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Being new to dipping, (parafin & wax hot dipping that is) I have a couple of questions. Do you experienced dippers get a finished product that is waxy and slick? I guess I wonder what the texture should be when finished. I'm thinking that ours are maybe a little too waxy feeling. They sure to slip and slide when stacked and being transported. We can sinch them down tight as a drum and it seems they still want to wander off from one another.

The finished product looks like a nice clear stain or varnish has been applied. Should that finished appearance fade soon once placed in the sun, or stay clean looking for some time? Are your boxes slick days/weeks after dipping?

Rest of the story - we're not using the high temps some of you talk about in the posts I've read on dipping. I built an electrically heated tank, using water as an indirect heat source. Think of a triple tank-in-tank design. Outer and inner most tanks are filled with water and a water heating type element is heating the water. The water then indirectly heats the wax/parafin to a nice liquid. We get it close to water boiling temp, but not the mid 200°F some of you mention. We're using electric elements and water for a simple safety reason. No open flames to worry about. Any suggestions on the system? I don't have photos of the hot bath device to share at this point.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I know there are a number of folks here on BeeSource who hot dip their hive bodies in wax/resin & I'm just trying to work the bugs out of my system. I sure hope it's not the temperature. I like the idea of using electric heating elements for safety. Don't want to risk open flames with flammable wax/resi compounds.
 

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>It sounds like 'chemical treatment' to me.

I'm not dunking the bees in it...

The rosin is labeled "Gum Rosin" and is obviously tree sap. What kind is hard to say, but "gum" seems reasonable as does pine....
 

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I'm not dunking the bees in it...
The rosin is labeled "Gum Rosin" and is obviously tree sap. What kind is hard to say, but "gum" seems reasonable as does pine....
Mike:

I would say that it's like making up your own propolis (wax & resin) and coating your hives with it.

The resin acids that make up rosen are some pretty nifty chemicals. Yes, they may have miticidal activity as well. But that might depend on the source.

So you do understand that the wax/rosen dipping may be the secret to your success.

Yes, I would characterize it as a botanical/chemical treatment. You can probably make some interesting esters by heating resin acids and wax together at over 250 degrees. :eek:

Sooo, how much does an 85# bag of Brazilian Gum Rosen go for?

Is Brazilian propolis cheaper # per #? Where does one get that?
 

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Sooo, how much does an 85# bag of Brazilian Gum Rosen go for??
About $85

Is Brazilian propolis cheaper # per #? Where does one get that?
No idea about Brazilian propolis and assuming propolis wll work instead of gum rosin, not sure you would need Brazilian (for gum rosin, Brazilian seems to be the only option, at least in this price range).

-fafrd
 

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>So you do understand that the wax/rosen dipping may be the secret to your success.

I was having success five or six years before I started dipping. The bees were doing well in a mixture of painted and unpainted boxes...
 

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The reason I brought up Brazilian propolis is because Spivak sprayed an ethanol/Brazilian 'green' propolis mixture. While it won't help preserve the wood, it's easier than dipping.

Mike:

How many years have you been dipping your hives, and what's your preferred mixture? I'm asking just to see if there's a Brazilian resin/propolis connection. Maybe the brazilian rosin will work just as well as the brazilian propolis?

There might be a connection between the resin acids and hive health.

http://www.cyfernet.extension.umn.edu/honeybees/components/pdfs/simone_evans__spivak_2009.pdf

http://www.apidologie.org/index.php...=129&url=/articles/apido/pdf/first/m09142.pdf
 

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Hi Swobee,
I'm sure your wax isn't hot enough. When we dip the wax is sucked into the wood with no residue left on the surface we then paint it while it's still hot.
The wax really bubbles when we put the box in.
We use a wood fire underneath our dipper and a thermometer to check the temperature.

frazz
 

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>How many years have you been dipping your hives

I started in 2007.

>, and what's your preferred mixture?

It's by eye, but it's between about 2 parts beeswax to 1 part rosin to 1 part beeswax to 1 part rosin.

>I'm asking just to see if there's a Brazilian resin/propolis connection. Maybe the brazilian rosin will work just as well as the brazilian propolis?

Brazillian propolis is green isn't it? I don't know but this looks identical to the rosin I've used on violin bows and arrow ferrules as well as flux for lead etc.

>There might be a connection between the resin acids and hive health.

The bees like it. They gather it off my gloves and the freshly dipped boxes for propolis.
 

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Isn't rosin and beeswax soluble in vegetable oil? I say this because if I were to consider coating a hive with beeswax/rosin, I would be unable to do it safely by heating the mixture and dipping hives into it.

Thanks Mike for your thoughts.
 

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I'm not convinced that you're 100% correct about a mixture/paste, made w/ beeswax/rosin/oil (vegetable or mineral), not being able to effectively waterproof/preserve wood.

It could reduce the risks associated w/ dipping hives near an open flame, it could reduce the amount of materials needed, and could be done 'cold'.
 

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I'm not convinced that you're 100% correct about a mixture/paste, made w/ beeswax/rosin/oil (vegetable or mineral), not being able to effectively waterproof/preserve wood.

It could reduce the risks associated w/ dipping hives near an open flame, it could reduce the amount of materials needed, and could be done 'cold'.
Let us know if you work it out and prove its effectiveness. What is impressive about dipping/frying in boiling wax+gum rosin is that the mixture soaks deeply into the wood (at least 1-4" or so) and so it is not only a surface treatment and is impervious to surface scratchs, nicks, etc...

I know there are a number of folks here on BeeSource who hot dip their hive bodies in wax/resin & I'm just trying to work the bugs out of my system. I sure hope it's not the temperature. I like the idea of using electric heating elements for safety. Don't want to risk open flames with flammable wax/resi compounds.

There seems to be so much concern with the danger of heating wax over an open flame - is there a significant difference in the combustibility of paraffin/gum rosin mixture versus vegetable oil? We make tempura, calamari, and french fries over an open flame all of the time and have never considered that we were puttig our house and our lives at risk...

-fafrd
 

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I have no doubts that immersing hive parts in 250 degree wax/resin will completely soak through the wood.

It's just that there are similar applications of beeswax/rosin mixtures that use penetrating oils as the solvent and could obviate the need for such high temperatures. A double boiler would suffice, for example.
 
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