Some tips for buying used beekeeping equipment are to avoid items that may be difficult to clean, make sure second-hand clothing is clean and make sure all tools do not have any pollen or wax residue on it, according to BuzzAboutBees.net. When buying used beehives, check that all the parts that belong with the hive are complete and that they fit. If purchasing used bees, have a bee inspector check that they are free of disease.
It is safer to buy some items new, such as brushes and medications. Items such as frames can be difficult to clean and may harbor viruses and bacteria when buying them used. After buying used products, clean and sterilize them thoroughly. Boiling small metal items in hot water can sterilize them and using a blow torch on larger items can sanitize it, but be careful not to damage the items. Freezing items at temperatures as low as minus 4 degrees Fahrenheit for two days can also help disinfect them.
To remove residue and propolis from previously used beekeeping equipment, mix washing soda and water and detergent, and use it to clean the items. Wear protective outerwear when using this method to clean the beekeeping items.