Commonly called Vaseline after the trade product so named.
Are your hives "well vaselined"?
One of the things that has to be done regularly on military vehicles is
to vaseline the battery terminals (to inhibit corrosion). A friend of
mine (Tony Mawson) took this a step further...He put about two cupfulls of vaseline
on each terminal and smoothed it off into a conical shape. It did not
contravene anything in 'Queens Regulations' and no amount of rough
terrain would dislodge it and so the vehicle driver was confident that
his battery terminals would always pass inspection.
The above is included in an attempt to show that, in some cases, by
expending a little effort 'up front' we can often save a good deal of
repeated work in the future.
Perhaps you have not tried vaselining the mating surfaces of hive parts
...It stops the bees gluing everything up, it makes hive manipulations
quicker and causes much less distress to the bees.
It also helps when cleaning equipment as they are much easier to scrape.
The extra effort and cost is more than repayed by the quicker and more
pleasant handling that it affords.
You can make your own petroleum jelly (vaseline) from beeswax and mineral
oil (liquid paraffin).
compounded in various ways to suit different purposes.
It is simply a mixture of beeswax and liquid paraffin, the proportions vary
according to your requirements.
A thin version would be 10 gm Beeswax to 100 ml Liquid paraffin
A stiffer version would be 30 gm Beeswax to 100 ml Liquid paraffin
Warm both items SLOWLY in a double saucepan, waterbath or porringer... when
the beeswax is not quite fully melted stir thoroughly but do not entrap any
air, when there is no solid wax left, then pour into a suitable container
and allow to cool.
The proportions can be adjusted over quite a large range... try it
yourselves and then experiment with other ratios to see the effect.