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Thread: Old Black Comb

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Chandler, Tx
    Posts
    282

    Question

    When your repalcing old black comb from a hive is there any use for it? Can it be melted down to wax or should it just be thrown away?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    Yes you can sell it as is to a bee store or you will get more $$ for it if you render it. Use a two boiler approach. That is one large kettle filled with water and another one inside the first one with wax in it. Let it melt down and strain it thru some cloth. Another way is to make or buy a solar wax melter and that will also give good wax.
    Try contacting some of the bee supply places to see if they have a minimum amount of pounds they want.
    Dan

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    You can melt it down. There usually isn't much wax in it by the time you filter out the cocoons.

    With a press you can usually get most of the wax out. Without one there just isn't much to get out.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Chandler, Tx
    Posts
    282

    Post

    What happens to the bees if you never change the old comb out? Do they cells eventually get too small due to the number of cocoons and the bees leave the hive?

    What do they do in the wild? Clean them out?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    >Do they cells eventually get too small due to the number of cocoons and the bees leave the hive?

    They get smaller down to some threshold and then the bees chew them back out up to some upper threshold.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Central Square, NY, Oswego County
    Posts
    814

    Post

    Like Mike said they will chew it out. In the wild they seldom get that far. It is recomended to change your combs every 3-5 years. This will keep the deseases down and also keep wax moths out. They like real black comb.
    Dan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    1,933

    Post

    I toss my comb in hot water instead of the double boiler. I heat and stir it all together, then pour through a T-shirt to filter. When the water and wax cools, the wax is all on the surface.

    Does this add water to my wax? Or does it all seperate?

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    46,584

    Post

    Wax and water don't mix. But some of the minerals in the water will will make a kind if scum with the water and wax. Not a lot and no big loss.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

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