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Wax Dipping Beekeeping Equipment
I was expanding my beekeeping and bought a lot of new equipment so I decided to try dipping in wax and gum rosin to preserve the equipment. I got the tank from a friend who had it custom made. It would have been nice if it were taller, but it works ok and I didn't have the time or money to get a better one made. The standard method is 2 parts paraffin and 1 part gum rosin. I went with 2 parts beeswax and 1 part gum rosin. The gum rosin is from Mann Lake. The wax/gum rosin mixture was melted and heated to between 230o and 250o F (110o and 122o C). At 250o F (122o C) the boxes cook nicely (like deep fat frying them) in about six to eight minutes. At 230o F (110o C), they take more like 10 to 12 minutes. If you get too hot or too full boiling over can be an issue. You can't leave this unattended or unmonitored (you need a thermometer) as the fire hazard is huge if you do. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. I use a timer so I don't lose track of time. This isn't like burning your beans. If this catches you have a couple hundred pounds of hydrocarbons for fuel!
First picture is bottoms in tank. The next picture you can see the simmering occuring in the hot wax/gum rosin. Next is some boxes. The extras on top are to hold them down because they float. Last picture is the boxes and bottoms after dipping. The beekeeping equipment looks and smells wonderful and the water just beads up on them.
The bees seem to think the rosin and wax is propolis. Here's one gathering it off my gloves.
Copyright 2007 by Michael Bush