Wax Dipping Bee Equipment
What is Wax Dipping?
It is the placement of various beehive components, or parts, in hot molten wax. The term ‘dip’ means a brief immersion into a liquid. However, when apiarists dip their hive parts in molten hot wax, it is usually for periods of up to 15 minutes. The molten wax consists of 80 – 90% Paraffin (99°) and 10 – 20% Microcrystalline. Microcrystalline has a higher melting point (146°) which prevents wax from melting off boxes on a hot summer day.
The key to successful hot wax dipping is to have the molten wax as hot as possible but not exceeding the safety limits. Wax should be heated to 225° - 250° Fahrenheit. It is also essential that the wood being dipped is well heated throughout to ensure maximum penetration of the wax into the timber. The process should not be hurried by dipping for only a short period of time. Dipping should be between 10 – 15 min. If you don’t heat your timber to the same temperature as the wax you won’t dry it out.
The Benefits of Wax Dipping
Some benefits of hot wax dipping are:
- The moisture, sap and air in the timber are replaced by molten wax.
- Wax penetrates the joints, repaired sections and other surfaces of the box where paint can’t reach.
- Wax covers all surfaces (inside & out).
- Components can be used within 15 minutes of being dipped.