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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default wax cell cup molds?

    Can anyone tell me where I can purchase molds to make wax cell cups? I am currently using the stick method, but I saw (I believe it was on David Cushings website) a couple different silicone molds. One can be purchased though Thorne in the UK, but I have never purchased anything from outside the country, and am concerned about shippping. The other which is referred to as a Kemp mold I haven't been able to locate at all. I have looked at numerous other sites in the US to no avail. Does anyone know where either of these or another type that works well is sold in the US?
    Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default

    You have been using a stick. Are you making multiple ones at once? Most people who make their own make a "comb" that has many teeth on it and each one is one cell. A few dips and you have some cells:

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...m#DippingCells
    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesdoolittle.htm#MakingCups

    I don't know of a better way to make wax ones. They need that thin edge to work well.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    I haven't seen any for sale? I made a couple of different molds with silicon rubber that work quite well. One was a copy of the cell cups that come from the nicot system and the other are cups I got from Rossman.

    Because of that thin lip that Michael mentioned, the molds need to be warmed before pouring the wax so that it doesn't cool the wax before that small cavity is filled.

    The molds makes about 20 or 25 each. Of course the mold could be made to make as many as you would like in a run.

    It was just something to try at the time that I made them. But turned out that I make all my wax cups with those molds now.
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default

    Walter T. Kelley has always had the wax cups for sale. I assume they still do.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I am using a stick that makes a single cup at a time and was wanting to make multiples...I looked at the links, but couldn't see the pictures, does any one have plans, or know exactly what materials to use?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I know I can purchase wax cups already made, but I prefer to make them myself.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Fresno California USA
    Posts
    2,479

    Default cell cups

    10 or so dowels on a bar have the great advantage of being able to attach all 10 to a cell bar all at one time. Waxing cups one at a time to a bar is way too time consuming.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Yes, I agree, thats why I am trying to increase production I saw a video on utube where they were dipping a long bar with what looked like dowels, but then they used a 2nd piece of wood, looked like wooden bases with a hole in them, then pressed the bar with the wax (on dowels) into the bases with the holes, and that was the finished bar cell cups attached. Does anyone have a plan, or a good photo of this? It was hard to see the details in the video.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    Tucson, Arizona, USA
    Posts
    5,300

    Default

    Personally, when I use wax cell cups, I prefer them to be attached directly to the cell bar rather than to the wooden cell cup bases - they are much easier to detach from the cell bars without damaging the finished queen cells when they are attached directly to the bar.
    48 years - 50 hives - TF
    Joseph Clemens -- Website Under Constructioni

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Do you just attach with a little melted wax?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Leeds, UK
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bizykatbird View Post
    Do you just attach with a little melted wax?
    yes, a drip/blob is perfect

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Winston Salem , NC
    Posts
    228

    Default Wax cell cup molds

    What size dowel rods do you use?
    How is the easiest way to melt the wax?

    Thanks for all replys
    larry

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Red Bluff, Ca
    Posts
    301

    Default

    Look at figure 4 page 995 and figure 6 page 997 of The Hive and the Honey Bee last addition. If you have one it shows a tray to make cells. Or you could use an electric skillet to melt the wax. Just spoon some wax on the bar to attach the cells
    Dan

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Casper, Wy, USA
    Posts
    804

    Default

    Hi Guys,

    Jz Bz wide base plastic cups could be used to make a silicon rubber queen cup mold. The resulting wax cups would be substantial enough for easy handling/attachment. And they should have the right taper for an easy release from the mold.

    When I first started my queen rearing business, I dipped wax cups and attached them, en masse, on a grafting bar per the example in Laidlow's queen rearing book. I'd do this during the winter and have boxes full of grafting bars ready to go.

    But they were fragile to store and later, work with. And the sealed queen cell were much more fragile and difficult to remove and handle.

    After trying a few Jz Bz plastic cups, I was impressed. And haven't used wax cups since then. I can prepare/clean and wax coat several thousand of them in an hour. And store them indefinitely in a plastic bag. And the sealed cells can be easily removed and are strong enough for easy handling/pushing into a nuc's comb.

    One advantage for wax cups is that the bees recycle them. Plastic cups can end up just about everywhere, on the floor, in the sump, etc. especially in a commercial operation.

    Regards
    BWrangler
    I once wrangled bees. But now, knowing better, I just let them bee.
    http://talkingstick.me/category/bees/

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Salisbury, NC USA
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I am trying some plastic cups as well, what do you do to clean them? And if I tried to use the plastic cups to make molds where would I get silicone? And what would be the process to make a mold from it?

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Chapel Hill, N.C.
    Posts
    37

    Default

    Bill Sheppard,one of NC's state apiary inspectors,has a mold that he made from aluminum and used for years. Call Don Hopkins @ beneficial insects lab for contact info.

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    45,458

    Default

    >What size dowel rods do you use?

    "Cells larger than five-sixteenths of an inch are not accepted so readily as those of this size or smaller."--Jay Smith, Queen Rearing Simplified

    http://www.bushfarms.com/beesqueenre...m#DippingCells

    >How is the easiest way to melt the wax?

    I have a turkey roaster that has a double boiler build in. It's nice and long, but also pretty big. Any crock pot (that you use only for wax) would work also.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 40y 200h 37yTF

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Loganville, GA
    Posts
    2,172

    Default

    This is where my molding materials come from. There are others out there also.

    There are some instructional vids here that will give you some idea about making molds:

    http://www.hobbycast.net/video.htm
    "Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." Winston Churchill

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    "When completed, the cells should be about five-sixteenths of an inch across the mouth and one-half inch deep inside measurements."-- --Jay Smith, Queen Rearing Simplified
    Thank you MB.
    Would 1/4" dowels work? Do the ends get shaped (rounded)? Jay Smith says deep them four times to build wall thickness and allow a drop to form at the base to allow for trimming. How important are the outside dimensions of the cell? Would dipping them eight times make them unacceptable?

  20. #20
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Accord, NY
    Posts
    333

    Default

    Maybe a dumb question but...
    Will the bees transfer larvae into empty cups on a frame positioned midheight between brood frames? Or do these cups work only if grafted?

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