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.
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.
I filled a hefty bag with the wax foundations and comb.
I used a camping stove and old tie-dye pot.
The bottom of the pot is filled with water, and I only added comb about half way.
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.
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.
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.