Separating honey from wax, best method?
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  1. #1
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    Default Separating honey from wax, best method?

    When trying to separate honey from cappings or crush and strain, I've found that at least a 1/3 or more of the honey remains in the wax after straining has stopped dripping.

    I then put the remaining wax and honey in a pot in the oven set on its lowest setting and stir regularly until it has just melted. Then let it cool until the wax has fully set.

    The result is a wax "froth" on top which is also fairly grainy. What is the best way to get this off? I think a butter knife works alright, but lot of work for big batches.

    I then soak the wax 'froth' in a good amount of water overnight. Rinse and then melt the wax in a pot with a couple of inches of hot water.

    Is there another or easier way?

    Thanks,

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    First I don't do crush. But I would add a press into the mix to work more honey out. It sounds like you are leaving a lot of honey behind.

  4. #3
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Or give it back to the bees.

  5. #4
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    I do not crush and strain, it just seems counter productive to me. However, It depends on your motivation, if it is a matter of not wasting it then a good way to make good use of it is to spread it out on a inverted hive cover and let the bees clean it up, trust me they will do so quite effectively.
    I give some back to the bees in this manner, and I also take enough to fill a 6 gallon bucket 1/2 way then fill with cold water. let sit for several hours stirring occasionally. Then I strain through a fine screen. I then check the specific gravity, adjust to my needs and make mead from it. no waste, and I have a nice brew to drink on cold winter nights.

  6. #5
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    I too use a clean water rince to make mead. Extractor, buckets, knife, cappings...

    >have a nice brew to drink on cold winter nights.
    or warm sping nights or hot summer nights or cool fall nights.

    Or any nights.

  7. #6
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    when I done my first cutout we had a small amount that looked like the freshest comb---- my wifes salad spinner the press was a old sausage stuffer.

  8. #7
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by FlowerPlanter View Post
    I too use a clean water rince to make mead. Extractor, buckets, knife, cappings...

    >have a nice brew to drink on cold winter nights.
    or warm sping nights or hot summer nights or cool fall nights.

    Or any nights.
    Could we have your method - it sounds terrific
    m
    from the Bee House -http://ecologicalsolutions.com.au/bees/?page_id=8
    40 years - +/- 20 H - TF - Subtropical

  9. #8
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    When trying to separate honey from cappings or crush and strain,
    I don't know what volume you are speaking off but I would try to increase the efficiency of the crush and strain process. If you could use something like a wax mill with flat rollers to squeeze out the honey you would have less to deal with. Maybe you would do your normal process and do this roller process next. The trick would be what to make the rollers out of so the wax doesn't stick so well to them.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  10. #9
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tenbears View Post
    I do not crush and strain, it just seems counter productive to me. However, It depends on your motivation, if it is a matter of not wasting it then a good way to make good use of it is to spread it out on a inverted hive cover and let the bees clean it up, trust me they will do so quite effectively.
    I give some back to the bees in this manner, and I also take enough to fill a 6 gallon bucket 1/2 way then fill with cold water. let sit for several hours stirring occasionally. Then I strain through a fine screen. I then check the specific gravity, adjust to my needs and make mead from it. no waste, and I have a nice brew to drink on cold winter nights.
    Can you elaborate on this method? I am just setting up my first hives this year and I am clueless. The water removes the residual honey, but then is it not too dilute to make anything with? I plan on not using foundation, so I will be using a process like this as well. Please enlighten me!

  11. #10
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    If you wash the honey out you have two choices, make mead or feed it back to the bees.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  12. #11
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by TSWisla View Post
    Can you elaborate on this method? I am just setting up my first hives this year and I am clueless. The water removes the residual honey, but then is it not too dilute to make anything with? I plan on not using foundation, so I will be using a process like this as well. Please enlighten me!
    So as not to hijack the OP's post or clutter it up I have posted the requested information in home brewing forum under my favorite mead recipe.....

  13. #12
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Assuming you don't want to make mead, put the wax in a turkey roaster in the oven at about 180 to 200 F. When the wax has all melted, let it cool and harden. The honey underneath will be dark and not as good for table honey but works fine for cooking or candy. The wax, of course, will be on top.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  14. #13
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Hard to know what volume he is talking about. A crock pot is another vessel he could use.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  15. #14
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Well, I believe the volume is suitable for a "pot in the oven" ...

    From post #1 ...
    Quote Originally Posted by MattDavey View Post
    I then put the remaining wax and honey in a pot in the oven set on its lowest setting and stir regularly until it has just melted.
    .




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    Graham
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  16. #15
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Thanks everyone. Have been mainly feeding back to the bees on the past, but with fighting and many casualties decided to heat it. Was surprised how much honey was in the pot after heating it.

  17. #16
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    I put my cappings in a big plastic jug. If they sit a long while much more of the honey will drain to the bottom. Then I can scoop out the wax on top, give it a quick rinse and melt it down. As you can see this years honey crystallized. Other years it stayed as liquid honey. Usually I feed this honey to the bees on top of the inner cover.

    http://i697.photobucket.com/albums/v...ps73a4d52f.jpg
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    Brian Cardinal
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  18. #17
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    I put my cappings in a big plastic jug. If they sit a long while much more of the honey will drain to the bottom. Then I can scoop out the wax on top, give it a quick rinse and melt

    The bottom of the jar seems to be the least convenient place to have the honey...

    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  19. #18
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    If the honey was in the top part of the jar it would be very difficult to get the wax out unless you stored the jars upside down and then it would be a mess when you opened it. As it is you take out the wax and then you can add water or just spoon the honey out.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

  20. #19
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by Acebird View Post
    If the honey was in the top part of the jar it would be very difficult to get the wax out unless you stored the jars upside down and then it would be a mess when you opened it. As it is you take out the wax and then you can add water or just spoon the honey out.
    unless you stored the jars upside down
    Yippee! You have stumbled upon half of the answer.

    How about never using a jar at all, just use a strainer like most people who are interested in separating honey from wax.

    Or if you absolutely must use your "big jar", rubber band some cheesecloth over the opening and allow the jar to drain over another container.


    Good grief...
    BeeCurious
    Trying to think inside the box...

  21. #20
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    Default Re: Separating honey from wax, best method?

    Quote Originally Posted by BeeCurious View Post
    Or if you absolutely must use your "big jar", rubber band some cheesecloth over the opening and allow the jar to drain over another container.


    Good grief...
    For three or four months?

    My cappings have already gone through the straining process as I suspect Matt's did. This is three or four months of continual separation in a closed container so it doesn't get contaminated and it doesn't get thick from drying out and I don't have to baby sit it making sure none of the animals knock it over.
    Brian Cardinal
    Zone 5a, Practicing non-intervention beekeeping

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