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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    nelsonville, ohio
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    383

    Default wax processing question

    i will be crushing and straning all my honey and cuting out my brood comb in the search of natural cell size this year. my questions is this. how do you get the left ofer honey and the cacoons/misc dibris out of the nice clean wax my wife wants for candles/soap/lipbalm. i have seen plans for solar melters but that dosent seem to filter the wax.

  2. #2

    Default Re: wax processing question

    you can filter melted wax through a strainer or even a cloth to remove impurities.

    Big Bear
    No, I am NOT a bee "Keeper". Anything I post is just my opinion. Take it easy and think for yourself.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    nelsonville, ohio
    Posts
    383

    Default Re: wax processing question

    what about that nasty black stuff it turns to liquid to. i would like to get nice pure wax

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Alachua County, FL, USA
    Posts
    6,787

    Default Re: wax processing question

    put a little water in the pan the wax flows into, the wax will float on top, solar melting makes the best wax because of the lower temperature

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Findlay, Ohio
    Posts
    323

    Smile Re: wax processing question

    Solar melter works good. I built my own pan with a longer discharge than some online drawings show that I fitter with removable screens of various mesh with the largest mesh accross the full pan. Gets most of the big stuff on the first run. I forget were I read it, but for a final filter, use a piece of BOUNTY paper towel, works great! If you are the outdoor type, those used waxed towels make a good fire starter. I rigged a small "pet" cheeep feed/water bowl with a few drilled holes and set it on top of an old "meatloaf" pan for the mold. A little shot of silicon spray makes a good release agent. O let the wax cool in the melter overnight, should come out without any cracks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: wax processing question

    11X-

    I have Top Bar Hives and do exactly what you want to do with a solar melter. I take an aluminum roaster pan, punch a pencil size hole along the short side, line it with paper towels. Perch it in on a small box inside a styrofoam cooler above the collection container. It drains into a plastic bread-pan sized container that I put 1/2" of water in. Perfect wax every time. You can do separate batches if you want. New comb for white wax, brood comb for "butterscotch" colored wax. I used the same technique for a cut out I did. Turned some nasty looking old brood comb into a beautiful block of wax. I also line the cooler with black tar paper. It gets up to 200F inside the cooler. Make sure it's bee-tight though other wise it cooks bees!

    I used to put all the wax in an old stock pot with water and boil it down. Abandoned that method because it took way too much time and energy to get the same results.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: wax processing question

    Don't let wax come into contact with aluminium, as it will discolour the wax. Use nylon or stainless steel.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: wax processing question

    Gee, I haven't really run into the discoloration issue using aluminum. Been doing it without a problem for several years. I use the disposable aluminum turkey roaster pans repeatedly and the processed wax is the same or a better color than the comb I'm melting. Is there a certain type or alloy of aluminum we should avoid? What kind of discoloration can be expected? What is causing the discoloration? Just curious and always open to learning more.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: wax processing question

    "Wax should only be melted in stainless steel, plastic, or tin plated containers. Iron rust and containers of galvanised iron, brass or copper all impart a colour to beeswax and aluminium is said to make the wax dull and mud coloured. The next time you see a very orange wax in may have been melted in a copper pan"

    http://www.honeyshop.co.uk/wax.html

    Last edited by buckbee; 03-19-2010 at 05:45 AM.
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: wax processing question

    > and aluminium is said to make the wax dull and mud coloured.

    First, with all due respect, I wouldn't trust anything in print from a person who can't spell aluminum or color! (Just joking.) I think he's referring to the old industrial pots and pans that were were made from an aluminum alloy that was subject to oxidation (no longer available.) They have a very dull finish on them. Polishing results in a dark residue on your polishing rag. You can easily tell if this is what you have by bringing vinegar to a boil in one. If it leaves a real shiny area that the vinegar was in contact with, probably best not to use it for wax (or cooking for that matter.) Also, if your hives are in an areas that suffer from acid rain (mine are), your wax could be a bit on the acid side "dissolving" that aluminum oxide into your processed wax.

    The heavy duty "aluminum foil" disposable pans and sheets are resistant to that type of oxidation, otherwise they would be banned for use with food, much like the old pots and pans are.

    I never say never, so unless there's a metallurgist in the group to say otherwise, I think we can use these disposable aluminum pans in our solar melter without fear of having "dull or mud colored wax."

    My wife wrote in a card she gave me for Valentine's Day the I was "handsome"....just proves you can't believe everything you read!

    Steve

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Location
    Totnes, Devon, England
    Posts
    1,019

    Default Re: wax processing question

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve10 View Post
    >
    First, with all due respect, I wouldn't trust anything in print from a person who can't spell aluminum or color! (Just joking.)
    Funny, the guy who owns that UK business is actually American - you think he'd have learned to spell, wouldn't you?

    Shall we agree to leave xenophobia - even if vaguely humourous (note spelling) out of these discussions?
    The Barefoot Beekeeper http://www.biobees.com

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    Remsen, NY, USA
    Posts
    367

    Default Re: wax processing question

    >Shall we agree to leave xenophobia - even if vaguely humourous (note spelling) out of these discussions?

    Please do!

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