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Author Topic: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment  (Read 309 times)

Offline Ben Framed

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Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« on: May 22, 2020, 08:31:51 am »
Does anyone here use Tim Rowes? method of steam cleaning equipment, (box interior, along with frames) ?

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2020, 06:53:30 am »
Why bother cleaning the inside of a box, need higher temp to kill AFB spores. frames are just put through boiling water where the wax is recovered at the end.
Steam cleaning would just blow wax everywhere.
Ask, why and what am I achieving? Or am I wasting time that I could be used to do other things that are more productive.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2020, 08:25:35 am »
Ben I think you will find it is not worth the bother for a hobbyist and commercial beeks wouldn't spend the time.  I think it is more for the in between as a way of rendering wax.
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Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2020, 09:54:37 am »
I did not word that correctly. My apologies. I should have ask if anyone uses Tim's method of wax melting and sterilizing  with steam . I will repost this interesting three minute video for the benefit of newer members and those who might not have seen it when I posted it before. 

« Last Edit: May 26, 2020, 11:16:42 pm by Ben Framed »

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #4 on: May 27, 2020, 04:06:28 am »
I tend to agree with Ben.  The problem with most of the "sterilization" I have heard about from beekeepers is to "light some newspaper" in the empty boxes and scorch the disease out.  That is told to me over and over.  This premise has it's fallacy in thinking the microorganisms will be all over the surface, and they'll be scorched.  But they'll be in crevices in the wood, held under a layer of cooler air held against the hive body, etc.

It doesn't work.  The amount of heat needed to destroy the spores, and other microorganisms would be 165F (74C) for a period of 20 minutes or more.  The problem with Tim Rowe's method is the outside of the hives will not be able to reach and keep that temperature.  The solution would be to put the boxes in an oven type enclosure, like an insulated box, then steamed for a very long time.

Commercial beeks are accomplishing this by "Hot Dipping" their bodies and parts in paraffin, held at a temperature of around 280F (138C) for 10 minutes.

I talked with our local inspector about the idea, in relation to AFB, and of course he couldn't give me any information.  All he would say is the bacteria (I guess he meant the spores) can stand some extremes, and he wouldn't do it.  Unless I can find some hard data that suggests baking the wood to a temperature the inner wood, in the center of the board thickness, could be kept at the critical temperature, I can't say this will take care of AFB.

The only evidence as to it's working is the boiling of the frames in lye water.  The beekeeper that told me he did it said, "Those frames come out so pretty!  Like they're brand new!"  Boiling the wood would raise the temperature of the wood in it's core to the critical temperature.  I don't know what the lye might do.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #5 on: May 27, 2020, 06:43:21 am »
Yes cooking frames in lye will clean them extremely well, bot does not sterilise them.
To kill AFB spores you can dip in wax at 150 C for 10 minutes, minimum.
Or if you really want to sterilise you take the hive, base, lid, frames, double wrap it in garbage bags and send them off to be irradiated.
Commercial BK's pack them on a pallet for shipping.
It costs about $10 per hive but it is a true sterilising of everything.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #6 on: May 27, 2020, 08:58:46 am »
It costs about $10 per hive but it is a true sterilising of everything.
We certainly wouldn't burn hives if it could be done for that price in this country.  Who is subsidizing this process?
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2020, 01:23:30 pm »
Phillip,
I built one of these steam wax melter.  I use propane to heat the water. Not very efficient. I will probably try to use wood the next time, it takes a lot of steam to melt all of the wax. It does work.
We used it at both BeeFest 2019 and 2020.
Jim Altmiller

Offline CapnChkn

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2020, 01:59:40 pm »
Wood in it's core wouldn't reach the 150C you are saying, but would achieve critical temperatures.  That's the point I'm making.  When you pull the parts from the wax, there would be residual heat that would then continue to cook the spores.

Given a certain amount of pressure, 5 or 6 lbs, the temperatures of the steam could be increased.  I don't have any math about it, but I have been watching the "Engles Coach Shop" channel on YouTube, where in this video he talks about Steam bending wood.

