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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A buddy of mine I had not seen in a while found out that I was keeping bee's and offered up some of his grandfather's equipment that he had in storage. I went over and checked it out this past weekend; 15 hive bodies, 17 mediums, 15 bottom boards and 7 tops. Most of the items have "Arnold" burned into the wood and appear to be in real good shape. He had them stored in a bulk barn for many years and wrapped in thick plastic.

He gave me everything that was there. What steps can I take to use this equipment, if any?

Thanks!
 

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There is a chance of getting AFB from used equip.
There is also a chance you will be struck by lightening while installing the bees. I think under the conditions you received the hives, the odds are about equal. I would clean them with a strong hose on a sunny day and use them.
 

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A lye water bath use to be the classic means of sanitizing old equipment. This is messy but might be good insurance

As usual it appears Iddee and my own risk analysis is on the same page.
 

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You could always go the safest route, and have Don Hopkins or whoever is your local state inspector for that region take them to the central office and put them in the sterilyzation chamber.... That kills off anything that they could have. Costs a few bucks per item (like $1-3 per super I believe, but I am not 100% sure). It does take some time, but it is winter and you dont have anything except time....

http://www.ncbeekeepers.org/inspect.htm
 

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Jack, the state of NC obtained a radiation decontamination unit from NASA. Among the many things they use it for is used beekeeping woodenware. As stated, there is a charge of a buck or two for each box, and you may have to wait until they are running bee boxes, but the result cleans all afb spores and everything else known and leaves the wood totally sterile.
 

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We have a couple of places up here in Canada as well, one on the west coast called Iotron. The only downside I see with using it is that after the equipment is irradiated, how would you distinguish between a frame that had old scale in it and a frame that was newly infected with AFB? This would only apply if you were planning on using the comb, but if all you were going to use was the woodenware the above replies are good.

Perry
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Yes, I am only interested in using the boxes, bases and covers. I have already disposed of all the frames.

Thanks for all of the advice, these are in such good shape that I would hate not to put them to use. Not bad for some freebies!

Thanks Again!
 
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