild organic solvent like wd-40 (acts on the resin component), turps if you need stronger stuff, then hit it with the caustic. If you are feeling particularly diligent spray after rinsing with a propriatory methanol gel /rinse.

Edit add: eye protection when handling strong alkali's
I would ignore the advice to use caustic soda :smash:.
I'm sure Rosti means Washing soda :sifone:.

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Rosti 

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If I put the veils in a pillowcase, will that keep them safe?
I use a washable suit protector, looks like a zip up string vest bag, works a treat - when under wifely supervision of course.
 
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If the suits are in plastic - if they are even slightly damp or sweaty, you might get mildew - so be sure they are bone dry if storing this way. You could always get some disposable gloves to wear over the washing up gloves, and throw them away after each use.
 

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I have industrial quantities of Virkon ( potassium peroxymonosulphate, sodium dodecylbenzenesulfonate, sulphamic acid) which I liberated from my surgery when I retired. I use it for chicken stuff. Is it any good for bee stuff?
Virkon is an effective antiviral, used in many research laboratories. It is known to be effective against the human-infecting relatives of many bee viruses. For example, it inactivates poliovirus which is a distant relative of deformed wing virus.

--
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Black Comb 

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Virkon is used to clean polyhives.

I've never been advised to use it for wooden hives.

Of course for serious diseases (e.g AFB or EFB) the advice may be different.
 

kazmcc 

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Virkon is used to clean polyhives
You mean Poly Hives, as in the person on here? Why do you have to bath him in Virkon? ;) only kidding, thanks for the advice.
 

Rosti 

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Virkon is an effective antiviral, used in many research laboratories. It is known to be effective against the human-infecting relatives of many bee viruses. For example, it inactivates poliovirus which is a distant relative of deformed wing virus.

--
fatshark
Not sure; does not feel like evry day use, too strong an oxiding agent for a low density wood like cedar I think. the dodec is your detergent element and it's only middling at best, the pomsulphate is a fairly viscious oxidising agent and coupled with the sulphamic will probably make your hives look like reclaimed pine doors with time.

Designer distressed hives, bung 'em on ebay for £400, you'll sell them no doubt!
 

fatshark 

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Not sure; does not feel like evry day use, too strong an oxiding agent for a low density wood like cedar I think. the dodec is your detergent element and it's only middling at best, the pomsulphate is a fairly viscious oxidising agent and coupled with the sulphamic will probably make your hives look like reclaimed pine doors with time.

Designer distressed hives, bung 'em on ebay for £400, you'll sell them no doubt!
I was commenting on efficacy as an antiviral at which it is very good ... I have no idea what it would do to a cedar or poly hive. I do use it everyday, on stainless steel and composite (Trespa) surfaces in my lab ...

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Doesn't the smell of the soap etc. annoy the bees?
 

kazmcc 

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Doesn't the smell of the soap etc. annoy the bees?
Do you know, I was wondering the same thing....I mean, I can certainly make sure the gloves are clean, but what do i use that won't get them all buzzy?
 

Black Comb 

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You've really no option other than use washing soda.
It's the only thing that removes propolis.
 

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