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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So what is any ones experience with the production of wax in a hive?
(I live in a northern climate bordering Canada.) Or I should say, has any one figured out the average amount of wax put out by a hive?

(Yes I understand there are variables but a high average number and a low average number if doable is nice too.)

I'm interested in seeing the response.
 

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Do I understand correctly that you would like to know that if a colony of bees is put into a hive, maybe on foundation or not, and then they produce wax for combs to lay in and to store honey in, how much would that wax weigh? Like if you took all of the wax away from them at the end of a season and melted it down, how much would you have?

I'm sure someone could figure it out, but not me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
O.k. maybe I need to be a little more clear.

Is there any one who sells there wax to kelly-bee or another company like it?
How many hives do you have and how much rendered wax you as a beekeeper/s are able to send away to kelly bee or another company like it for payment?
 

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(I live in a northern climate bordering Canada.) Or I should say, has any one figured out the average amount of wax put out by a hive?

It depends on nectar flow, as wax production is a function of nectar flow. The more wax they have to draw out, the less honey they can be making. The real question is, will the revenues from wax production offset the lost revenues from reduced honey production?

Studies say that it takes 7-11 pounds of honey to produce 1 pound of wax. This number is disputed, but I don't think anyone will argue that bees can't produce as many pounds of wax as they can pounds of honey with equal amounts of nectar.

What are the big wax buyers offering for wax? $1.90 a pound? If you eBay it, you might make $5-ish a pound. Honey is selling bulk for $1.65-ish a pound, and about $5-$6-ish in retail.

There is a reason folks extract honey from combs and reuse the combs. They don't make the bees draw new combs every year. If the money was in wax production over honey production, beekeepers would take every bit of wax.
 

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Not sure which province you live close to, but in Alberta there are a few guys who render bulk cappings for a price. You bring them in, they charge a bit for rendering and they send you a check in the mail. In Manitoba, there is a guy who does it and has done it for many years. PM me if you want the numbers
 

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You can take wax across the border? It must be different in each Province, because you can't go into Ontario from NY w/ unrendered wax. I believe so anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I knew I could count on you guys for answers,

...And yes I will take the phone numbers for the wax rendering for future reference. These are all help-full.
Hmm is there any person out there that actually has 100+ hives?
I read some where awhile ago that Sue-Bee has 60 percent of honey imported for there own products. Because there is not enough supply from the U.S.A.. Are major honey buyers really offering so little that beekeeping on a large scale is not lucrative any more? (So much to know)
 

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So much to know. For sure. Were you being sarcastic or do you not know that there are plenty of beekeepers out there that own 100+ hives of bees? There are even a few who own 100,000 hives of bees.

Stick around. There is lots to learn.
 

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I just harvested 48 lbs or 4 gallons of honey from the two supers atop my first hive. I crushed and strained the honey, and cleaned, strained, and rendered the wax.

The twenty shallow frames produced exactly 2 1/2 lbs. of wax, which included all the drawn-out foundation and cappings. Hope this gives you an estimate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Dehavik,

Thank you Yes, it does give a much clearer idea.
If I googled my questions, I would not have got the quality answers I have received from bee source.

Dehavik what do you choose to crush your comb with? Can one use an apple press, or is there equipment made just for this purpose?
 

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could you tell me about the corporation or business that has 100,000 hives?

It wouldn't surprise me if Adee Honey Farms were running in the ballpark of those numbers.

what do you choose to crush your comb with? Can one use an apple press, or is there equipment made just for this purpose?

The equipment at the end of your arms is made for just a job like that. You were born with hands for a reason - use them. :doh:

What type of bees are you using?

Honeybees... :doh:
 

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Rupestris,

I cut the comb over a five-gallon bucket, crushed it with a metal spatula, then poured it through a strainer to remove the wax. The wax drained for a couple days, then I washed the remaining honey out of it and put the wax in an old t-shirt inside my slow-cooker with an inch of water. When the wax was totally melted, I pulled the shirt up and let the wax drain out through it. The shirt was full of slumgum which I will use in my smoker (the scent of burning larval casings is supposed to demoralize the bees into a stupor). I let the wax cool in the slow-cooker; it hardened into a nice solid block which I pulled easily out of the pot. I melted it again and poured it through a strainer (for one more cleaning) into my muffin tin. When the wax was cool, I popped the rounds out and now have many small and clean wax discs that are ready to melt for candles or starter strips.

For some good videos on different crush-and-strain methods, see Backwards Beekeeping TV on YouTube or beehuman.blogspot.com, or visit Linda's Bees at beekeeperlinda.blogspot.com. Both sites have some good videos. Also, for info and plans on using a honey press, go to http://www2.gsu.edu/~biojdsx/main.htm. This is an awesome website.

My bees are Italian.

dehavik
 

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Backwards Beekeeping. I love the title. I'm sure that says all I need to know about the sight. Ha, ha.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks again Dehavik and Mat.
Both good resources for finding or creating a honey press.
I'm not always able to get to this blog because of having a family. So if there is a response to something that was typed, I might not be able to reply promptly. I hope you guys understand.

On a different more curious note, I wonder how its done commercially with 600-800 bee hives? Is the honey press no longer an option with that amount and thus spinning out the honey is the only extraction technique?

There was one fella who owns a large apiary ( I forget that large now could mean 4,000+) I do not know how large but I was able to talk to him. Henrys Honey Farm, in Wisconsin. He pointed out some of the challenges facing commercial beekeepers. This years conference for the Wisconsin Honey Producers Association will be in Manitowoc, WI. I am going to that conference so hopefully I can learn more about commercial beekeeping.
 
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