2020 Hive Irradiation

For the 13th consecutive year, Mark Antunes is organizing the PSBA and Mid-Atlantic Regional Hive Irradiation Event to help beekeepers have greater success.  This program is designed kill American Foul Brood and other honey bee pathogens in hive equipment and honey comb.  We will deliver the hive equipment on the morning of March 16th, 2020 to Sterigenics Inc. in Salem, NJ.

Please note: things have changed this year because Sterigenics will no long allow us to stack and wrap pallets in their parking lot.  This must be completed in advance at the drop-off site. 

Anyone interested in taking part in the program must read and view all of the information about the program at https://www.montcopabees.org/Irradiation 

WANTED: BCBA is looking for someone to volunteer a UTILITY TRAILER. Drop gates on trailers will not work because the forklift needs to get up to the deck of the trailer to lift out the pallets.  Swing gate trailers or trailers with gates that can you can remove must be used to haul the equipment. Please email info@bucksbeekeepers.com if you are willing to let us utilize your trailer. 


  • Members of BCBA are eligible to participate in the Hive Irradiation
  • Members with dead out hives, purchased used equipment, and equipment suspected or known to be contaminated should participate


  • Drop-off equipment: Saturday, March 14, 2020
    • 9 am - 11 am
  • Irradiation taking place: Monday, March 16, 2020
  • Pick up your equipment at the same location about 10 days later (estimate ~March 27) Details will be communicated by ~March 25. 


  • Dublin Agway (rear parking lot) W 10, PA-313, Dublin, PA 18917
  • BCBA is offering this centralized pick-up location to be staffed by volunteers


  • Contact Kate Steck by email if you have any questions: info@bucksbeekeepers.com


  • Estimated cost is $4-6 per box, depending on the number of participants/equipment
  • Participants are also expected to make a contribution for gas to the driver and cost of trailer (if applicable)
  • Bring cash or check

Equipment Accepted

  • We take all size boxes, frames, bottom boards, inner covers and queen excluders
  • Frames with filled comb are welcomed
  • Each box or piece of equipment must be labelled with your name and phone number
  • If your boxes have comb filled with honey or pollen you must wrap each box in heavy duty plastic (4 mil contractor bags or equivalent…heavier is better).  Wrap the boxes like you would a holiday present.
  • Large plastic garbage bags and duct tape are recommended for wrapping and labeling (see example picture below).  If you have any questions, please go to https://www.montcopabees.org/services-resources/irradiation/

Sign Me Up!

  • Anyone interested in taking part in the program must read and view all of the information about the program at https://www.montcopabees.org/Irradiation 
  • Once you have determined you will be participating, please fill out the below form:

The hive irradiation program will safely kill any disease or harmful bacteria in your hives that could pose a health risk to new bees you put into your dead out equipment.  Hive pests such as varroa and small hive beetle can carry pathogens that threaten your hive and bee yard.  It is a great opportunity to sterilize used equipment and dead out hives, putting them safely back into your operation.  We are fortunate this is offered less than two hours away from Bucks County. Beekeepers have traveled from OH, PA, NJ, NY, DE and MA to participant is this special event.

Special thanks to our volunteers who make this possible for members!
Sterilizing equipment is cheap health insurance when you are putting a new package of bees into a dead out hive or pre-owned equipment.  ALL hive components can be sterilized using gamma irradiation – boxes, frames, comb and honey.  That is certainly cheaper than the cost of new boxes, frames, and foundation plus the time, energy, and food resource bees need to build comb. Please feel free to pass this on to others.