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  1. #1

    Default Camcoat Clear Coating

    Anybody tried using this for top feeders? Does it work on wood?

    I have a few 10 frame top feeder with the plastic insert, but can't find nuc feeders for a price I like. So I build my own (wooden box) but then was stalled on how to seal it. I'm sure I could use a beeswax coating or something on the inside, but fear this would fail in cold weather, which of course is primarily when I'm feeding, and don't want liquid dripping on the bees.

    I picked up some Bondo fiberglass epoxy at Lowes for about $15/qt. It says it will work on wood, and by golly it did! But it still smells pretty strong. I haven't liquid tested it yet, as I still need to fix up a few of the corners where I messed up the fiberglass cloth, but I think it will work. It doesn't say it's food grade, but I did some reading on line and found several people who used it for fish tanks with no problems. My wife is an avid fish keeper, so I've learned they are pretty anal about what goes in their tanks, like most of us are about what goes in our hives!

    Anyway, I just stumbled across the Camcoat in Mann Lake's catalog, and then found several posts that folks had used it to patch up old rusty extractors and the like. But has anyone used it on wood? Heck if it has decent UV protection, I'd be inclined to use it to paint the exterior of my boxes instead of standard latex paint. It may be a little more expensive than the $5/gallon "oops" paint at Lowes, but if I never have to repaint, EVER, that might be worth something too!
    Last edited by Tom Brueggen; 01-09-2014 at 07:04 AM.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  2. #2

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    Back some years ago Kelley sold wooden hivetop feeders....unassembled. And when I bought a handful to try...they included a can of Camcote. It sealed them up just fine...for a few years...but over time the wood has 'moved' and now they leak. If I were doing it again today, I think I'd shop for some sort of low tox....maybe marine.....caulk....or wax.
    Dan www.boogerhillbee.com
    Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, the lesson afterwards

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    7,901

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    I saw a photo in a recent thread where a plastic tub was used to contain the syrup in a Miller style feeder (home-built). It was one where there was a single syrup basin and the bees used an access slot at one end of the feeder.

    I have not yet found that thread, but the photo in this thread is a somewhat similar concept: http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...-Beeman-Feeder

    I have 4 Miller feeders that I built following the Beesource plans, but if I built more I would find a suitable rectangular plastic tub and modify the plans to fit that tub. My current feeders were the recipients of plenty of Titebond, and then polyurethane, and have not leaked so far. But they may leak as they age - I don't know.

    Here is a thread on sealing feeders:
    http://www.beesource.com/forums/show...nt-Ideas/page2
    Posts #21 and #34 are particularly relevant.
    Last edited by Rader Sidetrack; 01-09-2014 at 07:54 AM.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Mukwonago, WI, USA
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    I build my own feeders out of wood and just seal the joints with clear silicone (food grade). I glue my joints then run a bead of silicone in the corners once it's assembled and the glue is dried.

    I test them by filling them with water prior to being put into service and seldom have leaks at joints. Most have been at knots in the wood- either way, they seal up nice with silicone once dry. Sugar syrup also seals any 'weeping' leaks within a day anyhow.

    I did make a batch of sealer with beeswax and linseed oil, but it didn't seal the leaks in knots and was a bit hard to work with. I'm sure it protects from rot just fine though.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    I tried silicone at first and it didn't hold. I don't know though, I suppose one failure shouldn't be enough to write it all off. My wife said I didn't let it cure long enough, despite letting it sit for a full 24 hours.

    I did look at that other thread about the FBM feeder with a small plastic container. Unless that container can exceed a quart jar, I don't see how that's any better than just using a drip jar in a migratory cover. I guess a reservoir up top would keep liquid off the cluster in winter. As it stands I'm just running a jar on the migratory cover and it's working well enough. I guess the girls don't need much as it takes them over a week to drain it.

    As for the feeder lids, I did make one modification. I'm a big proponent of the proper bee space, and it drives me nuts how migratory covers blatantly violate it. So on my migratory covers I just add a simple 1/4"x3/4" strip of wood around the edges. This makes it so bees can still get up and over the tops of the frames. More importantly, with a feeder lid, then they can access the entire lid, not just the space between frames. I also stapled a piece is 1/8" hardware cloth on the inside so the bees can't fly out when you swap a jar.
    After 20 months I'm over a 20 hives and growing. See my videos! http://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8fVrmUsyYlRuASdX6UQk1g

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    7,901

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    Perhaps I should have been more clear. The photo of the feeder that I was referring to above had a fairly large plastic tub similar in size to the reservoir in a wooden Miller feeder. The net effect is similar to this feeder partially made from plastic that MannLake offers:
    http://www.mannlakeltd.com/beekeepin...46.html#FD-110

    Of course, unless you can get a purpose-built plastic insert, you will need to find an appropriate tub locally and then build the feeder to accommodate that size tub.

