2012 Wax Harvest

Discussion in 'Products of the Hive' started by PerryBee, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Almost done melting, just one pail of cappings to go.
    The circular ones are this years, the brick is all that's left from last year.
    Some of it (3 or 4) may have to be filtered a second time.
     

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  2. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    wONDERFUL! Must smell terrific there.


    I think I only got about 1/8 of what you got, but still it's 4x more than i got last year, so I'm happy! :)
     

  3. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    YOu must have one of those spinning wheels that turns straw into wax, eh?
     
  4. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    Perry, do you have an outlet for your wax or keep for your on use? If you wish to sell you might try a reenacting group( pionner or fur trade) or a black powder club, those people are always asking about bees wax. Might get a couple of bucks an ounce. Jim
     
  5. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    purty perry, i can smell the beeswax just looking at the pix!

    perry, did you use the wife's crock pot in the wife's kitchen? :lol:
     
  6. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    What are you using to melt the wax? not your solar wax melter at this time of year. You mitght have enough wax there to fill my wax melting candle dipping tank.It looks good even the darker ones. the darker wax in a bear candle mold would look great.
     
  7. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    All my wax goes into the solar melter first. A lot of it comes out really clean but some of it still has junk in it. Then I save up all the melted wax in buckets and then at this time of year I put it through a double boiler on the kitchen stove (carefully) :shock:. A couple of years ago I dropped a pot of it on the kitchen floor. Eventually I would love to have a purpose melter, but I have more immediate things I need first. Like a HONEY HOUSE, a clarifier and a pump. I have pretty much everything else I need to make the extracting end of things easier.
    For actually pouring candles, I think one of those presto pots would be hunky dory. :thumbsup:
     
  8. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    I just has a local shop ask me about pure beeswax candles. What is your product ratio (honey to wax) with cappings only?

    I'll be crush and strain for the time being but was curious what the typical yeild is for this.
     
  9. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Good question Hard to answer cause it depends on the amount of capping you remove some try to remove just the cappings others cut from the side of the top bar to the side of the bottom bar. If you run 9 frames in the honey super cut flush with top and bottem bar the % of wax to honey will be a lot higher than if the cappings are scratched. If you use a heat gun and melt the capping you end up with only scraper bur-combs of the frames. also will depend on how caped the frames are. I try to give as much of the cell depth back as possible. With the amount of work it takes the bees to produce a pound of honey and it requires 10 lbs of honey to make a pound of wax if your selling your honey at $6.00 a pound then you should be getting $60.00 for a pound of wax Honey value plus the added labor for refining and processing. I cant get that much for my wax so I leave as much as possible to give back to the bees.
     
  10. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I'm with Apis on this. I use a cappings scratcher but don't actually scratch the cappings off. Instead I opt to lift them off and return the comb with as little damage as possible. It gives the bees less work to repair (but at the same time reduces the wax harvest).
    I think that was one of the first big surprises I got when starting beekeeping, was how all that huge collection of cappings and wax debris became so small after melting.
    It truly is worth more than what we get for it, especially if you sell it by the pound, and not in candle form.
     
  11. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    This oft repeated old 'folk formula' has been shown to be of questionable accuracy. Take it with a grain of salt. It's like comparing elephants and whales. Building wax is really pretty independent of storing honey, it doesn't 'cost' you honey. It does take the bees a certain amount of time to build new comb, but it's amazing how fast they can build comb if the season and conditions are right and there's a flow on.
     
  12. pturley

    pturley New Member

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    I agree with Omie as to the "opportunity costs" associated with wax production. Bees will be bees. They will build comb as they seem fit.

    Being a hobbiest, maximizing honey production, if that is indeed a truism, is of little concern thus far.

    Until more experience (and potential mistakes) with refining the wax teaches me otherwise, I see a great deal of potential value in "crush and strain" or in at least shifting out and melting down combs on a very regular basis.

    Not only in the periodic removal of bioaccumlated pesticides from the foraging activities, but also in the market value of the wax (in whatever form).
     
  13. Daniel Y

    Daniel Y New Member

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    It seems to me that even with foundation. or even already drawn comb. the bees spend a lot of time chewing it out and rebuilding anyway. So regardless of what it takes in honey to make wax. they are going to do it anyway.
     
  14. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    Daniel what you say is true especially if you have wax moths, SHB, and other critters damaging the wax. In the tundra region where we get little damage to the comb, they can be used for many years with the bees doing little repair. The problem arises when the combs are stored and pests are aloud to invade the stored supers.


    I kind of agree with your point here. The more accurate way of expressing it should be it costs the beekeeper 10 Lbs of stored honey for every pound of wax the bees need to produce. because honey flows are generally of short duration the bees can bring in large amounts of honey in a short time if they have empty comb to store and ripen the honey. If not the storing of honey is impacted and bees must keep the nectar in their honey stomach for a longer time shifting the duties of the bees from gathering and storing and ripening to secreting wax and building combs. I have seen many years that the flow is over before the combs are drawn out. I'm not auguring about which system is better it is up to each beekeeper to decide which system is best for him and their area.

    Year ago (late 1970 early 1980) when local beekeeper traveled to Africa and then to South America to help establish apiaries to keep bees rather than the ancient ways of bee hunters and robbing colonies that most times resulted in the death of the colony They analyzed the needs of the beekeepers and developed the Kenya top bar hive for keeping bees. the hives could be hung from trees saving them from ant attaches, simple to make with little need of specialized machinery, no need for foundation, honey could be harvested with out the need of an extractor. In lots of areas they were in had no electricity so things had to be designed simply. Yes more honey could have been produced if extracted combs were used but that system was impractical.

    The bottom line, if the amount of honey produced was not effected by having to redraw out comb after harvesting. Beekeepers would not be investing in extracting equipment.
     
  15. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Perry, how do you persuade the buckets to release the wax?
     
  16. Omie

    Omie Active Member

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    There was a huge thread on another forum several yrs ago concerning the accuracy of the oft-told "10 lbs of honey=1 lb wax" formula- how it was arrived at and how it became a common saying. Turns out the calculating formula cited by the original guy who did his experiment was somewhat skewed in the first place, not taking into account various factors. I think if you wanted to go by that formula at all, then it was actually more like 6 lbs of honey per lb of wax, not 10. But anyway, people just keep repeating it as 10 lbs cause it's been said for many years and it's easy to remember. It's the kind of thing that is extremely hard to accurately calculate. Probably better to simply accept that it obviously takes bees some 'x' amount of extra time and effort to rebuild comb if you harvest it along with the honey. :)
     
  17. ApisBees

    ApisBees Active Member

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    I Absolutely agree with you. Speaking from my little corner of the world where in some years the main honey flow can cast less than a 2 weeks drawing comb can cost you the hole honey crop but having drawn supers so the bees can start storing immediately when the flow starts and having colonies ready to forage at the proper time is crucial. Having a swarm leave the hive any time in the previous month losing all the foragers is also detrimental to the amount of honey the bees bring in.
     
  18. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I just picked up a couple of cans of this. For my silicone molds I only use it once every 10 pours or so, but for the plastic yogurt containers that I use to make the ones in the picture, I use a quick blast every time just before pouring.
     

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  19. Lburou

    Lburou Member

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    Wishs I had known that before I got half gallon of wax stuck in a one gallon bucket Saturday.... ;)
     
  20. kebee

    kebee Active Member

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    Pam will work the same way in fact a great way to use to relase anything from concrete to cake baking, and you proably have that around.

    kebee