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Thread: Just some info

  1. #1
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    Default Just some info

    Hey I know I posted a while back on what it takes a bee to make comb And I said for one pound of wax it takes 10 pounds of honey. Well Some one asked for me to back that up. Ok I asked around my mentor Jerry Lawson found the answere, were this comes from. it is found in a book published by Dadant call Fist lessons in beekeeping and it says it takes 7-12 pounds of honey or syurp to make one pound of wax. so there is the infor and were it came from.

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    Default Re: Just some info

    I've actually read similar numbers in old-time beekeeping books (early 20th century books)... but they still don't say where the value comes from.

    I just looked through one book (Beginner Bee Book, 1919), but couldn't find the passage.

    Another book (500 Answers to bee questions, 6th ed. 1975) says:
    The amount of honey consumed in the production of was is a question that has never been definitely settled by investigators. Some claim that is requires 15 to 20 pounds of honey to make one pound of wax, while others estimate that only seven or eight pounds of honey are consumed for each pound of wax produced. Under some conditions the bees apparently produce wax at very little cost in honey, while under other conditions the consumption of honey in wax production appears to be enormous.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by honeydreams View Post
    it is found in a book published by Dadant call Fist lessons in beekeeping and it says it takes 7-12 pounds of honey or syurp to make one pound of wax. so there is the infor and were it came from.
    Again, it just makes the statement again with no indication of the origin of this wives' tale (which is what I'm going to think of it as from now on, since it's been told and retold apparently since the 1800's or something).
    How come everyone citing 'proof' of this saying actually just keeps giving more of the same citings of yet some other place that says it again with no factual origins or studies? I see it as a typical farmer's sage saying, like "a stitch in time saves nine". Pfft!

    ("Fist Lessons in Beekeeping"?...sounds painful!)
    The little bee returns with evening's gloom,
    To join her comrades in the braided hive... -Tennyson

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Oh Omie If you would read and study wifes tales as you put it have very sound back grounds. Were the information on it takes 7-12 pounds of Honey or suyrup to make one pound of wax. Is found in the Royal Instituion of Natural science in London. they did the tests and came up with the results. about 80 years ago. So that is why I advocate not cutting and crushing of comb to get honey. I am not sure how you go about honey extracting nor am I saying you do that. you just wanted were the source came from so there you go.
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Ok trivia fans! Maybe this bit of research will put to rest this old discussion.

    From page 301 of the current edition of The Hive and the Honey Bee:
    "During wax secretion bees consume large amounts of honey or nectar. Studies by Whitcomb (1946) indicated that, in building comb from foundation, bees consumed approximately 3.8 kilograms of honey during the production of 453 grams of wax."

    Now, according to the conversion tables in my copy of Pocket Ref, Third Edition by Thomas J. Glover, that equates to 8.378 pounds (avdp) of honey to produce 0.999 pounds (avdp) of wax. If you want troy weights, that's 10.18 pounds (troy) of honey to produce 1.21 pounds (troy) of wax.

    If you don't have this book, or The ABC and XYZ of Beekeeping you really ought to get them.
    Regards,
    Steven
    "If all you have is a hammer, the whole world is a nail." - A.H. Maslow

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    Default Re: Just some info

    was that just one bee? how much grass does it take to make a gallon of milk. as i understand it young bees build most of the comb and it's at a time when there is not a lot going on in the hive or in the field. i guess if you were making summer splits (when there is a lot blooming and lots of brood) you wouldn't want to put them on foundation, but in the spring they might as well be doing something. especially with the long rainy spells. justin

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    Default Re: Just some info

    here is the thing, I try and tell new beeks not to crush and strain the honey from the comb. because of the work that the bees do to draw that out and how taxing it is. unless i really have to replace the wax I don't just think of it as oh trivial but hard work on them girls. Now bur comb thats diffrent they need to lay off the sugar.
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

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    Default Re: Just some info

    ok so the next question is how much wax does it take for them to draw out one 9 5/8 sheet of foundation?
    Nick

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Many thanks to StevenG for his time and research. I am glad that I can now concentrate on the rest of the upcoming bee season. Take care and have fun

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by swarm_trapper View Post
    ok so the next question is how much wax does it take for them to draw out one 9 5/8 sheet of foundation?
    Nick
    Not much.

    I crushed and strained 5 full medium frames last fall. I carefully collected all the wax (thinking I was going to make candles or something). Anyway, I ended up with a pitiful amount of wax. A couple of ounces at most.

    5 to 10 pounds of honey to make a pound of wax sounds like a lot, but the total amount of wax created is small compared to the amount of honey produced in a good hive.