    I should have bookmarked that thread when I first saw it. Now I can't find it.
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Debert, Nova Scotia, Canada
    Posts
    12

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    I have sealed my wooden tray top feeders with silcone and it has lasted quite well, but now some are starting to leak and so last year I tested them all before using them and re-siliconed a few. When I made a new batch of feeders I tried doing the seams with fibre glass resin and that experiment was not very successful. I recently spotted a product in a hardware store that I was not familiar with called "Liquid Rubber" that is billed as a "Flexible heavy duty waterproof coating". I thought I'd give it a try. Has anyone in bee land used it or something similar and do you have an opinion on the product?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    My extractor was new once but I have no idea when.
    It was a gift I received in 1978. Back into bees and now I found this stuff.
    My uncle might have told me about epoxy paint but I'm sure I would have went "too compllcated" and probably did. Since I'm getting back into bees I had to get some and just used it today on my old extractor that is galvanized and yes...a bit rusty in a few spots.

    The product is clear and does exactly what they say it will do. I'm pleased and saved a lot of money on replacing a 4-frame extractor. I'll try and practice posting pics of it. It was made in Wapakonka, Ohio.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Snhomish County, WA USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by philbee View Post
    I have sealed my wooden tray top feeders with silcone and it has lasted quite well, but now some are starting to leak and so last year I tested them all before using them and re-siliconed a few. When I made a new batch of feeders I tried doing the seams with fibre glass resin and that experiment was not very successful. I recently spotted a product in a hardware store that I was not familiar with called "Liquid Rubber" that is billed as a "Flexible heavy duty waterproof coating". I thought I'd give it a try. Has anyone in bee land used it or something similar and do you have an opinion on the product?

    if you're talking about a product called plastidip - wonderful stuff, but not gonna stick to wood real well, especially if any moisture gets under it. Once dry, the coating really adheres to itself well, so well that if you can lift a corner you can usually peel the entire coating off in one piece - kids around here use the plastidip in spay cans to paint crap on their cars/wheels - when they are tired of it, or it looks ragged, they just peel it off and start again with a diff color... I use it for sealing foam fishing floats (weird application). It's a very cool coating product with lots of applications, but probably not the best choice for sealing feeders.... (personal opinion - mileage may vary)

    I do a far amount of woodwork (not bees) and use beeswax for sealing on quiet a few things that will contain liquids- key for good penetration of wax is heat and keeping the wax in a liquid state....for a feeder, (don't do this if boss is around) I'd probably shove the box in the oven (preheat to 450 then turn it OFF) and let it warm up, then dump some melted wax in a slosh it around (preheat oven again while doing this, and turn OFF) and slap it back in the oven for a while and let the wood soak it up, dump any remaining un-soaked-in melted wax back into your wax bucket (a solar melter would work for this too if it;s large enough - or just set a window on top of feeder and let nature do the baking- (slower, but safer - let it bake a day or two) .... if you need to reseal in the future - just clean up the box, and do it again

    Sky

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    This is a kind of old thread, but I'll bite. Yes, I've used Camcote (the clear stuff meant for the food industry sold by Brushy Mountain) to coat the insides of a my three wooden top feeders. It does seem to work. I was a little disappointed in it ... it is supposed to be an epoxy but it is a single component varnish, and as far as smell and curing go it looks and smells like a polyurethane varnish. The solvent odor lingers for days, so if you want to treat a feeder with it I'd be sure to apply it a couple of weeks before you intend to put syrup in it.

    It does seem to be holding up, a year after I applied it. The feeders clean out fairly well, although there are a few places in the corners where there are deep black mold marks. I think those are the spots where the feeders originally had silicone sealant.

    Be aware, most Camcote products are automotive specialty products that should never come within 10 yards of a beehive.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2015
    Location
    Champaign, Illinois
    Posts
    172

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoebee View Post
    This is a kind of old thread, but I'll bite. Yes, I've used Camcote (the clear stuff meant for the food industry sold by Brushy Mountain) to coat the insides of a my three wooden top feeders. It does seem to work. I was a little disappointed in it ... it is supposed to be an epoxy but it is a single component varnish, and as far as smell and curing go it looks and smells like a polyurethane varnish. The solvent odor lingers for days, so if you want to treat a feeder with it I'd be sure to apply it a couple of weeks before you intend to put syrup in it.

    It does seem to be holding up, a year after I applied it. The feeders clean out fairly well, although there are a few places in the corners where there are deep black mold marks. I think those are the spots where the feeders originally had silicone sealant.

    Be aware, most Camcote products are automotive specialty products that should never come within 10 yards of a beehive.
    I'll keep my extractor at least 30 feet from all bee hives and if you want to race...I bet mine goes faster since an automotive paint company made the accepted food grade sealant for my beekeeping equipment.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Manassas, Virginia, USA
    Posts
    1,290

    Default Re: Camcoat Clear Coating

    Quote Originally Posted by aunt betty View Post
    I'll keep my extractor at least 30 feet from all bee hives and if you want to race...I bet mine goes faster since an automotive paint company made the accepted food grade sealant for my beekeeping equipment.
    No deal. My extractor is small, hand cranked, and only wins races against cut and dribble methods.

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