How to sterilise your beehive

If you had a disease such as American Foulbrood or European Fouldbrood in your colony, you will need to sterilise your hive. It is also good practice to sterilise your beehive whenever you get a chance or if you are selling or purchasing a secondhand hive.

Sterilising your beehaus
Wood or plastic hives can be sterilised using common chemicals such as bleach, caustic soda or Virkon S. The only thing that chemicals cannot treat is wax and you would need to remove this before doing the sterilisation. We recommend that your read the office Defra advice leaflet here: https://secure.csl.gov.uk/beebase/pdfs/fbleaflet.pdf - page 34, under the head Chemical Sterilisation.

Frames and wax
You can sterilise wax by using gamma rays from a radioisotope of cobalt. As you probably won't have a gamma radiation machine to hand, it is recommended that your depose of the wax and old frames by burning them in a fire.

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Comments

Nick, 4 October 2019

Thank you warmly for your clear, easily-understandable advice. For a novice beekeeper like myself, despite the plethora of information available, it is rare to find good quality pragmatic advice that is pitched at the right level - in my case, a low level and simple ! I live in Melbourne now, so have to translate June summer to June winter! but of course the advice is very pertinent and practicable - in fact I am going to insect my bees today on a fine sunny Spring day - after getting prepared as suggested - so am excited and also worried about doing the right things! will check your website your items to buy - but thank you again - very much appreciated - suggest you write a book in the same style. best regards NIck

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