Extracting from Old Wax
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    Epworth, IA , USA
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    27

    Default Extracting from Old Wax

    This weekend I extracted a stack of supers that was sitting in my garage for a few weeks. One of them was a deep that was full of honey but had been previously used as brood nest for the past 5 years. Wax is very dark colored from its years of brood rearing. First question: Is there any problem consuming honey that came from this type of wax?

    Second, I noticed that uncapping seemed quite a bit more difficult on these frames. I use a heated uncapping planer which works great on most supers. But on these frames, I had trouble getting the planer to melt through the wax. In many cases I was tearing the comb from the foundation rather than melting through the caps. I suppose it makes sense that old tough comb would be tougher to uncap, just wondering if others have had similar experiences. Next time I might just leave a box like that for the bees.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Orange Grove, TX
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    159

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    The only wax present is the capping, there is almost zero wax available to cut through. A roller punch would have been more effective in this case.
    South Texas Apiaries, LLC
    www.Facebook.com/SouthTexasApiaries

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
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    1,653

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    I use this, works nice and the cappings can be used separately.
    https://www.bienenzuchtbedarf-seip.d...ml?language=de
    I extract all honey from old combs because I rotate them out of brood area like this and use the newer ones for feeding. Or extract from dead colonies.
    The honey can be consumed even from foulbrood or varroosis hives. Consume it yourself but don't feed honey from diseased hives to the bees.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    34,587

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    A. No, nothing wrong with honey extracted from old dark combs.
    B.Yup, old comb is harder to uncap.
    Mark Berninghausen

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
    Posts
    978

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    I thought brood nest honey was kind of a no-no depending on the treatments the colonies received?

    Brood nest comb is "reinforced" because of the cocoons left by the brood... kind of like trying to cut through cloth.
    - - Michael Joel
    1 John 3:3-4, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:18, James 2:17-20, 1 John 5:2-3

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    3,794

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Half of our hives are in old equipment with the newest frame from the 90's. The other half is from equipment that is less than 10 years old. No difference in color or floavor has ever been noticed.

    Sure, old comb is harder to uncap.

    Crazy Roland

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Germany, BW
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    1,653

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    I thought brood nest honey was kind of a no-no depending on the treatments the colonies received?
    Here is something.
    Honey containing medicamentation like antibiotics or insecticides I would not consume.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Yes. There are a number of treatments that specifically state never to consume honey out of the brood nest (being that that is the target area of treatments). So it depends on the treatments used whether one should consume brood nest honey.
    - - Michael Joel
    1 John 3:3-4, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:18, James 2:17-20, 1 John 5:2-3

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    Menomonee Falls, Wis.
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    If you do not use medications profalacitcaly(sp?), it is not much of a problem.

    Crazy Roland

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Location
    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    Yes. There are a number of treatments that specifically state never to consume honey out of the brood nest
    And their names are?
    Mark Berninghausen

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
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    978

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    I haven't used chemicals up until this year, but...
    Hopgaurd states no brood honey or wax is to be used. I believe, but am not positive, Apistan as well. From what I understand from various posts there are others.

    Knowing your a very experienced beekeeper, past inspector, etc., why do you ask me - who am a newbee in comparison?
    - - Michael Joel
    1 John 3:3-4, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:18, James 2:17-20, 1 John 5:2-3

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
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    SOMERSET, ENGLAND
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    406

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    This would also make some honey in supers not fit to eat, like any honey moved up by the bees when first supered in spring, or any honey dumped in the brood nest area, before being moved up by the bees during a heavy nectar flow, so it would include almost all of the honey they collect, going by that.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
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    Germany, BW
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    One of the advantages of tf to have clean honey and wax. Except pesticides pollution maybe, but those canīt be avoided nowadays. IMO perhaps with organic food if there is no drifting but even organic agriculture uses chemicals.
    zone 8a, sc, dadant square, wax comb, tf, 4 years beekeeping
    www.vivabiene.de

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    I haven't used chemicals up until this year, but...
    Hopgaurd states no brood honey or wax is to be used. I believe, but am not positive, Apistan as well. From what I understand from various posts there are others.

    Knowing your a very experienced beekeeper, past inspector, etc., why do you ask me - who am a newbee in comparison?
    I'll have to do some reading of labels to verify that labels state that honey from brood combs should not be harvested and eaten.

    I asked you because you made a statement which seemed to say that you know something which you believe. That's all.
    Mark Berninghausen

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by beekuk View Post
    This would also make some honey in supers not fit to eat, like any honey moved up by the bees when first supered in spring, or any honey dumped in the brood nest area, before being moved up by the bees during a heavy nectar flow, so it would include almost all of the honey they collect, going by that.
    I would love to see published evidence showing how much bees move honey around in a hive. I am skeptical.
    Mark Berninghausen

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
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    Weston, ME
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    978

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by sqkcrk View Post
    I'll have to do some reading of labels to verify that labels state that honey from brood combs should not be harvested and eaten.

    I asked you because you made a statement which seemed to say that you know something which you believe. That's all.
    I have a hopguard pack, so I can help with that one...
    HopGuard 2: "Users must not take honey and wax from the brood chambers, only from honey supers."
    - - Michael Joel
    1 John 3:3-4, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:18, James 2:17-20, 1 John 5:2-3

  18. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    Lottsburg, Virginia USA
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    962

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    If you do not use excluders the queen sometimes gets up into the supers and if you find comb that has been heavily used for brood the best way I have found to uncap these is with an electric carving knife. The carving knife does not work well with good comb so I have the hot knife and the carving knife standing by for old brood combs.
    Johno

  19. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
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    Brasher Falls, NY, USA
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    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeJ View Post
    I have a hopguard pack, so I can help with that one...
    HopGuard 2: "Users must not take honey and wax from the brood chambers, only from honey supers."
    Thanks. I have never used Hopguard, so I am not familiar with the label recommendations. I wonder what there is in Hopguard that would make the honey or wax not fit for human consumption. People consume hops, at least in beer.
    Mark Berninghausen

  20. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Location
    Rosebud Missouri
    Posts
    2,534

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    However, hopgaurd can be applied with the supers on and does not leave residue in honey per randy oliver. Betterbee site says,
    For optimal results, use when little or no brood is present in the hive. In general, apply two strips per brood chamber and take strips out after 30 days. Can be used with honey supers on, but it is not recommended to harvest honey or wax from brood supers. Can be applied up to three times per year. Detailed instructions and precautionary information included. Includes 24 cardboard strips.
    gww
    zone 5b

  21. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Weston, ME
    Posts
    978

    Default Re: Extracting from Old Wax

    Quote Originally Posted by gww View Post
    However, hopgaurd can be applied with the supers on and does not leave residue in honey per randy oliver. Betterbee site says,

    gww
    Yes, that is a big plus that the advertisers mention - that is, that it can be used with supers on. Apparently it does leave enough residues that the company thought it needed (or the gov.) to warn on the honey and wax. I believe was mentioned on this forum, the beta acid binds to fat (i.e. wax), and so is absorbed by wax.

    There was no mention in the advertising of the warning, so I bought a 24 strip pack of Hopguard 2 and a pack of MAQs. Since the MAQs (formic) leaves no measurable residues I have/will be using that... probably put the hopguard 2 for sale forum and see if anyone wants it.
    - - Michael Joel
    1 John 3:3-4, Matthew 5:19, Matthew 5:18, James 2:17-20, 1 John 5:2-3

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