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image.jpg I am trying to meld down, strain and filter a ton of old brood comb. I am culling everything from my hives this year and making them start fresh.

The comb has pollen and tons of casings in it. Every time I melt it all down in a water boil and then strain it, I get these tiny crumbly surface wax layers that are like large granules of propalis and stuff other than wax mixed in with wax granules. The whole layer is crumbly like caked sand.

I am heating the soupy mess until it starts to bubble very slightly then straining through a wire mesh strainer. I am mashing the cocoons gently to get residual wax out. I then let it sit over night.

What I am ending up with is not useable in the least. Any help would be appreciated.
 

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I did the same this last year, and had 40 frames to melt down. Ended up with 2 loaf pan sized blocks of gorgeous wax. But had a ton of dead bee soup to strain through first. I did this in cold weather so I let the liquid cool and wax floated to the top. Was amazing to see a layer of yellow rise up from a vat of pure black muck.

I'll never throw old comb away again. Just keep stockpiling it, makes a good winter project.
 

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o Melt wax with water in the bottom to soak up pollen etc.
o put old dark combs in a cloth bag with a brick on them
o don't squeeze every last bit of wax out of the strainer, it just forces more dirt through
o pour into something that is taller than it is wide. Wax and it's contaminates tend to separate into layers. If you make a tall narrow column those layers are easier to scrape off or work around. If you pour it into something shallow each layer is only a miniscule amount thick and impossible to separate. 1/2 gallon cardboard milk cartons are hard to beat for a mold.
o Scrape the pollen and crude off the bottom. Use if for fire starter if you feel guilty about throwing it away...
 

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I have a solar melter which gets up to 160 on a hot day. I just leave it in there for a long time (weeks) and the wax mostly renders out leaving light crumbly black cocoons that almost look like they have been burned. But I don't do very much at a time - if you really have a Ton of it this wouldn't be very practical.

A solar melter is awful handy though for dealing with a steady but small supply of scrappy wax.
 
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