I have 180 frames that I am taking out of service and retiring. I would like to render the wax from these but I have never done that. The wax is all dark, if I melt it down can I clean it up so it comes out white????
I did some last night that came with a Nuc. I double broiled it until it melted as mnuch as possible. In the glass jar it was black, but when poure dout, it was pee yellow. I am going to leave it in the sun to bleach. Some old capping have been out there for a cple of weeks and are solid white!
I made a solar wax melter from these directions. I used an old cooler. I could put a pretty large amount of wax in two different containers each time. I have used relatively clean wax and even wax/trash from frames that had wax moth damage. Each time, wax has come out nice and pretty yellow.
I have tried rendering old wax numerous times and my yield is so small I figure it is not worth the propane it took to melt it down.
I asked the guys at Dadant who do it on a large scale and was told they too stopped running the large machine as the amount of propane it took to run the machine wasn't worth the 100lbs or so of wax that they'd get out of the machine per day.
They run all day and only get 100 lbs. Heck, I get a few ounces. Not even a lb out of a bin fill of wax and cocoons.
How are you guys rendering old combs and getting anything worthwhile?
I've done that too...... OK so it saves propane, but the underlying problem is still there.
I get very little wax and I have a mess in the wax melter to clean up too.
How does anyone get enough to make it worthwhile?
I guess one way to look at it is - something is better than nothing, but I can see that the cocoons are holding wax like a bundle of paper towels. There is a lot of wax there, I just can't get it out. I hate to throw it away too. I have a dilemma here.
I want that wax.
I've read about steam presses, but that setup is beyond me. Too big, too complicated.
I've put it in a sack and put a brick on it and boiled it for better part of an hour. I get a few ounces of wax on top and a hard bag of goo on the bottom which still clearly still has a lot of wax in it.
I have a new idea too, but want to explore all existing options before trying something new that may not even work.
I've mentioned this here several times but here goes again. Line your solar wax melter pan with the very fine window screen that Home Depot carries. Throw the frames in and you will get all the wax that's available to get and leave all the trash in the pan. Then when you get enough trash just roll the mess up and throw it in the garbage. There will be a lot of trash left because most of the stuff that you think is wax is actually the cocoon buildup from many generations of brood; expect very little wax out of old combs. I only melt it down to reuse the frames; the wax recovered isn't worth the time to mess with it. BTW, the solar melter/window screen gets the wax clean enough to trade in on foundation, and they usually don't take nasty wax.
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