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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    156

    Post

    After extracting I now have a bucket of wax cappings.

    Do I just heat it up gently to separate the wax from the honey? Like in a crock pot? Or would it be better to do it by hand (thru some cheese cloth)?

    And then do I need to heat the wax again to separate out the other debris (grass, bee bits, etc)?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,903

    Post

    I let the cappings drain until they are pretty dry and then I gently heat to melt the wax and seperate the honey. I let it get hard and then the wax is on top and the honey underneath. I feed this honey (the heated honey) back to the bees because I don't care for the taste after heating.

    I've also been know to feed them to the bees and let them clean them up. Sometimes this works well and sometimes it sets off a robbing frenzy.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Portland, Oregon
    Posts
    156

    Post

    Thanks Michael.

    Now I also have lots of old frames, mostly empty, but pretty dirty (a gift that I don't want for my hives). I was hoping to melt it down for the wax. Will the dirt all rise or sink or in some way separate itself from the wax? And again, is the best way a crock pot or other gentle heater?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,903

    Post

    You don't want wax to get over 212 and less is enough to melt it. Dirty wax with cocoons is hard to seperate out. Some of the dirt disolves in water (so I always put some water in with the wax) but the cocoons tend to tie up a lot of the wax. I strain it through cheescloth and try to wring most of the wax out of the cocoons for the first pass.

    Then I do a second pass and I DON'T try to wring anything out because I have the cocoons out and wringing tends to put a lot more dirt back into the wax.

    Then I put it in something to harden. A rubbermaid tub or bucket works. Leave some water on the bottom so it doesn't stick to the bottom.

    When you remove it there will be lots of pollen and dirt at the bottom of the wax. Scrape it off and throw it away. Keep scraping until you get to clean wax

    It will waste less if instead of a cake of wax 12" by 12" by 1" thick you make one 12" by 12" by 6" thick. The thinner and wider it is the more waste.

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