Coming Fall 2022
Are you tired of painting equipment, and even when you do it, you aren't happy with the results? Then we have a solution for you, wax dipping. This process has been around for years, but Foxhound Bee Company offers this service for those who want to preserve their wood. We are available to dip in beekeeping supplies and other wooden pieces outside of beekeeping.
The lifespan of a properly wax-dipped piece of wood can be measured in decades. The figure that is most often quoted is a lifespan of 25+ years without having to be re-dipped. That figure is for pine wood and cypress wood like our equipment is naturally more durable than pine.
Beekeepers and others that need their wood dipped in our hot wax can bring their supplies to our store in Birmingham, Alabama, and we will work it into our waxing schedule. Large pieces or outdoor furniture up to 48" x 32" can also be dipped in our tank. For larger pieces, contact us for pricing.
Wax dipping is a process where wood is placed in a hot vat of wax for 10-15 minutes. During those 10-15 minutes, the natural moisture left in the wood is boiled out of the wood and replaced with a wax blend. This wax blend is waterproof and embeds itself 100% throughout the wood, protecting the wood from the inside out. The surface of the wood remains dry and does not get waxy but is 100% protected from rain, moisture, and rot that happens naturally to wood.
Preserving wood using wax is an expensive endeavor that requires building a specialized stainless steel tank and filling it with a blend of waxes. The 3 waxes we use are Microcrystalline, Paraffin and Beeswax. These 3 waxes work together to protect the wood without worrying about the wax melting out in the hot summer sun or the surface becoming tacky.
Our standard temperature for wax dipping does not get hot enough to kill American Foul Brood (AFB) spores, but wax dipping in wax temperatures above 300°F kills AFB spores. We can process your equipment to kill AFB spores, but it is very important we know about the risk as not to contaminate other equipment.
Can I bring used equipment?
Yes, you bring used equipment. It needs to be cleaned of any loose paint, wax moth debris, dirt, mold, cobwebs, loose wood, etc… A wire brush is extremely helpful for cleaning up old boxes.
Can the equipment be already painted?
Yes, painted equipment is perfectly fine. The color of the paint may change in color slightly after wax dipping. Because the wax dipping process works so well, the equipment must be painted immediately after dipping while the equipment is still hot. If allowed to cool, the paint will not adhere to the wood surface.
Does the equipment have to be assembled?
Your boxes do not have to be assembled before dipping. The tank can take small pieces, and the wood does not change shape in the tank, and the joints will still go together.
Which pieces of beekeeping equipment can’t be wax dipped?
Frames are not a good option for dipping as they are inside the box and do not need to be protected from the rain. Screened bottom boards and metal capped telescoping covers can be dipped, but there will be a thin layer of wax that sticks to the metal. Functionally the metal will be the same, but it will change slightly in appearance. Equipment made of plywood, masonite, and similar materials are not good candidates for dipping in hot wax. The glue that holds them together can fail, and the wood can start delaminating after wax dipping.
Can pre-treated wood be dipped?
The chemicals in wood treatments are pretty harsh and not great for honeybees. So we do not accept pre-treated woods that are pressure treated, dipped in copper-naphthenate or other types of similar wood treatments.
Do you have a club or bulk discount?
We love dipping for groups or side-liner / commercial beekeepers. If you can get together 100 boxes or pieces of equipment together, we can offer a discount.
Can you travel with your tank?
We certainly can; we built a tank to run off electricity and propane and can mount it to a trailer for travel. If you have a conference you would like us to attend; we can load up our wax dipping operation and head your way. Contact us if you are interested in having us out.