Bee Hive – Melting Wax

For many months, I’ve been keeping my eye out for an upright freezer to freeze any extra frames with nectar over winter.  Turns out, my friend’s friend/beekeeper Hans reminded me that I didn’t need to freeze them, I could melt them down for the wax.

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Hans over for a consultation on October 13 to check the health of my big hive after using MAQS.

I decided that melting was the best choice, and that I would make time in early spring to brush the melted wax on plastic foundations.  I found the wax/wire foundations to be difficult to work with, heated up and stuck together in the summer, and ripped.

Today was my first experiment melting down foundations for wax.  I started cleaning the 20 frames/foundations about 2pm, but I finished with the whole melting process at 6pm.

I left out the frames from the dead hive for about 2 weeks because there were ants, and the other hive could scavenge.

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This frame I’m saving as the frame bottom and plastic foundation fell out, so they built their own comb.  You can see the drone cells.

I filled a hefty bag with the wax foundations and comb.

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I used a camping stove and old tie-dye pot.

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The bottom of the pot is filled with water, and I only added comb about half way.

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I prepared the pans with cheese cloth tied on around the edges. I read to layer it 4 thick and also to wet the cheese cloth first.  I had no idea how much wax I’d get so I prepared two pans.

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I also was not sure the best container, such as a metal coffee can, canning jars, etc.  I found these metal pans in the cupboard.

After everything melted, I let it cool for 5 minutes then poured onto the cheese cloth.  I had to clear off the debris (i.e. dead bees/brood) for the wax to settle.

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This pan will be easy to store and remelt.  The size is perfect, it will fit a small roller which Hans said he uses to apply the wax to the plastic foundations.

Happy Melting!

About lovecreekfarm

2.5 acre permaculture with heritage orchard, organic gardens, redwood forest, and riparian corridor along Love Creek at the base of Ben Lomond mountain, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz County.
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