Dealing with old comb

Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum

Help Support Beekeeping & Apiculture Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Joined
Mar 9, 2016
Messages
2,031
Reaction score
1,067
Location
Gower, where all the fun happens
Hive Type
National
Number of Hives
24 + a few nucs....this has to stop!
Has anyone found a cheap, ingenious, and painless way of removing old wax from frames? I have around 80 frames but can't face the painful task of doing them 1 by 1 by hand. Does a wallpaper steamer produces hot enough steam to melt them? Thanks
 
Has anyone found a cheap, ingenious, and painless way of removing old wax from frames? I have around 80 frames but can't face the painful task of doing them 1 by 1 by hand. Does a wallpaper steamer produces hot enough steam to melt them? Thanks
I did about 80 the other night with the wallpaper steamer. It's one of the best things I've discovered. Lovely pools of wax run out the front. Having said that, all my frames are only 136mm, including brood frames (which are the same as my honey frames) , and I only do eight at a time in an old box.
 
I built my own wax extractor using a wallpaper steamer. It's a struggle to melt down more than one box of frames at a time though. Ideally I think you need an awful lot of steam.

James
 
cheap, ingenious, and painless
Burn them.

Although steam will make a little wax weep from brood combs, it's not worth the effort & mess. Yes, steam on super combs is productive, but still messy. One of these will do the job, but not cheaply.

1713741170982.png
 
Burn them.

Cut out the comb, break up the frame and use it for lighting fires. Put the comb in the compost (specifically "in", not "on", so the bees can't find it). All my "spent" brood combs end up in the compost heap. You don't tend to see them again.

James
 
Burn them.

Although steam will make a little wax weep from brood combs, it's not worth the effort & mess. Yes, steam on super combs is productive, but still messy. One of these will do the job, but not cheaply.

View attachment 39654
I got 9kg of wax out of combs the other day after a session with the inexpensive wallpaper steamer. Not much left in the old comb. Worth it for me. The wax comes out nicely and is joined to itself as it weeps out and the old cells get promptly wrapped in newspaper.
 
I built my own wax extractor using a wallpaper steamer. It's a struggle to melt down more than one box of frames at a time though. Ideally I think you need an awful lot of steam.

James
I'm sorry to hear that it's not worker for you :(. Another reason I like to use one size (smaller) boxes for everything as the Wagner 2000W steamer has no problem whatsoever melting out the wax from the eight frames in such a box. I had it running the other night for four hours (hydro electricity) and I'll total up what I got out of the frames in due course.
 
Burn them
I have started doing that with the worst ones and considering doing it with the others. My hourly rate is more than what you pay for 50 DN4 + 50 foundation in the sales.

I like the idea of the steamer but it's another piece of kit which will need storage space which is also at a premium here.

Thanks for the suggestions all.
 
using a wallpaper steamer. It's a struggle to melt down more than one box of frames at a time though. Ideally I think you need an awful lot of steam.
:iagree: it's a PITA and at the end you still have to deal with a stinking pile of cocoon casings and slumgum, plus the electricity bill at the end of the month as it takes ages for each box of frames.
It's the domain of the fiddler with too much time and money on their hands, and not worth the time or cost.
I acquired a Thornes wax extraction setup (the one that utilises a wallpaper steamer, broodbox, metal lid and floor with built in mesh filter) for next to nothing at a bee auction years ago, it's sat in the shed after a trial run. no wonder the person was selling it - and no wonder noone bid for it!!
 
I only bought the steamer and built and bought nothing else at all. I use a standard bee box (I have hundreds) that fits the frames (of course) and a standard solid floor (which I also have lots of). The lid is a plywood feeder board (which I have plenty of) with the usual feeder hole in it. That's the bit you put the steam pipe in.
I don't stand there staring at them, I'm watching the AFL footy and just every 20 mins or so I go outside , tap out the old comb less the wax on some newspaper, and bung another eight frames in the box. Nice big pool of wax for me. $2.40 worth of electricity.
Too easy.
 
I use my solar oven with a j cloth filter. Chuck them in then forget about them. When its cool I have a block of wax ready for further cleaning
 
Burning it is!!
I chuck them all on the bonfire - comb, frames the lot if, like this winter I never got the weather to light a fire, I just leave the piles there until I can - often, by that time, a lot of the wax has composted itself anyway.
 
Best option, Jeff, or carry on burning.
I have a solar wax extractor and use that. I cut out the comb from the frame, take the wire out and crush it into a ball. Use a pair of ladies tights. Cut off each leg and drop the wax into each leg - like fat balls for birds - it's amazing how tights stretch. When full tie a knot in the end. Pop each and as many as you can into the solar extractor - when cold the tights can be emptied of the rubbish and re-used . At the exit hole of my tray where the melted wax runs stuff it with J cloth. I have it drip into a large silicone cake mould and it really does come out pretty clean. The worst frames I'll burn and the rest get cleaned with boiling washing soda. Even though air temperatures were on the low side the last few days the wax was melting no problem in the strong sun.
 
I have a solar wax extractor and use that. I cut out the comb from the frame, take the wire out and crush it into a ball. Use a pair of ladies tights. Cut off each leg and drop the wax into each leg - like fat balls for birds - it's amazing how tights stretch. When full tie a knot in the end. Pop each and as many as you can into the solar extractor - when cold the tights can be emptied of the rubbish and re-used . At the exit hole of my tray where the melted wax runs stuff it with J cloth. I have it drip into a large silicone cake mould and it really does come out pretty clean. The worst frames I'll burn and the rest get cleaned with boiling washing soda. Even though air temperatures were on the low side the last few days the wax was melting no problem in the strong sun.
The wire on my frames stays in place and I just run a cloth over them. Takes about three seconds per frame. I then embed the fresh foundation into the wires. No need to play about setting fire to anything.
 

Latest posts

Back
Top