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I've read a bit about crushing and straining comb honey, but I don't understand how one recovers the beeswax - Will it not still be covered in sticky honey?

How can one separate the honey from the beeswax in order to get a useable/storable beeswax product?
 

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If you're not interested in recouping the honey that is left in the wax. Put the wax in a paint strainer bag tie the end and swish in a canner pot with water. Let it drain and feed back to your bees.

You can also use the canner to melt the wax in fresh water. Boil the water then throw the bag of wax in, then a round stiff wire mesh on top and use the butt end of a 2x4 and press the wax out of the bag. Put a brick or stone on top of the wire to hold well below the surface of the water to cool. Or you can ladle the wax off the top and filter into another container for final product.

You will even get almost all the wax out of old brood comb this way.
 

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why crush and strain? the comb is more value to the bees it takes so much sugar/honey for them to make use a extractor and let the girls keep thier wax.
 

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You can run the whole mess thru a solar melter or stick it in a pot in a oven on low temp. Honey on the bottom wax on top when cooled. You can also put the wax/honey on a cookie sheet and let the bees clean it. Same with the wax cap if you melt.
My 2 cents:)
 

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why crush and strain? the comb is more value to the bees it takes so much sugar/honey for them to make use a extractor and let the girls keep thier wax.
I crush and strain because I don't use foundation. I don't use it for many reasons:

It's expensive
It's tedious
It's laden with chemicals from another beekeeper or beekeeper's apiary
It is unnecessary

The notion that it takes a tremendous amount of sugar (I.E. 10lbs of honey to make 1lb of wax) is absurd. If you've ever watched bees build comb it is clear that they are perfectly built to make wax/comb, and they do it with incredible speed and efficiency.

The other great part about crushing and straining, other than being easier than extracting (for me), is that old, dirty comb full of chemical residues is constantly being replaced by fresh comb.

Matt
 

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After you have got all of the honey that you can get out of the wax I put the wax/honey out for the bees to dine. And do they! The wax will be covered so thick with bees it's like one living mass. But when the bees have finished eating all of the honey, there is nothing left but pure wax.

Not 1 sticky iota of honey.

Did this with my cappings. After the bees I just picked up the wax and put it in a box after molding it into balls.

I was happy when the process was completed and the bees were happy completing the process. Win - Win.
 

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The notion that it takes a tremendous amount of sugar (I.E. 10lbs of honey to make 1lb of wax) is absurd.
I don't know which book I have that states it (and I am too lazy to go look it up right now), but one of them claims 8lb honey for 1 lb of wax. As I remember they set up some hives on drawn comb and and some without drawn comb in a yard. At the end of the year they weighed the wax (from the hives without drawn comb) and honey from both.

They claimed that the hives without drawn comb made, on average, 8lbs less honey for each pound of wax that they made. Capping wax was separated for both. Whether this was from bees making comb rather than foraging as soon or consuming nectar or honey for the energy required to create the wax from their bodies, it didn't discuss.
 

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I agree with Cacklewack, the bees are born to make wax.

One problem with determining the or any source for colony calapse disorder (ccd) is the difficulty in establishing a control. Two colonies side by side with no differance in management can be as differant as night and day. To accept a tired loose comparison as a determination of the trade off between comb building and honey production doesn't hold water for me.

From an economic return, beeswax candles fetch a buck or two each with no food handling considerations, permits, liability or jars. Cunsumers always balance the specialties against the supermarket, but you must search for beeswax candles and they can be sold at yard sales.

I'm still learning the best way to render wax. When I let bees do the work, all that was left was wax. I'm going to try a flat platform form with a rain cover this year.

Also, while I'm alone tending the hives and packing the honey, the whole family has a ball making candles.
 
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