Today was a long hard working day, about 10 hours worth. Gerrit and I dipped our woodenware in a vat of boiling parafin wax mixed with Brazilian gum rosin. We have a tank setup in the back yard with a natural gas line run to a burner underneath the tank. Into the tank we put 300 pounds of parafin and 200 pounds of rosin and brought the temperature up to 300 degrees F for treating boxes, bottom boards, bait hives, and the wooden frame part of telescoping covers. They are submersed for 10 minutes in the boiling liquid, which boils out residual water in the wood, and when the wood is removed from the boiling wax/rosin mixture, the mixture is absorbed into the wood, preserving it and making it rot and water resistant. Beekeepers who treat their woodenware this way do not have to paint it, and it lasts about 5 times longer than it would just being painted.
I did not count how many boxes and bottom boards and top frames we treated, but it was a constant job all day long from morning until dark.
We used a frying/candy thermometer to keep track of the temperature and had a fire extinguisher nearby just in case of an accident since wax is a highly flammable hydrocarbon.
We will be using this equipment for our beehives, and we will also be selling equipment to people who want to keep bees themselves. Gerrit is very knowledgeable and patient and explains to people how to assemble equipment and answers various questions to help beginning beekeepers.
Today was a day of hard work and we are both very tired, but we got a lot accomplished.