help with dealing with wax after honey extraction


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  1. #1
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    help with dealing with wax after honey extraction

    how do you get that last bit of honey out of wax and then melt wax for other use such as soaps, candles, etc?


  2. #2
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    Sep 2009
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    the Hudson Valley, New York
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    Some folks with lots of hives make a solar wax melter or other arrangements.

    On a very small scale however, here's what I do:
    Get a cheap aluminum or steel pot at a garage sale that you keep just for wax (no teflon or coatings). put your globs of leftover wax in it and add about twice as much water. Leave it on LOW for a while till the wax melts. Stir it, then let it cool completely. The junk and the leftover honey will magically all mix down into the water, and the pure wax will float and harden as a beautiful solid wax disc on the top. Then you just lift up the disc. For extra pure, change the water and do it a second time.

    This is the wax I got from 4 medium frames using the crush&strain method, enough for several votive candles:
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    It's 'tough love' for the bees here at Wayward Girl Apiary.

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  4. #3
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    Jun 2011
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    Alachua County, FL
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    Welcome BT! The bees will get every bit of honey out if you leave it near the hives. Slow heat is best to melt the wax. A solar melter is the absolute best. A crock pot works good just do not get caught using it without permission which you will probably not get anyway.
    Gary VanCleef
    americasbeekeeper.com
    americasbeekeeper.org

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  6. #4
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    Jun 2009
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    I am working on a video of a solar wax melter, just a few more weeks til it is done.

    Find an old crock pot at a garage sale or the good will store for cheap, they work great also. Self contained, thermostat control, nothing to clean up either (clean out, yes.......clean up, no).

  7. #5
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    Jul 2009
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    Central Texas
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    about the only low tech way of getting the last bit of sticky out of the honey is as Americasbeekeeper describes. I am of course assuming here you do not have $10000 to spend on the high tech solution to this problem.

  8. #6
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    If you use any of the heating methods suggested (as opposed to letting the bees clean out the cappings directly), remember that the heated honey, straight or diluted, can bee used to feed hungry bees. Don't just spill it out!!
    As to letting the bees eat directly from the wet cappings, beware, leaving them out in the open can create quite a frenzy of bees collecting the drippings. I've read that this method leads to subsequent robbing. When I feed capppings directly to the bees, I do it by spreading the cappings INSIDE an empty super on top of a cover with an accesss hole for the bees of only that one hive to reach.
    Proud member of the Beekeeping Forums,
    (middle-east division)
    From the land flowing with milk and HONEY

  9. #7
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    During a honey flow, the cappings can be placed anywhere and it will not cause robbing.

    During a dearth, open feeding of any kind near the hives will definitely cause robbing.

  10. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    el paso, wisconsin
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    beetree;how do you get that last bit of honey out of wax and then melt wax for other use such as soaps, candles, etc?

    i take the cappings (spun out from a cappings bag in the extractor) and throw them in a paint strainer bag. i fill a 5 gallon pail with water and slosh the strainer bag with the cappings in it around, and run more water through the bucket until the water is clear. i let the cappings air dry using a huge strainer or tub. (of course this is all done outside with a garden hose, and not in the kitchen....

    i built my own solar wax melter, these work excellent. i can post photos of my solar melter, and the bricks of wax, if you would like.
    i keep wild things in a box ....
    Proud Beekeeping Forums SQUIRT Member......if you obey the rules you miss all the fun..... katherine hepburn

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  12. #9
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    Please post photos of your solar wax melter Riverbee! I'm hoping it's useful for very small amounts of wax.

    I'm guessing old brood comb is better suited to traps or the trash can than for candles, if someone could post an answer to that ?

    Gypsi
    The older I get, the better I get at doing the right thing, letting it go, and lounging in my computer chair going, gee, I should do some work! Bees are plumb easy when you have been through as much as I have.

  13. #10
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    Really old brood comb has so much cacoon residue in it, it usually creates more of a mess than it's worth.
    Solar melter? Here's mine, converted my wife's cold frame.




  14. #11
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    el paso, wisconsin
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    nice cold frame perry!

    gypsy:
    "Please post photos of your solar wax melter Riverbee! I'm hoping it's useful for very small amounts of wax.
    I'm guessing old brood comb is better suited to traps or the trash can than for candles, if someone could post an answer to that ?
    "

    yes, i can post a couple pix with a description, give me a little time to 'comb' my pc and check back, or i will send you a pm.
    about the brood comb, depends on the age, sometimes as perry said it's not worth it, ummm, full of junk and running it through a number of times to get it clean, and of course darker wax, suitable for candles i guess, but not lip balm.
    i keep wild things in a box ....
    Proud Beekeeping Forums SQUIRT Member......if you obey the rules you miss all the fun..... katherine hepburn

  15. #12
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    Feb 2009
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    oxford kansas
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    I moved this on over to the general beekeeping forum think it will get more replies. Great looking pics of wax

  16. #13
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    So the cookie sheet has a hole in it, letting the wax drip through into the pan? Heat, I got. Solar heat, I got. Cookie sheet and pan are doable too. I can even put it "under glass", I have a spare storm window that doesn't fit any of my windows. Thank you! Nice pics.

    Gypsi
    The older I get, the better I get at doing the right thing, letting it go, and lounging in my computer chair going, gee, I should do some work! Bees are plumb easy when you have been through as much as I have.

  17. #14
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    Waste not, want not!
    I just used an old cookie sheet, cut a 1 inch piece out the middle of the lip on one end, bent the sheet into a slight V shape, and put a small piece of #8 hardware cloth over the slot to act as a strainer.


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  19. #15
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    Curiosity question, Rat. Why the general forum and not the hive products forum?


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