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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Grinton, North Yorkshire, England
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    Does anyone know (or would like to guess at!) the wax/honey ratio in worker cell honeycomb?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Colorado
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    1,525

    Post

    I'm betting the honey weighs more.

    Hawk
    KC0YXI

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Grinton, North Yorkshire, England
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    I bet the honey is heavier, but does the honey make up (for example) 90% of the weight of the comb, or more, or less?

    Sorry I wasn't my question wasn't clearer in the first place!

  4. #4
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    Aug 2002
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    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    My guess? 99% of the weight is honey. That IS only a guess.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    Grinton, North Yorkshire, England
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    Thanks for the replies.

    I also posted this in the mead forum. I wanted to know because I am interested in starting to make mead, but as I haven't got myself an extractor yet, I was just going to break up the comb underwater in order to make the must, and then strain off the wax. The only trouble is that recipies tell you to add (for example) 4lb. of honey. I need to know how much is wax, so I can make up for the straining off the wax. I think what I just said made sense. If it did not then I apologise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Berkey, OH, USA
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    1,486

    Post

    IMO based on top bar hives the new comb is practically weightless. But if it is old comb it will weigh quite a bit more. I would put in 4.25 pounds of comb honey and call it a day.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Western Pennsylvania
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    2,071

    Post

    Here is the info you are looking for:

    T.C Denston, 'A Textbook of Pharmacognosy' 3rd Edition. states;

    " … Beeswax forms about one tenth of the total weight of the honey comb."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Here’s more from the current edition of THATHB (p. 961):

    “A standard Langstroth deep frame can hold 1.3 to 2.7 liters (1.8 - 3.8 kg) of honey, yet the wax necessary to produce these 7,100 cells weighs only 100 g, thus such honey: wax ratios in standard equipment vary from about 17.8 to 19.8:1”

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    That's two books with a range of 20:1 to 10:1. Quite a bit of variance. Makes me wonder if anyone weight it. Or if they weight it wet or if they weighed it after the bees cleaned it up?

    Since I can tell the differenc by weight of a box of plastic foundation and wax foundation, but I can't tell the difference by weight of a box of no foundation and empty drawn comb. I'd have to say I lean more toward my 99:1 estimate.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Grinton, North Yorkshire, England
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    102

    Post

    Thanks for the info guys. I will, I think experiment for myself. If I get any reasonable sounding results I will post them here on the bee forum.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    wills point,tx,usa
    Posts
    130

    Post

    weigh the whole thing first, break it up, strain it, and weigh the wax that's left. if you need more honey, add a little more. or just squeeze the comb thru a mesh bag or panty hose leg (new of course) and weigh the strained honey.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    If you really want to know you'll have to wash the wax thoroughly and then let it dry before you weigh it.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  13. #13
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Plano, North Texas
    Posts
    318

    Post

    It seems like the comb/honey ratio can vary a lot from comb to comb. But why bother trying to accurately find out? Use the crush and strain method to remove the honey you need from the wax. Weight the honey if you need to have that kind of precision, and make your mead.
    "Before I speak, I have something I'd like to say. . . . I will try to keep this short as long as I can." Yogi Berra

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    Post

    Greetings . . .

    . . . from my 2005 notes . . .

    Scraped-N-Drained 67 lbs honey. (Bath scale)
    Filled 88 eight ounce jars.
    Wax yield = 1 lb, 11 oz (postal scale)

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
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    Post

    >Wax yield = 1 lb, 11 oz (postal scale)

    Clean, dry wax? Or wet wax?
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Evansville, IN, USA
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    2,837

    Post

    Clean, dry wax and bright yellow too!

    Remember, I scraped entire honey-comb CELLS from the foundation and foundation remained in frame (w/ only a few "dime-size" holes [img]smile.gif[/img] .

    Decapping and leaving MOST OF CELL attached to foundation should provide LESS "processed" wax.

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