At the time point in this 20 minute video, he mentions using pressure to increase the heat of the steam.  The critical points are at 10:50, and 13:20.  Of course, you can't boil water hotter than 212F (100C) unless you increase the pressure, and he kind of gets it backwards, but I understood what he's saying...



Using Tim Rowe's method, the wax would be rendered, the chamber closed, and pressure allowed to increase to the 4 to 8 lbs needed to increase the heat of the steam.
===================================
All that being academic.  I don't see why there would be an advantage to a spore to tolerate temperatures greater than the usual living environment.  The bacteria isn't an Alien from some dystopian civilization in deep space, it's an opportunistic disease on Earth.  You and I wouldn't be able to tolerate temperatures higher than 140F degrees for any length of time, our proteins would coagulate like egg albumen in a frying pan.

Spores are meant to allow seeding after extremes, so they are tougher for whatever purpose, but not impervious.  It's been said it the spores can be destroyed at a temperature of 300F (150C) for 10 minutes.  If the temperatures can be held at a lower level for longer time, I can easily imagine it would have the same effect.
"Thinking is like sin, them that doesn't is scairt of it, and them that does gets to liking it so much they can't quit!"  -Josh Billings.

Offline Ben Framed

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2020, 02:12:57 pm »
Thanks Jim
« Last Edit: May 28, 2020, 11:39:19 am by Ben Framed »

Offline Oldbeavo

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2020, 07:09:24 pm »
Acebird
No subsidy, private company called Steritech.
www.steritech.com.au

Offline Acebird

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2020, 09:28:32 am »
Acebird
No subsidy, private company called Steritech.
www.steritech.com.au
Hard to do in this country with all the restrictions on radiation.  Most medical products are plastic based so ETO is primarily used in that industry.  Something has to subsidize sterilizing bee equipment because the process would eliminate the need.  Burning the hive accomplishes the same thing and the cost is on the individual beekeeper unless insurance is in the picture.  (We like to support Wall Street)
Brian Cardinal
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Offline van from Arkansas

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #12 on: May 28, 2020, 02:52:31 pm »
Yes cooking frames in lye will clean them extremely well, bot does not sterilise them.
To kill AFB spores you can dip in wax at 150 C for 10 minutes, minimum.
Or if you really want to sterilise you take the hive, base, lid, frames, double wrap it in garbage bags and send them off to be irradiated.
Commercial BK's pack them on a pallet for shipping.
It costs about $10 per hive but it is a true sterilising of everything.

Mr. Beavo, wish we had to opportunity to irradiate For $10 bucks a hive.  As Ace texted, we don?t have the facilities.  I really don?t have any need to sterilize bee equipment.  If my hives ever display AFB, incinerating would be accomplished without delay.  Folks in the US shy away from anything with the word radiation.  Medical imaging: The word nuclear magnetic radiation, NMR, had to be changed to nuclear magnetic imaging, NMI because folks were afraid of the word radiation, so hospitals changed the name or just say NMR while omitting the word radiation.  Early 2000 US had irradiated chicken, sterilized chicken, but folks would not buy, again fear of radiation.  There are reasons why folks fear radiation, but that is going beyond BeeMaster.

I think your lucky, Beavo, that you have an opportunity, a choice to sterilize hives.  Hopefully I will never need that luxury.

Cheers
I have been around bees a long time, since birth.  I am a hobbyist so my answers often reflect this fact.  I concentrate on genetics, raise my own queens by wet graft, nicot, with natural or II breeding.  I do not sell queens, I will give queens  for free but no shipping.

Offline Acebird

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Re: Steam Cleaning Your Woodware Equipment
« Reply #13 on: Today at 08:40:15 am »
[quote ]

I think your lucky, Beavo, that you have an opportunity, a choice to sterilize hives.
Cheers
[/quote]
Well maybe not.  The fact that there if the option means there is a need.  I would rather be in our situation without the need.
Brian Cardinal
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