    Also consider, how many pounds of honey or nectar are consumed by the bees in their everyday feeding activities?

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by swarm_trapper View Post
    ok so the next question is how much wax does it take for them to draw out one 9 5/8 sheet of foundation?
    Nick
    Not much. The difference in weight between a frame with foundation only and a frame which is drawn but empty is minimal. It's hard to be exact but I would guess 2-3 ounces of wax per frame are added by the bees when they're drawing out the comb. So If they have to draw out a box of 10 frame deep, they are making about 20-30 ounces (1.5 pounds on average).

    If it takes 8 lbs honey to make 1 lb wax, then that deep super is costing 12 lbs of honey. No wonder first year beekeeping never brings you much.

    But my question is if wax is so darn expensive in terms of honey, why is it so dirt cheap when you go to sell it?
    Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss you`ll be among the stars!

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by MichelinMan View Post
    But my question is if wax is so darn expensive in terms of honey, why is it so dirt cheap when you go to sell it?
    Because who will honestly pay the value that it's worth?

    You'd be at nearly $40-50/lb of wax!

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    Default Re: Just some info

    because its not the only wax out there. you have petrolum based parifin wax that is super cheap. remove that from the market and have bees wax the only wax around and prices go to the moon.
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by MichelinMan View Post
    Not much. The difference in weight between a frame with foundation only and a frame which is drawn but empty is minimal. It's hard to be exact but I would guess 2-3 ounces of wax per frame are added by the bees when they're drawing out the comb. So If they have to draw out a box of 10 frame deep, they are making about 20-30 ounces (1.5 pounds on average).

    If it takes 8 lbs honey to make 1 lb wax, then that deep super is costing 12 lbs of honey. No wonder first year beekeeping never brings you much.
    Maybe 1.5 pounds of wax per hive. I found several references indicating beeswax production is 1 to 2 percent of honey yield. So if you have a 100-pound hive (very good) that would be about 1.5 pounds of wax. My own observations were 2 ounces per 5 medium frames. So figure 4 ounces per box times 4 boxes per hive and voila, 1 pound of wax per hive. Deep frames are 50 percent bigger so multiply my medium number by 1.5 and you are back again at 1.5 pounds per hive figure.

    Anyway, the bees are continually consuming their own honey as food. How much do they normally consume and do they really eat 8 additional pounds of honey beyond what they normally eat to produce a pound of wax? Who has measured this?

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    Big Grin Re: Just some info

    hello all you wax fans ok..here's another problem for you I have noticed foraging bees collecting wax off of a frame and placing it on their pollen baskets.Then returning into their hive.I left the frame in the sun on purpose,observation purposes of course.Now with that said what percentange of wax do they build?what % do they reuse?what % do they rob from other colonies or die outs robs from feral colonies?

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    Default Re: Just some info

    Quote Originally Posted by Nabber86 View Post
    Who has measured this?
    If you took the time to read my earlier post it was done in England London at the royal institute of science.
    99.99% of questions can be answered by Just reading books.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Just some info

    Right, the Royal Institute of Science. That's rather vague. How about a real reference?

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    Default Re: Just some info

    I can't figure out why it is so difficult to see that it takes a lot of energy/resources to make wax. Drawn comb is one of the most valuable assets a beekeeper can have. Just see how fast a hive takes off on drawn comb vs foundation(less).

    Justin....bees won't draw comb in the spring if nothing is coming it to put in it. You can feed, but then it costs money for the wax that gets built. It always seems that my best frames are drawn during the honey flow. It still costs money (from honey) though.

    Just burn a pound of beeswax and see the energy released. That energy comes from somewhere. The wax generating bees have to consume the energy source to make that wax.

    I have read the 8lb source before and it always seemed about right when I compared my hives drawing foundation vs being on drawn comb, although I never basis for believing it except gut feeling.

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Just some info

    Way to go, Steve. The guy at the Dadant place told me "8 to 10 pounds of honey per pound of wax" the other day, and I wondered where he got the information.

    I wonder how top bar hives are able to produce any useable honey, if you have to crush all the comb to harvest. It seems like it would not work.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Just some info

    Having produced a lot of comb honey, I have never been able to verify the various numbers I have read and heard.

    From my experience, at some times it seems there is no cost to drawing wax. At other times, wax production is very expensive.

    If you are feeding to produce wax when the bees are not inspired to do so, then the normal experimental numbers apply. At other times, in strong flows in hives with many young bees, we see wax scales on the young bees and scales dropped onto he floor, unused.

    Winnie the Pooh was right, about bees, anyhow.

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