What to do with old, dark brood comb
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    honaunau, hawaii, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Anyone use the wax from brood frames? What do you do with it?

    I feel bad throwing it away, but I can't use the wax in body products because it was in the hive when I treated.

    I've used it in candle making, but I don't find the medium/dark brown a nice color in most of the candle molds I have. I think a candle design with flowers on it shouldn't be made of wax that is brown. I've tried filtering it multiple times, using a maple syrup filter or a sweatshirt and it gets lighter, but it's still pretty brown.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Williamsport, PA
    Posts
    495

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    I'm culling old brood frames and wax right now. I plan to make candles. Mine is the color of butterscotch. I have red candle dye that hides it will but I'm probably just going to leave it as is.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    Winston-Salem, NC
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    418

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    use in swarm traps
    NCSBA Certified Beekeeper - my Youtube Vlog
    https://www.youtube.com/c/BackyardBeesNC

  5. #4

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    I melt it down and sell it to blacksmiths or turn it in for new fountain. It is almost more work than itís worth.

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,259

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    I melt my old brood comb for wax. The cocoons soak up a lot of it and it needs to be pressed to get most all of it out. The wax does tend to be much darker, so I use it to paint on plastic foundation and wax the starter strips for my foundationless frames. I understand that brood comb can be melted in a solar wax melter and it comes out considerably lighter. Downloaded some plans to make one yesterday so i'll find out if it is true. I make candles out of the pale yellow wax from honeycomb and the drone burr comb that I always seem to get a lot of in the spring.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Catskills, Delaware Cty, New York, USA
    Posts
    1,758

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    I agree with JW; and/or melt and paint the insides of new boxes, and what ifixoldhouses says, great for swarm traps!
    Proverbs 16:24

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2016
    Location
    Rutland County, Vermont,USA
    Posts
    2,291

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Quote Originally Posted by JWPalmer View Post
    I melt my old brood comb for wax. The cocoons soak up a lot of it and it needs to be pressed to get most all of it out. The wax does tend to be much darker, so I use it to paint on plastic foundation and wax the starter strips for my foundationless frames. I understand that brood comb can be melted in a solar wax melter and it comes out considerably lighter. Downloaded some plans to make one yesterday so i'll find out if it is true. I make candles out of the pale yellow wax from honeycomb and the drone burr comb that I always seem to get a lot of in the spring.
    Hey JW. Some regular on here went to great pains designing/modifying a solar melter and posted his hints on here. I will be darned if I can remember who it was. At the time I thought, cool, but I will never need that. Well now I do. If I find it, I will let you know.
    Larry09, I have found old brood comb not worth the trouble of messing with except to filter it once and pour it in ice cube trays. When I need to wax plastic foundation, a swarm box, hinges,dresser drawers,etc, I just use one of those cubes. K

  9. #8
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Location
    honaunau, hawaii, USA
    Posts
    8

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Thank you for all the responses. I have been meaning to make a solar wax melter. A fellow beekeeper told me she made one really easily with a sheet of plexiglass and an old cooler. I've tried bleaching wax by leaving it out in the sun, but didn't have the best results. I live in Hawaii, though, so anything solar is great. We have an abundance of sun here.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    4,259

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    There are several plans available for a real solar wax melter, and there are scads of videos of folks using an ice chest and a piece of glass. Here is the link to the Beesource version.
    https://beesource.com/build-it-yours...ar-wax-melter/
    We have a lot of resources one does not see on the forums page. You have to go to the home page and click on the three bars in the upper left hand corner.
    I am looking at this one and a larger one posted in the Beekeepers Workshop page.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Indeed, trying to extract any wax from it difficult. The old cocoons absorb too much wax. Best used in a swarm traps, or compost.
    Phil

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Plymouth, MA USA
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Quote Originally Posted by hankstump View Post
    Indeed, trying to extract any wax from it difficult. The old cocoons absorb too much wax. Best used in a swarm traps, or compost.
    Phil
    I always worried that putting it in the compost would attract wax moths to the neighborhood...? tried extracting the wax once - never again!What a stinky mess or little return!

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2018
    Location
    Santa Cruz, CA USA
    Posts
    111

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    New to bee keeping. Why are you melting old wax? Does it go bad? Why not make new wax without brood? And they say there are no dumb questions!��

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Fremont, California
    Posts
    131

    Default Re: What to do with old, dark brood comb

    Old black comb should be cycled out of your hive over time. Some give it 2 years in the brood chamber, some give it 5 years. Whichever, old black comb should be replaced over time. The built up cocoons from all the bees makes the cells smaller, and carry more disease and chemicals over time. It is actually the cocoons that wax moths are interested in, not the wax. Wax moths don't care for yellow comb so much as they love black comb.

    Composting is my preferred method of disposing of old comb. If its buried, you don't get any wax moth larvae, and if you do, the rest of the compost community takes care of them.

    Phil in Fremont.

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