Re: Paint/Stain What do you use/How long is it lasting?
I have not tried it but I have seen some suggestions on how to build a dipping tank that reduces the amount of wax required to fill it. Since you do not need wax in the center portion. place blocks bricks of fashion a box to fill that space reducing the volume that needs to be filled with wax. basically you are creating a channel that the hive box will fit down into and be submerged.
Now having said that I will also add that if wax seems expensive to fill a tank it will still be expensive when coating a hive. I have heard it works well but you want to use a paraffin wax or a mix of paraffin and beeswax. I have also seen comments about sources for wax that are much lower price than would be typically found. I would have to go do some searching to find that information again if i was able to find it at all. I have seen several conversations on wax dipping of hives over the past couple of years though.
I will also add this which is something I have not seen anyone else comment on. With my experience of wood and wood stabilization. That means taking out the properties of wood that cause it to con tract and expand. Which is actually pretty extensive. I not only see reason for wax dipping to be a far better treatment for wood. But if done at high enough temperatures and with the addition of pressure I think you could come very close to removing the expansion and contraction from your hive bodies.
Lumber expands and contracts with moisture changes because the cells within that wood are still in tact. They act something like little bottles that will fill with water when they get wet. when they get wet they swell.
There are two ways to prevent this swelling. One prevent the cells from getting wet. or two rupture them basically breaking the bottle. Since the cells being intact also gives wood it's strength the second option is not a very desirable one. So taht leaves us with preventing the cell from gettign wet.
You can prevent a cell from getting wet by trying to make a water tight barrier between it and the water. that is what paint is basically doing. Or you can fill the space the water would go with something else. Like wax. Filling the cell with something else is called stabilization. It can actually be done with plastics with the correct equipment. I suspect it can be done with wax with far less precision.
In all done correctly I believe wax dipping would go far beyond simply painting to preserve equipment. But it woudl require it is done in a way that allows the wax to penetrate the cells of the wood.
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