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Hi All,

I'm hoping someone can point me in the right direction. I recently moved up to around 50 hives. I have acquired a 20 frame stainless uncapping tank and an 18 frame radial extractor. I extracted 20 medium supers this past weekend and WOW! what a mass of cappings. My query is: What would you guys recommend for a wax/honey separator-melter? I have looked through all the major suppliers and there seems to be many options. I have narrowed it down to three and they are: Brushy's (Wax Master Melter), Betterbee's (Maxant 3900 Wax Processing Tank) and Dadant's (Water Jacketed Mini Melter).
Does anyone have any experience or recommendations with these?

Thanks!
 

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we run 100 hives, and recently aquired a kelly wax melter when I bought out a retired beeks equipment....still have not used it. Dad built a solar melter and he puts all our drained cappings (we just finished extracting about 4000 lbs of honey) through the solar melter. We are continuing to build our colony numbers and Im not sure at what point dad will want to stop melting the cappings in the solar melter, but hes not whining yet so it must be a pretty efficient process :D ....didnt cost much to build the melter either.
 

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Do you just scrape the honey off the bottom of the cake from the solar melter? I'm starting plans to make my second solar melter, and I keep seeing in ads that some of the store-boughts have a "separator" to separate honey from wax, but I can't visualize how that would work.
 

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I'm the "Dad" up above. Honey separates itself from the cappings. Throw it in the melter and you will end up with a pan with a cake of wax on top and honey down below. It will be very poor honey after being heated to wax melting temp. The best solution is to drain the cappings first so that you get minimum honey in the melter. I made a large rectangular basket out of 1/2" hardware cloth which hangs over the uncapping tank; we line it with fine mesh window screen. You end up with nice dry cappings and honey you can use!!! When we get to about 150 hives, very soon, "Dad" is going to insist on a less labor intensive wax melter. :D:D
 

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I like the maxant junior wax spinner to spin the wax to get out the rest of the honey.
Then i use the 3900. Love it, works great.

I should add, the wax spinner paid for itself the first year in the amount of honey we were able to recover. We purchased it used and recovered about a barrel of honey on 100+ hives that year. It is one of those investments where, before you buy it you think it to be a bit frivilous. However, after you use it, you wonder how you got along without it. Yes, dripping out the honey works, but the spinner works better, recovers more.
One trick we use in the uncapping tanks is....put a few small blocks of wood in the tank (real small) and then set a clean queen excluder on the blocks, covering the bottom of the tank. While uncapping alot of the honey gets to drip out while it is warm. When the excluder gets a bit much, we dump into the spinner. We use the spinner while we extract.
 

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I have used a Fager press and Cook and Beals spin float. I prefered the Cook and beals, but the Fager sure was quiet. For home use I made a cone out of stiff wire/thin rod, lined it with window screen, hung it in an open head drum, and uncapped into it. Make two, yesterday's drum drains while you uncap into todays.


Roland
 
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