If you’re looking for the easiest hacks for storing beekeeping equipment until you need it, you’ve came to the right place.
Because beekeeping equipment is expensive! The last thing you need is to find out your equipment has been ruined while in (what you thought was) a safe storage space.
You’re not alone. Many beekeepers have made mistakes with storing their precious beekeeping equipment. And I am very proud to be sharing my own mistakes and what I’ve learned about beekeeping storage with you right here.
In this post, I will:
- Present my best hacks for storing beekeeping equipment.
- Share products and tips for cleaning bee equipment after use
- Uncover some beekeeping equipment storage issues you might face.
Because beekeeping equipment is an expensive investment that you’ll want to keep usable for years to come. This is the information you need to be able to keep your beekeeping equipment just like new.
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Hive Cleaning and Sterilization
The absolute best way to clean beekeeping equipment is by letting bees clean frames and other equipment. But that can be tricky if your bees are gone. You’ll need to put your equipment in storage but how do you clean it up first?
If you lost a hive to wax moths, you can give the equipment to your chickens. Just place the equipment around the chicken yard. The chickens will take care of the larvae as best they can.
For more info on cleaning up after wax moths, go here.
Then, I take my hive tool and clean up as much as I can with that. Your hive tool is the best tool – I use mine for EVERYTHING.
Finally, I recommend setting up the hive in storage just like you would normally set it up outside. I’ll go more into this in a little bit. But first, I want to talk about cleaning your beekeeping clothes.
Cleaning Your Beekeeping Clothes
As a beekeeper, you really need to have a suit to protect you. At least a head piece but you really need to be protecting your entire body.
Most of these beekeeping suits can simply be thrown in the washing machine. I remove the hat part from my suit and wash it in a different way.
I hand wash my hat and veil. I would hate the netting part of my veil to get caught in the dryer, so I play it safe. After washing it in my bath tub with laundry soap, I just hang it up to dry.
You can also air dry the suit if you want to. When the suit is nice and clean and dry, put it in a safe place under shelter. All your equipment needs to be protected by shelter. Let’s talk about that next.
Protect Equipment by Shelter
A good shelter can be anything functional that keeps moisture out. It can be an extra large tote. It can be a barn. It can be your basement.
But it needs to be FUNCTIONAL. You don’t want your equipment getting wet and moldy all winter because you didn’t have it in a dry enough place. This is an important for the longevity of your equipment.
Also, you need to make sure you protect your equipment from rodents that might tear it apart. I’ll go into this next.
Make the most out of your space and sanity with proper storage of your beekeeping equipment. This is very easy to do by simply stacking your hives just how you would normally stack them out in the bee yard.
The main reason I recommend this is for rodent and moisture control. This is just an easy way to keep those boards, feeders, covers, and frames safe and intact for when you need them. It’s always nice to have a complete hive ready to go in case you are blessed with a swarm.
You can also maybe fit the rest of your equipment in a tool box or even in the hive box itself. Or you could hang it. Let’s talk about that.
Hanging tools is a really great way to keep your equipment safe if you don’t have a lot of room in your boxes. You can use peg boards, nails and other types of hooks to hang up frames, tools, your suit, etc.
It’s so important you keep this stuff off the open ground. Because depending on where this shelter is, you’re going to have rodents and insects that will smell sweet honey and bee on your equipment. It’s really important to take control of this fact.
Keeping Insects & Rodents Away
As far as insects go, I have a post about killing wax moth larvae that will hatch while in storage. You don’t want this problem in equipment you will use again, so follow the steps to take care of that.
In that post, I talk about the use of different products you can put into storage to control insects, such as wax moths.
But what about those rodents? They are a pain in every way possible. But they can easily be controlled if you just stay on it.
The stacking method I discussed above is the best way to keep mice out of the inside of the hives. If you want them out of your storage space indefinitely, check out this post I wrote about getting rid of the house mouse:
Protect Your Investment
Your beekeeping hobby, complete with equipment, is an investment. An expensive one.
With that said, I know you are like me and want to keep your equipment safe, clean and ready to use. I hope you got a lot of great ideas here. Please comment below with any questions you might have.