Solar Melting
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Thread: Solar Melting

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Ronan, Montana
    Posts
    187

    Default Solar Melting

    I built a solar melter, crude but it works with the recent warm sunny days...
    I put in old comb that I have acquired mostly from doing cut-outs....
    When I put the old comb into the melter, I get wa dripping into my pan, but there's a residue in the form of comb that is left. Almost feels like paper when I remove it.
    Isn't the entire piece of comb wax? Shouldn't it melt completely??
    Chuck
    Ronan, MT
    SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
    (Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever)

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    St Louis, Missouri, USA
    Posts
    309

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    If there's ever been brood in your comb, it'll have paper-like cocoons. Even if there hasn't been any brood, there's bound to be some non-wax material resulting from thousands of bees walking all over it.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Ronan, Montana
    Posts
    187

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    Thank you....

    What would happen to that paper-like material if you were to just melt it in a pot? Could you still use it for candles?

    BTW I know that Bea Arthur passed away a few years back, but did know that Bea Arthur is a Marine!

    ~Semper Fi~
    Last edited by The Walker; 08-11-2018 at 01:11 PM.
    SAEPE EXPERTUS, SEMPER FIDELIS, FRATRES AETERNI
    (Often Tested, Always Faithful, Brothers Forever)

  5. #4

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    The paper that you are referring to is called sum gum.. depending on filtering and as on it isn't good for much. Some people will put it in their compost, fire starters.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    As mentioned above, the cocoons from the pupating bees (they're wired to make them even inside the wax cells, which I find interesting) are not wax. They're part of what the wax moths eat/need as nutrition, and why fresh wax isn't a good home for wax moth larvae. But also as mentioned above they're good for fire starters,etc. And what wasn't mentioned above is that some folks use the material for its scent to enhance swarm lures.

    And just for completeness' sake, I believe that "slum gum" is what the previous poster intended to write. In case one were to search for info.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

  7. #6
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    San Mateo, CA
    Posts
    6,770

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    The papery cells are cocoons left on the side of cells with each brood hatch. I consider slum gum to be the brown lumpy residue leftover from cappings melting. I don't know what it is but since it comes from cappings over new honey and not brood, it must not be cocoons. It contains wax which can only be retrieved by hot water pressing.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Location
    York County, VA, USA
    Posts
    503

    Default Re: Solar Melting

    Oliver is MUCH more experienced than I, and knows the nomenclature well (possibly wrote/invented some of it). I, too, have seen the brown stuff in the cappings residue, but I thought it was principally propolis. I've been wrong before and fully expect that I am now wrong in certain things I consider to be true. I just don't know which ones.

    Michael
    "I thought I made a mistake once, but I was wrong." (heard often from the late David Sebree) Still making them, myself

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