BeeCleanTM

Beekeepers' Wax and Propolis Remover

Finally, a cost effective way of cleaning and sterilising old plastic frames!

With BeeClean, you can easily clean and sterilise all your used hiveware.  Including plastic frames, queen excluders, hive mats, bases, supers, queen cell cups and queen cages.  Also great for cleaning smokers, hive tools and sticky floors. 

It is good practice to clean and sterilise beekeeping equipment.  Often given low priority by beekeepers, hive hygene is a vital task.  Maintaining, cleaning and sterilising hiveware with BeeClean promotes good bee health and at the same time recycles equipment.  Refurbishing used gear is a massive cost saving to the beekeeper and the environment.

You will need to have appropriate protective clothing, including eye protection and strong waterproof gloves. Please read safety instruction on the label.  Do not use BeeClean on fabric or leather.

Important note:  Where an AFB infected hive has been discovered it must be burnt.  BeeClean is to be used as a preventative sterilisation method only and must not be relied upon to disinfect a known AFB infected hive.  

Patent Pending and BeeClean trademark is owned by Ed Bee Limited


When should you clean and sterilise your beekeeping equipment?

Even apparently healthy colonies can harbour organisms that cause disease. Harmful microbes can exist in a colony’s combs for long periods of time, remaining capable of developing disease.  It is therefore important to maintain good standards of hygiene at all times, even when pathogens are not obviously present in an apiary.  Clean, sterile and rewax old brood combs on a regular basis and burn or render old comb.

When you bring deadouts it in from the field before reuse (all hives showing signs of AFB must be burnt);

When your colonies have experienced infection or infestation;

Before using/reusing any second hand items;

When culling old dark brood frames;

When reusing equipment such as used stored queen excluders, inner covers and bases;

When regularly cleaning hive tools and smokers;

When reusing queen rearing equipment.

 

How does BeeClean work?

BeeClean is a concentrate containing sodium hydroxide and plant based surfactants.  The exact recipe is a trade secret.  It is recommended that items to be cleaned are dipped in a solution of 1 part BeeClean to 10 parts water and heated to 75 degrees Celcius. Wax is converted to soap via a chemical reaction called sponification.  Plant based surficants ensure that disolved wax and propolis does not adhere to the cleaned surface.  Once well rinsed with fresh water, cleaned items are ready for reuse.  BeeClean is MPI cerified C32 foodgrade.    


Best methods of cleaning with BeeClean?

BeeClean is intended for use by the hobbyist and large commercial beekeepers alike.


Small scale set up:


Heat stainless steel pot of 1:10 BeeClean  solution.  Add items and stir for over a minute until clean.  Use sieve to retrive items and rinse under tap.  Tip: do not use aluminium pots.  They will pit.


Large Quantities of Plastic frames:  Cut the top out of a 44 gallan steel drum,  mount two scrubbing brushes inside top of drum and install an elbow fitting and valve to the ¾ inch bund hole at the base of the drum for drainage.  Once you have your drum assembled, fill the drum 2/3 full with water , add 10 litres of BeeClean and heat  to 75 degrees Celcius with a 4 ring gas burner.  To stabilise heat at 75 deg C simply turn off two to three burner rings until temperature has stabilised.  Tip: A temperature strip can be stuck onto the side of the drum or a simple thermometer can be used.  Temperature must be above 72 degrees C to work propertly and do not exceed 80 Deg C or frames will distort.  Tip: use 3 metal hive lids around the base to eliminate wind.  Place upto 30 scraped frames end on into the drum.  Scrub through opposing brushes, tap clean frame on inside of drum to remove excess solution, and then rinse with fresh water.  Tap frame again to remove excess water then rewax and redeploy frames.  A cleaning rate of up to 100 frames per hour can be achieved.

Queen Excluders (both wooden rim and fully plastic):  Same setup as above but scrubbing not required.  Can process 50 at a time.

Supers and brood boxes:  Fully immerse box in solution.  Tip: box can be held under by wedging a frame between box and scrubbing brush mount.  

Floors gummed with propolis and wax:  Pour hot BeeClean solution on floor and scrub with broom.  Wash down floor with fresh water.

How do I dispose of used BeeClean solution?

BeeClean is generally safe to dispose of to public sewer.  Check local regulations.  For larger quantities, the recommended method is to netralise the alkaline solution with acid before disposing of.