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Thread: an odd question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Murfreesboro, TN
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    Default an odd question

    I was wondering if anyone knew if copper affects Bees. I was looking to do a project and it calls for using copper metal and I did try and look it up on google and couldn't find anything. The metal will be used as a heat conductor for wax and I didn't know if it would contaminate wax. I figured since aluminum and steel has been used for this too then the contamination level would be the same if any at all, but was going to make sure that copper didn't hold some sort of inhibitor or something that would affect the bees. If no one knows then i guess i will be the first to find out.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012
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    Moyock, NC, USA
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    Default Re: an odd question

    Hey Naymond,
    I would check more on that. Copper is what outdoor treated wood has in it presently, and it repels bugs.
    Another point would be copper pots and pans...Most of them are lined with tin or some other metal on the inside of the container where the food makes contact.
    Copper tarnishes and therefore will react similarly to certain foods depending on the foods' content. (acidic, minerals, etc..)

  3. #3
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    Default Re: an odd question

    That's what I though too. I was just checking to make sure there wasn't anything i was missing. Would love to use copper for a heat conductor but if it's going to leave a trace when heated then I didn't want to chance it...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    Strafford, NH, USA
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    Default Re: an odd question

    Copper is also used in boat bottom paint to keep stuff from growing on the boat.

  5. #5
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Santa Rosa County, Florida
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    423

    Default Re: an odd question

    On the plus side,both Kelley and Dadant sold a pinched copper tube ,with wooden handle for applying melted wax to foundation strips.For all I know they may still sell these.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Starkville, MS
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    300

    Default Re: an odd question

    I use copper when making homebrew, it is the best, don't see why it would affect the bees.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Location
    Warrior, Alabama
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    1,073

    Default Re: an odd question

    Copper in metal form is very different from copper metal 'salts' is the old term.
    Hives have copper metal tops. No Problem.
    Copper pennys don't hurt you.
    Copper that has been dissolved by acid is copper sulfate(pretty blue color), copper nitrate, etc are copper salts.
    Copper salts are very different and not heathy.
    If it is not going to be super high heat it will probably be alright.

    Just keep it clean. Clean off any 'green' before use.
    Brasso clean copper well. Just rinse in widow cleaner. Then rinse well in warm water.

    Copper is the metal of choice in the brewing industry. That is heated to a cooking heat.
    Candy cooking pot of choice is heavy(thick) copper.
    Heating honey in copper - I have heard some worry about it darking the honey.
    Wax, I would test a small batch. Melt a batch in glass and one in the copper.
    Old Guy in Alabama

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    Santa Monica, CA, USA
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    Default Re: an odd question

    As jrbbees properly pointed out, copper salts are different from copper-metal. Technically, "salts" (some) made copper water-soluble. Once it is in water - it is toxic at high concentration (visible bluish or greenish color). If copper exposed to water and elements, it will slow turns into "salt". Copper-metal is not toxic - it is used for water pipes in households (be aware of soldering!). If you plan to use metal-copper with wax, I do not see much problem, since wax does not contain water and thus, copper will not react... If wax contains sulfur - it will react with copper creating black residue, CuS. I really do not know why copper is so popular in US. In my opinion,from health prospective, copper is not a really good choice. For water, iron pipes are much healthier. For food industry - stainless steel should be a proper choice. I have no idea what the rationale is to use Cu in brewing industry? Sergey

  9. #9
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    Myrtle Beach, SC, USA
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    Default Re: an odd question

    Copper is also used in the pipes that supply our water.
    https://www.facebook.com/stevesbees99
    Please visit my page, Thanks

  10. #10
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    Jul 2011
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    Evansville, IN
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    Default Re: an odd question

    Once you've exposed that copper to wax, it's unlikley to corrode unless you leave it outside on the ground over winter. Not a big deal. Bees don't eat wax anyway, so exposure to any copper ions transferred to the wax isn't an issue.

    Copper is used for piping because it's permanent unless the water pH is below 7 (very unlikely in most places). Black iron corrodes constantly.

    Copper is required in brewing due to the copper ions needed by the yeast. Exposure of the wort to clean copper (boiler, chiller, etc) is all that's required. Must, of course, be clean, but it's unlikely that you would get enough copper into the beer to be a problem. Nasty, corroded, dirty pots won't make good beer anyway.

    Peter

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    Murfreesboro, TN
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    Default Re: an odd question

    Awesome, thank you for the responses. I think for what I want to do then copper won't be a problem at all. I know that copper is by far the best for heat transfer. Thank everyone again the responses.

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