What is it?
Wax dipping of wooden Beehive components is a very efficient way to preserve the pine boards that house our colonies. The process is basically heating the blended paraffin and microcrystalline wax to 230 – 240 F and submerging the wooden components for 10 minutes. The hot wax heats whatever moisture that is in the wood to steam and replaces it by soaking into the fibers. When the wax cools it remains a part of the wood forever.
Hot wax dipping using microcrystalline wax and parafﬁn wax provides long term woodenware protection from the effects of weather, fungi and other causes of decay without the cost and labor associated with painting. The process has no adverse effect on bees.
Sessions are typically held on Weekends.
What can be dipped?
New woodenware ONLY
- No plywood or Masonite (Inner and Outer Covers OK)
- No plastic parts permitted
- Metal in screened bottom boards and top covers OK
- Bring your entrance reducers
- No frames accepted
Can I still paint it?
Some who dip hive components choose to paint as well. This needs to be done as soon as possible after it has been removed from the vat and while it is quite hot. The paint is sucked or drawn into the hot wood as it cools. It is thought that the paint adds extra protection by preventing or reducing the leaching of wax over time.
Dipped items that have cooled cannot be painted successfully.
Most apiarists prefer to apply oil based paints. They use one of the following:
• Two coats of gloss enamel applied to the dipped item while it was still very hot. Because the ﬁrst coat is quickly drawn into the wood, a second coat can be applied almost immediately.
• Undercoat applied to the dipped item while it was still very hot; a coat of gloss enamel applied later when the item had cooled and the undercoat had dried.
If you plan to paint, bring your own materials, table, etc.
How to participate
Plan on arriving at 1115 Camp Hill Avenue Dresher PA (this is NOT at the 4H club) during your chosen sign up time.
Pull your car down the driveway to unload your woodenware.
Your equipment will be put in line to be dipped. You may be asked to move your car to allow for others to unload.
Once your woodenware is put into the vat of wax it will take about 10 mins before it is removed.
Once removed it will be placed on a table to cool and let the last of the wax soak in. This should take another 10 minutes.
Feel free to come early or stay a bit later and help. We'll show you what to do!
If you would have questions or would like to help, click to contact our Committee Chair and write Wax Dipping in the subject line.