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Letter about weatherproofing

Hi Janet, 

You can put my comments on your site. I don't mind. 

I am 30 miles northwest of Madison, Wisconsin. I bought one of your bottom boards the first year I started beekeeping  which was 7 years ago. I think I have 5-6 or six or your bottom boards now. You are right, none of them have any rot on them. I will just leave them as they are. I read more about the dipping process that you use and like you said that should make them last a long time. Probably longer than the beekeeper.

 Great product. I recommend it to everyone that asks me about getting into beekeeping. For me they perform so much better than a standard bottom board.

Thanks again. 


On Wed, Apr 1, 2015 at 8:52 AM, Janet Brisson/Country Rubes <rubes@countryrubes.com> wrote:

Hi Ron,

Thank you for your note.  Just curious, what part of the country are you from.  And can I put your note on our website?

   The weatherproofing on your screened bottom boards lasts forever.  If you drop some water on them, the water still beads.  When we do the process, we boil them in a solution of paraffin and tree rosin.  That drives all the moisture out and sucks in the paraffin/tree rosin solution so they absolutely cannot rot.   And paint will not stick to it.  It might for a while, then it will start peeling off.

  We have equipment over 20 years old that we are still using.  It will wear out due to banging or dropping, but it will not rot. 

  Please let me know if you have any more questions. 

  Have a great day,


 Janet Brisson

Country Rubes Beekeeping Equipment

20693 Dog Bar Road

Grass Valley, CA 95949



 From: Ron Sent: April 1, 2015 9:41 AM
To: rubes@countryrubes.com
Subject: Question on re-coating the bottom boards 

I have some of your Country Rubes screened bottom boards. I ran some experiments using traditional bottom boards and yours. The bees always perform and overwinter so much better with your bottoms. So thank you for very much. 

Some of my boards are hitting the 6 year mark and starting to lose their luster and look a bit weathered. I was wondering what you would recommend that I coat them with. I would rather not paint them. I like their natural look. Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!



Half a propane tank

   We boil our multi-function boards in a solution of paraffin and tree rosin, a method developed by Bee Master,  Randy Oliver in Grass Valley, California.  Randy's wooden ware and frames have lasted  years without any additional treatment or paint.  They do darken with age but retain that great weather proofing ability.   We were so impressed after using his set up, we made our own tank.

   We made our tank by obtaining a large propane (maybe 500 gallon) tank  from our propane company (free and offered us as many as we needed) and cutting it in half. One half became the tank, and the other half was cut up to make a stand which looks like an apron that hangs down around the middle of the tank. 

  There is a lid made from a large piece of steel that will slam down with just a pull of a handle. Do not attempt this operation if you do not have a lid.  Very important if your vat catches on fire, and it well.  Do not put close to buildings.  Always have hose ready to go, ours our on at the pipe and have a valve at the end close to the tank.
There is a pipe from from a propane tank under the tank, under a flat plate that looks like a stove elements.  When you turn on the propane and light the end of the pipe, the flame its the plate and goes around it, heating the underside of the tank.  The apron stand keeps the heat under the bottom of the tank.   There is a blower, we are now using a leaf blower with a reostat, aimed under thank.  It makes the flame burn hotter and it's easier to keep the tank hot.
    The tank is wrapped in a reflective blanket to keep the heat in.  The temperature gets up to 350 degrees.  It can get higher and at 415 degrees  it will  catch on fire.  This is very dangerous and you must keep hoses and fire extinguisher handy.  This procedure can burn down your house and ruin your day if you are not careful.  Keep a thermostat handy and use it often.     
 Paraffin and Brazilian Tree Rosin available at Pacific Coast Chemical  510-549-3535.   2424 4th Street  Berkley CA.  Ask for Barbara
And the best gloves to use for dipping -
www.galeton.com  #6514 NeoTherm" Insulated Neoprene Gloves, 14".  Mike puts another pair of Keifler gloves underneath.  Really helps.

Home made, please be careful, this is for your information only and could be very dangerous.  We take no responsibility to any damage to person or property if you should try this.

Basically, this is a home made burner constructed of gas fittings.  The stiff wire that is tied onto the burner fits into a hole in a 2" pipe that extends about half way under the tank.  There is an elbow at the end of the pipe that turns upwards and sits a few inches below the tank bottom. 

After putting the nozzle into the pipe, we light it.  We use a long wire with a piece of material wrapped on the end.  Its sprayed with carburetor cleaner and then lit.  We crack the propane tank and put the flaming end into one of the air holes.   We are adjusting the heat with the valve on the tank, but we are going to put in a regulator to make it ore adjustable. It sounds like a jet when opened up, and the flames come out of the air hole, so we have it dialed way back.  Still, it heats  faster as the two burner method we use.  Our tank is pretty full and it takes almost 3 hours to heat up.  I'm not sure how much rosin and paraffin we have in there, but we can dip two deep supers at a time.


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