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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Clark South Dakato USA
    Posts
    44

    Default Melting Wax of Frames

    I want to start rotating and melting my broodframes. what do I need to know. Also how does one melt the wax without also melting the foundation
    Thanks for any help.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Lancaster, Ky. / Frostproof Fl.
    Posts
    992

    Default

    You cant melt wax without melting foundation.....gotta put in new. How old is your brood comb? What chemical have you used in hive? May or may not be worth it!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    97

    Default

    You don't. I cut out the whole comb, including all the wires. If old brood comb, you will have trouble getting any wax out of it, since most of it is old cocoons, pollen, whatever, that hold the wax. I am going to try getting an old stainless steel pot and melt the old comb in it, then press it out with a piece of plywood that has lots of holes in it covered by hardware cloth, and a handle. Not sure it will work very well, but I like to try things out and see what happens.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Devils Lake, North Dakota
    Posts
    9,123

    Default

    Old brood comb has only a couple of uses in my
    book.

    1. Makes a great fires starter for camping and the ol'
    woodstove.

    2. Melted and painted into swarm traps makes for nice
    smell for scout bees.

    The stuff is just too polluted for much else. IMO

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    I can get good wax out of my black brood frames from my solar melter. Back when I tried to use water or double boiler to get the wax, I just threw them on the burning pile.

    With the solar melter I can get nice wax. It is all still there, it is just covered with cocoons, propolis, and other debris. I am burning candles from brood comb now and they are just as nice as capping wax candles except they are darker wax.

    All I do is put the frames in the melter on top of a thin cotton cloth, with the cloth folded up over the lower edge of the frames. I actually melt all of my wax this way (through a thin cotton cloth). When they are melted and the cloth is cooled, take the cloth out and shake off all of the black stuff (there will be a lot of it). I was shocked at how much wax I got the first time I did it. And regretted burning all of those frames on the burning pile.

    I have seen wax this dark in the store for sale, so it isn't that bad and burns just as nice as my cappings wax candles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Glenmoore, PA
    Posts
    97

    Default

    Thanks, beedeetee. So you are in affect filtering the wax thru the cotton cloth? I'll give that a try this summer - I need something to do with my old tee shirts!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Woodlawn, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    327

    Default

    A member of our local association has a method you might try. He places the old comb in the leg of a pair of panty hose and ties it off. This he places in a large pot of water on his stove. He lays a saw blade, which is just smaller than the pot, on top of the hose to force it to submerge. Bringing the water to nearly a boil melts the wax, which floats to the surface. He then skims it into a metal pan for cooling.
    I would think this method could be adapted to a solar wax melter fairly easily. My question would be, How does the water effect the wax for candle usage? Don't know, but I will have to ask him. I have not collected enough wax yet to try this myself.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Bristol,MA,USA
    Posts
    733

    Default

    Beedeetee said, "When they are melted and the cloth is cooled, take the cloth out and shake off all of the black stuff (there will be a lot of it)."

    Don't throw away the "black stuff". It's called slumgum. Roll it up into a ball and throw it into the truck cab. Whenever there is a really vicious hive, put a little in the smoker. You might be surprised at how calm they will get for quite a while. Acts like a sort of a "morale killer". Maybe the smell of cocoons burning has something to do with the calming results.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Clark South Dakato USA
    Posts
    44

    Default

    Some are real old, I got them from an old beekeeper. but over the past 5 years I've been buying and replacing a lot of them. I'm a real cheapy, do I have to throw away the plactic foundation too.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    chilliwack, bc
    Posts
    659

    Default

    I havn't tried this yet but I'm thinking about a solar wax melter. I've still got to build it but i think it might work for old brood comb. If anyone else has tried it let us know.
    Will Gruenwald Chilliwack BC

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    North Salem, NY
    Posts
    329

    Default

    I would just cut everything out of the frame, clean up the frame, and put it back in between two frames of brood, without any foundation. I have had, on numerous occasions, perfect comb drawn in an empty frame. Poorly drawn comb between two brood frames? Never. I have since given up on paying for foundation, and let the bees build their own comb. When starting a new hive, I do make my own foundationless top bars so the bees have a guide to work from and do not build the comb across the frames. One frame already drawn out in the middle helps too.

    justgojumpit

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Vernon,New York,USA
    Posts
    240

    Default

    someone on this forum has a video. they put frams in a burlap bag.boil in a big cooker skim wax off the top of the water.
    Dwayne.S
    Westmoreland N.Y.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Camas, WA
    Posts
    1,961

    Default

    Everything that I tried with boiling water and brood combs ended up as a mess. That's when I started throwing them on the fire. After I built my solar wax melter I used it for a few years before I tried brood comb in it.

    I wear my tee shirts until they are pretty thin and starting to get holes at which time they are perfect for wax melting. I take scissors and cut the front and back a part and use a half until it gets pretty caked with propolis and other debris, but that takes me quite a while. The cotton does absorb wax, but after it is saturated it just keeps flowing through.

    When I decide to change tee shirt halfs I put the old one in the melter for a couple of minutes to soften it up and then roll it up. I take scissors and but rounds off of it to use for fire starters the next winter.

    I never thought to try the black cocoons in the smoker. I'll try that this summer.
    Last edited by beedeetee; 03-05-2009 at 07:37 PM. Reason: Spelling

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Lyons, CO
    Posts
    3,046

    Default

    My solar melter works great for old combs. It does leave a good bit of wax in the slumgum, but that just makes the slumgum burn well (actually I mostly just compost it).

    What I need is a good way to render feral comb that has honey in it too. I don't want to crush-and-strain since it's a huge hassle, and most of the comb has been sprayed anyways so don't want to re-use the honey. Would honeyed water affect wax ladled off the surface of a boil?
    Bees, brews and fun
    in Lyons, CO

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Lee\'s Summit, MO
    Posts
    1,323

    Default

    What about if you have plastic foundation? Can you effectively melt the old drawn comb off an reuse the foundation? Do you simply pull out the old drawn plastic foundation and put new foundation in and start over? I've got a solar melter and I was planning on trying it this summer. Any tricks ya'll have for doing this would be appreciated.
    Ninja, is not in the dictionary. Well played Ninja's, well played...

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Kiel WI, USA
    Posts
    2,368

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by D Coates View Post
    What about if you have plastic foundation? Can you effectively melt the old drawn comb off an reuse the foundation?
    The melting point of the plastic and the wax is too close for a solar melter. Mine destroyed a sheet of plastic foundation on a 60 deg. F day. I just scrape the comb off with a hive tool and pile it all in the solar melter. The frames can then go right into a hive.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Pepperell, MA.
    Posts
    3,779

    Default

    I toss the old comb in my solar melter. At the base of the melting surface I put a bread pan. Over the top of the bread pan I put a sheet of heavy duty paper towel....the kind you buy at the hardware store as paint rags. I hold the paper towel in place with a long elastic band. As the wax melts, it runs down the metal tray, drips onto the paper towel and filters into the pan below. The finished wax is nearly perfect. You're right...you get more wax than you think from old comb!
    "My wife always wanted girls. Just not thousands and thousands of them......"

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