When it comes to the cleaning and disinfecting of our hives, we need to be careful about all sort of things. This guide will help you perform the task in question, safe and efficient.
Q: How often should it be performed?
A: Once a year for maintenance, unless there is any illness of infection then it should be done as soon as possible.
Q: What do we do with the bees while we clean the hive?
A: We need to transfer the population to another hive.
Q: Were can we buy ClO2 from?
A: You can buy ClO2 from an online store like Amazon, or order it at your local pharmacy. In US you can find it in Home Depot, or Walmart as well.
- Before we start cleaning the hive, we need to remove any metallic parts, like metal connectors, from the hive in order to prevent corrosion.
- We start by removing wax and propolis from the inner part of the five.
- We mix 120 liters of boiling hot water (close to 100oC/212oF), 1 liter of chlorine & 2 kilos of potassium hydroxide (KOH). Alternatively, you can use a special disinfectant chemical, Chlorine Dioxide (ClO2), which is used to disinfect hospitals and restaurants.
- We submerge all the hive parts inside the water solution and wait until all the wax and propolis are melted off the hive.
- We remove the hive from the water solution and we thoroughly wash it with pressure, using fresh hot water and soap, until there is no wax, propolis, chlorine or potassium hydroxide residue.
- We rinse carefully with fresh water in order to remove any chlorine residue.
- We let it air dry for a day.
- Finally, we reassemble it and it is ready to be used again.
The cleansing and disinfection of the hives is a task that has to be performed on a regular bases, in order to assure the health of the swarm and the quality of the product.
The use of ClO2 is recommenced for better results, since it will remove any odor from the hive and it is odorless by itself.