# Thread: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

1. ## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

http://www.bushfarms.com/images/RosinWaxAsPropolis.jpg

I just wore regular top grain leather gloves. They get pretty messy, but they worked. I started out with the dishwashing rubber gloves, but they get so sweaty. But they work too. The stuff gets sucked up into the boxes as they cool. No problem with fingerprints.

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

How to you fish them out of the wax when they're done cooking?

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Ben, welding gloves work fine.

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Wait, I get it . The boxes float once you take the weight off, so you're NOT submerging hands in the wax. Jeez, and tomorrow's Monday .

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

For an inexpensive tank (like one box at a time), any reason I couldn't cut down a 55-gal steel drum?

6. ## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Yes... I stack the boxes up above the wax, put the lid (that fits my tank) on top of that and some bricks on top of that. When you take the weight off, they float, as you say.

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Originally Posted by t0k
145 C is 293 F
155 C is 311 F

Flash point of parrafin is around (over mostly) 200 C - 392 F it depends on which parrafin you use

Just try getting it to 300 F and i think you'll have no problem
I had obviously been breathing in too many fumes from my wax vat before my earlier response - please excuse the senior moment confusing degrees C with degrees F... You are frying at as higher temperature than me, not lower.

I have not tried as hot as 300 F before (been staying around 250F) but I will try it this hot next time. How long do you fry for at this temperature?

I have been doing 8 minutes at 250 F for fresh wood and 12 minutes at 250 F for weathered/aged wood. Do I underastand that at 300 degrees F you are frying new wood for 3-5 minutes? Have you ever fried weathered wood and for how long?

-fafrd
Last edited by fafrd; 05-29-2010 at 03:48 PM. Reason: fixed typos

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Originally Posted by rainesridgefarm
I do not think the rosin does anything in this application but I used it because of the suggestions from Mann Lake. As I added more wax and it diluted down it seemed to improve the quality of the final product.

I also noticed some sludge at the bottom at all temp ranges. Just dipping in wax will give you a great preserved box that you will not have to worry about for decades. By then you will not care.

happy dipping
Thanks rainesridgefarm - sounds like your experience has been pretty similar to mine. I'm going to stick at about half of the concentration Mann-Lake recommends for now (12.5% rather than 25%) - at this concentration the gum rosin adds a bit of light brown color and a nice smell to the finished product without leaving it tea-colored and with lots of residue gummed up on the outside.

Don't know why others do not have a similar sludge on the bottom - could be differences in the wax (I am using high melt-point 'hurricane' paraffin) or more likely a difference in the gum rosin.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with my mixture and process noe, though I am going to experiement with even higher temperatures to see what impact that has (among other things, hgher temperatures = shorter frying time, so that is attractive).

-fafrd

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat
How is everyone handling the boxes... how to you hook them out of the parrafin/rosin fryer? Does handling them hot, say with welding gloves or somesuch, leave marks?
I have been using leather work gloves. After removing the weight or whatever is holding the boxes down, they float up enough to grab. For lids and things that are laying flat with the surface, I have a 1x4 that I push down to the bottom of the box and gently pry up with until the edge of the lid is 6 inches above the surface (at 45 degrees or so) at which point I grab it with the glove and lift out of the boiling paraffin.

Touching them with gloves leaves no mark - the wax on the outside is liquid and after propping the boxes or lids on the outer rim of the vat for a few minutes, all of the liquid wax is sucked into the wood.

-fafrd

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Originally Posted by Ben Brewcat
For an inexpensive tank (like one box at a time), any reason I couldn't cut down a 55-gal steel drum?
You'll save on the vat but will end up spending a lot more on the wax and gum rosin.

I spent more on wax and gum rosin to fill my vat than to have a metal shop construct the vat for me.

My vat is 24" long X 20" wide X 18" tall out of 1/16" steel and I paid about \$125 for it. I bought 165 lbs of paraffin and 55 lbs of gum rosin for more than three time that amount (with shipping).

I suspect that in a circular vat, you are going to need to waste a great deal more wax to get the liquid depth that you want, and it also may be less convenient to support.

Just my \$0.02 worth...

-fafrd

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Just a quick update for those following this thread.

I did more dipping today and the mixture I am using is 1.5lbs of gum rosin to 11 lbs of paraffin (which amount to about 12% concentration).

Versus the 8% concentration I was using earlier, this results in a finish which is noticably darker but not objectionably so. Rather than giving the 'coffee and cream' color I was getting at 25%, or the 'natural white' color I was getting at 8%, this concentration gives a very light brown/tan color similar to varnish. Texture is also very good with no waxy feel and a smooth, hard (and waterproof ) finish.

I tried to do my dipping today at 300 degrees F but on the propane camp stove I am using as a heat source and with the wind that was bowing today, it was taking too long to heat up to that temperature and so I started dipping at 275 degrees F. The rosin was added art 275 degrees F and more/all of the gum rosin seems to have dissolved into the molten wax mixtue at that higher temperature. I still have a gummy sludge of dark brown molten rosin at the bottom of the vat, but it appears not to have gotton any worse even after doubling the total quantity of rosin in the mixture (also adding a corresponding amount of additional paraffin).

I'm very happy with my pocess now and plan to stick to a 12% concentration of gum rosin and dipping for 5 minutes at 275-300 degrees F from here on out. The end result is beautiful and very weatherproof.

-fafrd

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Hi everyone,

This thread has been very helpful as I want to dip my hives and haven't done anything like this before. But I'm not sure how much wax to get.

I'm having a custom metal tank made for dipping -- a family member owns a metal shop. The tank is long instead of tall in order to accommodate TBH's -- 50"l x24"w x20"h.

I only intend to fill it to 9"h. The rest is displacement/splash/boil over guard.

I'm not volume dipping.

So maybe a 150lbs wax and 50lbs rosin. Does this seem right?

Cheers,
Danielle

13. ## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

If the volume of the tank is about 200 pints, you'll need about 200 pounds of stuff to fill it. Wax is a little less than a pound to a pint. Rosin might be a bit less than that, I'm guessing. But it's a good ballpark figure.

You're talking about 50" x 24" by 20" that's a huge tank. That's 24,000 cubic inches. that will take about 800 pounds of wax to fill.

Your top bar hive might be that size but you only need to fit haf of it in the tank. What if you build the tank 25" tall by 20" by 24" in width and length and put half of the top bar hive in from the top with the other half sticking out the top. boil for ten minutes and flip it over. Now you only need 400 pounds of wax...

Another option would be to build the tank 50" x 24" by 6" and only fill it 2" deep. Then rotate the box in the wax one side at a time (boiling each side for ten minutes), and then stand it on end to get the ends. That would only take 83 pounds of wax and five times as long to dip it.

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## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

Michael,

I like your third option the best. It's the most flexible tank size, and the cheapest cost for wax. That's exactly what I'll do.

Thank you very much for the reply!

~Danielle

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16. ## Re: Minimum amout of rosin for wax-dipping hives?

I wear regular buckskin or doeskin leather gloves. This is just the finger but you can see the leather and the bees gathering the beeswax/rosin mixture.

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