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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default Aluminum OK for rendering beeswax?

    Aluminum containers: I'm about to get a largish fryer pot for melting down cutout comb, but some back corner of me memory thinks that I read in one of my many loaned-out books that AL darkens wax or something... am I making this up?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  2. #2

    Default

    I use aluminum with no problems.....
    "To bee or not to bee"

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Hays, Kansas, USA
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    1,079

    Default

    Cook & Beals advised me Stainless Steel is their #1 choice, Aluminum is a distant second choice and to never use copper with wax. Copper tends to turn wax a greenish tint.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State, USA
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    4

    Thumbs down

    I would strongly suggest you not use aluminum (aluminium across the Pond) to process or store honey or wax. Honey is quite acidic, pH 3.2-4.5, and Al will almost certainly dissolve into and contaminate it. A similar problem with the wax is not hard to imagine.

    Aluminum in the diet & environment is strongly correlated with Alzheimer's in susceptible genotypes (see an excellent summary in http://www.hdfoster.com/Foster_Alzheimers.pdf), and Al-contaminated wax probably would not do your bees any good if reused in the hive).

    I'd stick with stainless, tin-plated (not zinc-galvanized) steel, or tempered glass & ceramic.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default

    Hmmm... I work with many people with dementia including AD, and I have heard for years now that the correlation (never demonstrated to be causative) was tenuous at best. WebMD, Alz.org, etc. are good places to start for learning about this terrible disease, but most sources I recall indicate that no to very little AL gets into food from cooking utensils, especially if it is passivated and not scrubbed bright after it darkens. The allele you mention is indeed correlated with increased risk (along with many others) but is not causative, and that's the first time I've heard an attempt to link it with AL. If it's on the Internet in more than one place I'll give it another look .

    Swobee I bet it was copper I was misremembering.
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Anchorage, Alaska
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    1,649

    Default

    No Ben, you didn’t imagine it. I’ve read it myself before (most likely on the disinformation highway ) I've used aluminum to melt beeswax with no problems.

    Here’s what Cogshall & Morse write in their book “Beeswax’:

    “Bison, Vainsell and Dye heated beeswax...............They found the wax was discolored by iron, brass, zinc and copper; the discoloration was greatest with iron, followed by the others, decreasingly, in the order listed. There was no appreciable discoloration when beeswax was heated in the presence of aluminum, nickel, platinum, pure tin, and stanless steel.”

    As far as the alzheimer’s disease claim about aluminum, it isn’t all that difficult to find just about anything on the internet nowadays to back up any belief you happen to have. Yes, there has been speculation and controversy about aluminum and alzheimer’s for many years. Here’s another opinion:

    http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/sc...?documentID=99

    But contracting alzheimer's disease by melting beeswax?!?!

  7. #7
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    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default

    Dude, CCD! It's bee Alzheimer's! They leave to go get cigarettes and never come home!
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Oh Great!! And now that's on the internet, too! So, now it has to be true.....

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Seattle, Washington State, USA
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    Default

    Well, I guess I'm the only one to have actually read Foster's book. Simply equivocating opinions without inquiry makes all information meaningless. I have heard Dr. Foster at symposiums discuss his hypotheses in detail, and I need no further evidence or flak from skeptics.

    BTAIM, prudent avoidance is usually indicated in exposing oneself (or one's bees) to strange new materials until a bit time has passed... say about 7 generations.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Standish, Maine USA
    Posts
    57

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Dick Allen View Post
    As far as the alzheimer’s disease claim about aluminum, it isn’t all that difficult to find just about anything on the internet nowadays to back up any belief you happen to have. Yes, there has been speculation and controversy about aluminum and alzheimer’s for many years.

    Alzheimer's isn't from speculation. There's hard evidence that aluminum has a hand in it's creation. It's from the oxidation. That's textbook info. :mad: If your just making candles, I don't think there's a problem, as long as your not going to eat them.

    Larry
    Last edited by Barry; 05-05-2008 at 07:33 PM.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
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    Anchorage, Alaska
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    Default

    OK folks, I'm not going to get into a long-winded argument with any of you guys over aluminum and Alzheimer's disease. The original query was whether aluminum was ok for melting beeswax. Apparantly it is according to what I've read and seen from personal experience. As I mentined before there is indeed (and has been for some time) controversy over whether it is responsible or not for Alzheimer's disease. I posted a link earlier that I thought offered a level-headed and balanced assessment on the subject. Google or any other search engine will give you more such links. Those search engines will also give anyone wanting to claim that aluminum is directly responsible for Alzheimer's links saying that aluminum does actually cause Alzheimer's disease. Believe what you want. I don't know if it does or not.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Lancaster CA
    Posts
    410

    Default Fager wax melter 100% aluminum

    I used a Fager, now made by Cook and Beals. The Fagger is 100% aluminum. I melted 2000 lb wax per yr in it and sold my wax direct to a very fussy candle maker that could only use the finest wax in his product. The candles he made for the Greek Orthodox church. They are 36 in long and 3/4 in in diameter. His molds and wic come from Germany.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Lyons, CO
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    Default

    Sure appreciate it folks, for my $.02 I'll consider this one laid to rest and go with the AL. Now if I could only remember where I put that checkbook...
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

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