I bought about 100lbs of melted down capping wax bars from another beek. I want to melt it down to dip pierco frames in. Whats a safe temp to kill spores and not burn wax? They may sit until next march or april but I got about 500 or more to do.
I am not certain what temperature will actually kill afb spores... but none the less it is an excellent question.
I use one of those stainless steel cookers (kind of looks like a crock pot but is very shiny) for melting the wax to put on the frames. I set the temperature at just a bit over 140 degrees. after some instruction from another person on this forum I ended up using a 'foam' pad roller (I obtained from the lumber yard). works real good... matter of fact a bit too well since the largest thing you need to concern yourself with is not using too much wax (no matter what you eyes tells you, one pass of the roller and you are done).
According to a study in 1995 AFB spores can withstand 100 degrees centigrade for 10 minutes. I imagine once the wax flashes and starts burning they will be mostly dead. They are tough buggers and the toxins like Coumaphos will still be there at any temperature.
From Wiki -- Beeswax has a high melting point range, of 62 to 64 Â°C (144 to 147 Â°F). If beeswax is heated above 85 Â°C (185 Â°F) discoloration occurs. The flash point of beeswax is 204.4 Â°C (399.9 Â°F).
So it lights 8 degrees before the AHB spores are burning. Solar melters and low heat, below 185 produce the best wax. Honeycomb and beeswax are a chemical sponge. Most pesticides dissolve easily in beeswax. They cannot be filtered out or distilled out. That is why foundationless beekeeping is such a fad. The sad truth is they are finding chemicals in all wax samples from treated and un-treated hives.
Sssh! not supposed to talk about the possibility that new wax foundation might contain contaminants from a previous hive!
Some levels of tramp chemicals are bound to be in honey because of the very nature of its origins. It is easy to get bent around the axle trying to escape from some real but minor risk. The products of combustion of fossil hydrocarbons is a proven killer but that is virtually impossible to escape. I live in an area of high natural background radiation and some levels of radon in drinking water. Real odds are still higher though for me to die from a moose coming through the windshield. Sad but so!
I am going to play with having the bees make some of their own comb next year but I doubt there is any way a commercial enterprise could so entertain the foibles of the bees and show a profit.
Honey is water soluble. Beeswax and most poisons bees bring home are oil soluble. You can stop worrying or pretending not to worry about the honey.
High dose ozone is the only method found so far to remove or reduce toxins in beeswax. Ozone has been extensively tested but is not economical yet. Incidentally, Coumaphos and toxins have been found in beeswax on certified organic farms.
OK would you dip your frames in it, or just trade it in for foundation. I was going to use a steam well out of a salad bar. then dip them in it, not paint. They get around 190. But I got it cheap 75 bucks for almost 110 lbs.
dipping will make the coating very heavy. no problem really if you have plenty of wax relative to the number of frames you expect coat. rolling on the wax is just much faster and the quantity of wax more manageable.
As mentioned, some contaminants can show up in comb of hives that do everything to prevent it but I am sure the levels are lower than the other extremes where operators have no concern about pouring everything on.
Though remelting wax wont render it free of all contaminates, I think it will deactivate many disease causing agents and encapsulate a lot of spores and make them less likely to be in general circulation.