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Effective ways to sanitize used equipment?


My dad was a beekeeper when I was young, he still has a good amount of equipment left to get me started if I can use or want to use it. What are concerns for transferring pests/diseases? To my knowledge or his, his hives never had any diseases or pests. is there a time frame where this would even be an issue? They have been in storage in the garage for nearly 30 years. Are there major increases in technology/construction that would make newer products(smokers, hive tools, etc) better then a 30 year old item? Everything looks nearly identical to the new stuff…to a layman. Using his equipment could potentially save me like $150-200, and it would have some sentimental value as well.


Hi Adam,
Sounds like you have the ideal situation, your equipment is outside of the range for disease. Re-painting would have to be a must, just be careful of old lead paint. American Foulbrood spores can remain viable for up to 20 years, that is the main concern, apart from that you are good to go. As for technology advancements, you have come to the right place. I think the Flow Hive is the only advancement for a hundred years. As for your other bits n pieces, the bellows on your smoker might be a little worn and cracked, I think you can get replacement bellows if you would like use the family heirloom.


Sounds good, that’s great news. I was thinking about the bellows maybe needing to be replaced, I still have to dig them out of storage and see what I am working with. Thanks.


Hi @adagna,
It wouldn’t hurt to boil the tools (not the smoker!) and the scorch the frames and hives just to be sure thatany things is boiled/burnt off.