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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Behind my house I have a solar extractor that is always ready to melt down combs that I want to replace. The frames come out nice and clean.
While they are still hot after removing them from the extractor what little wax remains on them can easily be scraped off with a hive tool.
I also melt down wax from frames that have been in hives with diseases and till now have given them an extra treatment by blowtorch before putting them back into circulation.
HOWEVER, I was wondering, could the heat of the solar extractor be adequate to sterilize the frames without requiring additional treatment? Maybe not one day's heatng but posssibly 2 or 3?
Anybody out there have any knowledge on the thought?
 

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I would suspect you are on to something there efmesch. beyond the heat (which I would guess might get to 150 degrees +) might not totally sterilize frames to where you would confidently use them for the purpose of surgery but without a doubt long exposure to not only the heat but uv can kill a lot of stuff and most specifically act to limit the nosema twins.

ps... I just finished my own Texas sized wax melter. perhaps 6 foot long and 3 feet wide by 3 feet deep.
 

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Sounds like tec make it out of an old chest type freezer and an old sliding glass door, am I close.
My little wax melter would get closer to 200* F, my design was loosely based on the one Kelley sells. I had left it sitting outside too long and the termites ate into the bottom and then the weather finished it off. Now I can't find what I did with the metal pan that went inside of it. Built the wooden case last yer but mama cat decided to move in and have her kittens in it, then I broke the glass making a new lid. I need to get it back in working order and melt a bunch of wax.

Tec got any pics of you new melter?
 

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If heat will get rid of all the nasties and the solar melter is designed well enough to get up to the temperatures in my rookie mind I don't see why it wouldn't work. I've built a few solar ovens in the past and they *will* get hot enough to cook roast and taters. The hottest one I ever built was made from cardboard, crumpled newspaper, a turkey roasting bag, and aluminum foil. Conversely, I built a really nice one with metal flashing, polished metal reflector, hardwood exterior, glass insulation, double paned glass....and it was a wimp....go figure, eh?

Make the area where the wax is placed as shallow as possible so excessive long shadows aren't cast when the sun is to the side. I always liked to have a piece of heavy metal (I've used old pot-hole covers) in the bottom of the ovens to use as a heat sink...paint the metal flat black.

Cooking in black pots accentuates heating. If you *really* wanted to heat the frames up you could build a "black box" for the frames to be placed in and then place this "pot" inside the melter.

Naturally, reflector "wings" on the sides (at least the top) of the melter helps to direct even more solar radiation into the melter.

...and all of this may be more than it's worth! ;)

Ed
 

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That is a good idea about a big heat sink in the bottom of the melter. I have thought about a piece of an old plastic truck bed liner, the ones with small ripples, to put in the bottom of my metal pan, it would get super hot and allow the wax to have a channel to run off in while the bigger stuff was held up. I use to use some #8 hardware cloth to prop the comb u on.
 

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The plastic won't be much of a heat sink, though. But, it would heat up some and give the wax something to flow down. The idea of the heat sink is to maintain temperatures during brief cloud cover and to...a piece of plate steel or cast iron will get hot enough to fry an egg. I think the metal even raises the temperature a few degrees...??? Even bricks or rocks painted flat black will work. Some square cement patio blocks would work great, I would think. Something about the density and heat conduction of the metals seems to make them better, though.

Ed
 

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I was lazy, I just lined my wifes cold frame with styrofoam. Old single pane glass window. No black paint or anything. If I had of done that who knows how hot it would get. The thermometer I had buried itself!




 

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G3 writes:
My little wax melter would get closer to 200* F

tecumseh:
that is pretty hot and may actually be enough to strerilize stuff... pasteurization of milk I think requires less heat than that. no picture yet G3.
 

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Behind my house I have a solar extractor that is always ready to melt down combs that I want to replace. The frames come out nice and clean.
While they are still hot after removing them from the extractor what little wax remains on them can easily be scraped off with a hive tool.
I also melt down wax from frames that have been in hives with diseases and till now have given them an extra treatment by blowtorch before putting them back into circulation.
HOWEVER, I was wondering, could the heat of the solar extractor be adequate to sterilize the frames without requiring additional treatment? Maybe not one day's heatng but posssibly 2 or 3?
Anybody out there have any knowledge on the thought?

You will not kill AFB in a solar wax melter.

BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
You will not kill AFB in a solar wax melter.


Jim I'm not arguing with you. You are very possibly correct, but could you provide more info: How hot would a wax extractor have to get to sterilize AFB? Do you know of any studies on the subject?
 

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Our state Apiarist said today that AFB spores cannot be killed in a conventional oven, so I doubt a solar heater would do the job.
 

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You will not kill AFB in a solar wax melter.


Jim I'm not arguing with you. You are very possibly correct, but could you provide more info: How hot would a wax extractor have to get to sterilize AFB? Do you know of any studies on the subject?

Wood (White Pine) will start on fire at about 300F or so. So I guess at all will bee gone at about 400F or so :shock:


At what Temp. will wax start on fire :confused:



BEE HAPPY Jim 134 :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
At what Temp. will wax start on fire :confused:


According to "Wikipedia": The flash pointof beeswax is 204.4 °C (399.9 °F).
According to Beeswax Facts" (also from the internet): The flashpoint of beeswax is 490-525 degrees F (254-274 C).
Quite a disagreement between the two, but you get and idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I just discovered this link: http://www.beesource.com/forums/archive/index.php/t-195448.html.
Even Tec got in on the discussion.
After reading it, my gut feeling is that if heated for a few days in a good wax extractor, the frames could probab;y be used. Now I have to decide if I would be willing to try the risk. If only I knew how to check for the presence of AFB spores.:roll:
 

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Ef that is something I have been wondering the last couple of days, what actually triggers the outbreak of AFB. I have read that there are always AFB spores in hives to some degree. Just wanting to know what exactly has to happen for the spores to open up or bloom. If radiation or the torch is the only thing to kill it what do the bees have to do in order for it to manifest into a disease.

Do you see many outbreaks in your area?
 

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Below is a clip from Randy Ollivers site on decontaminating nosema apis and ceranae. The temperature reached in the thermal melter should be sufficient for these common bad guys; I think I remember American Foul Brood needing much higher temperatures perhaps around 250F

The variance in temperatures quoted for wax ignition likely pertain to the lower flash point where fumes may be ignited by an outside source (spark or flame), and the other, higher figure is the auto ignition temperature. Really two different things.

Edit; Oops, forgot the quote!

"More practically, spores can be killed by heating hive equipment or tools to a temperature of at least 140°F (60°C) for 15 minutes, but this temperature is too close to the melting temperature of beeswax (150°F) to treat combs. Combs can instead be sterilized (of N. apis) by heating to the lower temperature of 120°F (49°C) for a longer period of 24 hours (Cantwell & Shimanuki 1969), although if you don’t have a dedicated hot room, it can be damn tricky not to melt some combs. For unstated reasons, Shimanuki (1992) says that combs to be treated should “contain little or no honey or pollen,†which would definitely limit the utility of this treatment. However, data of White (1992) and LeBlanc (pers comm) indicate that toxic HMF in honey would not appreciably increase in a 24-hour exposure to that temperature. Even heating to 120°F may not be necessary. Malone found that storage of N. apis spores for even 5 days at 104°F (40°C) substantially decreased their infectivity!

Update: N ceranae spores appear to be more delicate than those of N apis. They are less resistant to either heating or freezing. Dr. Robert Cramer found that heating them to 120°F for only 90 minutes was sufficient to kill them. He also found that they are very susceptible to either bleach or lye solutions."
 
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