Paraffin wax dipping...

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NickWallingford

BOP Club
293
425
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
I recently wrote up what I could find relating to the history of paraffin wax dipping:

Paraffin Wax Dipping

As with a lot of my writing, I didn't focus on the use of the article, and write to the audience and purpose. The text is mostly what I was preparing for a more formal article, so you might want to skip down to the summary toward the bottom. I do much prefer to write in such a way that I can easily provide the links to the "old" material for people to evaluate for themselves.

In collecting the information, three things in particular stood out for me:

  1. The consistency in recommended time and temperature, even long before it was confirmed in the late 1990s. 160 deg C for 10 minutes was the recommendation in almost all these articles over time (for AFB sterilisation).
  2. The realisation that there probably wasn't anyone who "discovered" the use of hot paraffin dipping for AFB gear sterilisation. It probably came over quite a period time as bkprs realised that gear wasn't causing reinfections.
  3. The persistence of allowing the treatment of AFB-infected gear with scorching and boiling in caustic. As late as *1975* the classic "Beekeeping in New Zealand" book described those methods, though advising against them. Fair enough, the book was for the most part a reprint of an earlier book, and may not have had the editorial rigour to pick up on that. The first bkpr I worked for (in 1974) had some boxes that were scorched on the inside by a previous owner, but even then I was under the impression that it had been outlawed as ineffective.
 

NickWallingford

BOP Club
293
425
Tauranga
Experience
Retired
:cool:
we still have the "waikato version". no idea how old it is.
Prob just an enclosed vat type arrangement?

I must say the "push through" troughs were my favourite. I worked at Harry Cloake's in 1975. He had one much as the one described for Fred Bartrum. Cloakes' was labour intensive with bkpg generally, and incredibly effective whether it was honey production or extraction. So there were a number of us 'workers' to each do a bit. The dipping involved a number of people - getting the supers to the pad, pushing it into the dipper, taking it out, initial coat of paint, stacked into tall stacks. Later second coat of paint over the stacked boxes. A full (cold winter's day in Timaru) day of getting boxes ready for the spring. I can't remember how many we did in the day. But I remember that winter as being the coldest I've ever had in my life...
 


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