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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I suspect this is a long shot, but I’m wondering if there are any folks in SE Michigan (near Ann Arbor) who have the capability to dip new hive boxes in hot wax. I’ve read a lot of good things about hot wax sealing instead of paints and stains, but don’t know where I could achieve this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
one note about Meghan, she is in I think it's Sweden for a year doing bee research.
Ahhh... gotcha. I wonder if anyone else at her place does the dipping? The video on the webpage showed a man doing the work. I signed up for their newsletter so hopefully they'll be doing some this Spring and I can get in on it. I would MUCH PREFER to wax-dip my new hardware instead of painting or staining, and it seems that I'd get the best protection possible by dipping brand new wood.
 

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Ahhh... gotcha. I wonder if anyone else at her place does the dipping? The video on the webpage showed a man doing the work. I signed up for their newsletter so hopefully they'll be doing some this Spring and I can get in on it. I would MUCH PREFER to wax-dip my new hardware instead of painting or staining, and it seems that I'd get the best protection possible by dipping brand new wood.
the man is probably her husband, him and the two dogs went with her. I would imagine that someone is taking care of her bees.
 

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I’ve read a lot of good things about hot wax sealing instead of paints and stains, but don’t know where I could achieve this.
As an intermediate product between painting and waxing, you can try Pure Tung Oil. It is pressed from the nuts of the tung tree, so it is organic and food safe. The oil is unique in that it polymerizes with exposure to air - i.e. the molecules turn into a plastic. So a good coat of tung oil converts the top 1/16 inch of the wood into a hard plastic matrix.
I apply the first coat diluted 1-1 with Citrus Solvent to ensure good penetration. Second coat is diluted 3 parts oil to 1 part solvent and applied after a 15 to 30 minute wait. This is usually enough time to coat 5 or 10 other boxes. Don't wipe off excess oil like most YouTube videos show. You want as much penetration as possible. Allow 3 to 5 days for curing.
I coat the outsides, the edges and the frame rim. The neat thing is that the propolis does not stick well to the oil so it is easy scrape clean. Plus, the wood is so hard, the tool doe not damage the edges. UV does darken it a bit but not much more than a coat of varnish.
The Real Milk Paint Co sells a very good product.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As an intermediate product between painting and waxing, you can try Pure Tung Oil.
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The Real Milk Paint Co sells a very good product.

Thanks for this suggestion... I’m checking out their website and see the product you refer to. Have you considered their “Outdoor Defence Oil”? The description of that one seems to be spot on for bee boxes... Thoughts?
 

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You could use it; it is a quality product.
I like the flexibility of mixing my own. I'm not sure what the dilution rate of Outdoor Defence Oil is. I could use the Half and Half product but I also need a 1/3 dilution (75% oil) for the top coat. A 50% solution sinks into the wood fibers quickly and creates a deep barrier. The thicker solution provides a very good surface barrier that becomes slightly slippery, keeping the propolis from bonding completely.

Craftsmen doing fine woodworking put multiple thin layers of undiluted oil on hardwoods and wipe off the excess before it cures. Since oil penetration is the objective, I'm not sure why they do this.

I have been very pleased with the result of 2 coats. The attached pics are of a box that was used from April to October last year in southern Mississippi - lots of UV. The box was facing east and backed up to a forest so the back really didn't get much direct sunlight. You can see how clean the rim is; I found that one quick pass with a tool was usually enough.
Rectangle Wood Wood stain Floor Plank
Wood Rectangle Wood stain Floor Flooring
Brown Wood Rectangle Wood stain Beam
 
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