How do i seperate wax from honey ?

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MarkyMark 

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Ive got some old frames with crystalized honey in them, ive tried slowley melting them in a pot, but it just all mixes together into a horrible sludge.....anyone know the best way to seperate the wax from the honey ?
I thought that melting it down and letting it cool would form layers (as this was how honey was extracted many years ago) but it doenst seem to work.
Would making up a solar box be better for melting it ?
I dont usually bother with wax, but ive got about 20+ frames of this crystalized stuff so i thought id ask for ideas on here.....but if its going to be too much hassle im just going to chuck it.
Thanks
Mark
 

Frisbee 

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Depends if you want to salvage the wax or the honey........... If you want to salvage the wax then remove the whole lot and put into a big old saucepan with plenty of water, heat slowly and bring to the boil, don't boil for longer than 5 minutes. Immediately strain through something fine (- an old pair of tights is good as long as they haven't got huge holes in,) into a container large enough. Leave to cool. The wax will set on the top and the liquid underneath will be the honey water which you may be able to feed back to the bees, but use thymol in it to stop it fermenting. The wax will then probably need to be done again as you get a lot of crud with it where it is still mixed with honey and impurities. Use rainwater if possible or slightly acidify the water with lemon juice or vinegar.

To salvage the contents you could cut off the cappings and spray with water and give to bees not filling a super.

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MarkyMark 

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Ahhh.....thats what im doing wrong then........i used a pan with water and a bowl sat inside the pan ...........duh.....of course....dilute the honey with the water and the wax seperates easier...........sorry not used to saving wax....ive never bothered with it before due to it being very small amounts.....although 20+ frames isnt really that much either.....just thought id have a go...lol.......thanks frisby your a star
 

Frisbee 

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It is worth saving every bit............I was surprised, my mentor asked me to take some wax to Thornes and swop for foundation - they do a straight weight for weight swop, bearing in mind a sheet of foundation is 70 - 80p, I took in a big bag of wax and came out with 70 odd sheets...........I'm saving every scrap :) Just don't over boil it or it goes dark brown, just bring it up to the boil enough to melt and strain straight away through something you don't mind ruining.

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I was told not to boil water as it made wax crumbly- just get v hot/stop before simmer- anyone else heard this or did I mishear?

And rain water better than tap - Yes/No?
 

MarkyMark 

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Well i tried that....and all i ended up with was this :



A lighter brown sludge...lol......sod it.....im chucking the rest.......worth a try tho....thanks frisbee
 

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I put crystallized frames between broob frames and bees clean them.
If honey is bad tasting, cut combs off and burry into soil.
Keeping in warm water dilute honey too.
 

Frisbee 

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Heather - I said this

Just don't over boil it or it goes dark brown, just bring it up to the boil enough to melt and strain straight away through something you don't mind ruining.

Use rainwater if possible or slightly acidify the water with lemon juice or vinegar.
I read rainwater on the BBKA, Dave Cushman says acidify the water slightly. I don't know why but honey will be alkali so it's maybe to balance. I have used plain tap with no detrimental effects, but DC wouldn't say it if it wasn't useful

Also the first time it does tend to be crumbly underneath, that's the crud, still mixed with honey, just do it again.

MarkyMark - I said this

The wax will then probably need to be done again as you get a lot of crud with it where it is still mixed with honey and impurities.
You may well need to do it 3 times to get rid of the crud. Just strain the water off and do the whole thing again. On the underside you get a lot of tiny balls, it's still wax, just put the whole lot back into water, break it up a bit to reduce the time it takes to melt. Honestly it will improve.

Frisbee
 
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Heather 

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Oops Frisbee- missed that sentence- thanks for that- and your politeness at my error. Appreciated.
I find it amazing how so much comb can reduce to so little- Did sell 2lb back to supplier though in exchange for foundation, so maybe worth the ruination of an old pan- and once ruined always delegated as THE pan for the job!!:cheers2:
 

chalkie 

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Hi,
is it really worth bothering with, how much gas or electric would you use trying to melt it down.
I had a go a while back and my efforts where useless and the wife wasn't to pleased about the pan i used and amount of time spent at the cooker.
 
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Frisbee 

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Oops Frisbee- missed that sentence- thanks for that- and your politeness at my error. Appreciated.
Ahhh that's okay, it's incredibly easy to miss read a post..........and politeness is free, although you wouldn't think so sometimes :rofl::rofl:

I find it amazing how so much comb can reduce to so little- Did sell 2lb back to supplier though in exchange for foundation, so maybe worth the ruination of an old pan- and once ruined always delegated as THE pan for the job!!:cheers2:
Yes it does kinda disappear, but every little helps - to quote a well known company...... It all adds up. I use an old saucepan I got from the local car boot, muslin to strain through and an ice cream container to strain into. Once you've got the gear it's fairly simple.

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Frisbee 

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Hi,
is it really worth bothering with, how much gas or electric would you use trying to melt it down.
I had a go a while back and my efforts where useless and the wife wasn't to pleased about the pan i used and amount of time spent at the cooker.
I, fortunately don't have a wife, so it's not a problem :rofl:

You need to do it more than once to get goodish results, maybe you think it's not worth the effort, but I hate waste and see it as another crop from the bees.

I expect the big boys have a rig-up outside away from wifey........

Frisbee
 
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Bucks_Boy 

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I picked up a Slow Cooker at a Jumble Sale for a couple of pounds

Put it on on high for 10-15 minutes with some water in it then add wax in some kind of filter bag ( ie tights ) and turn down to "keep warm" -- about an hour later, when all the wax has melted, remove filtered crud, turn off and leave overnight to set - drain off and remove wax in morning.

Because of the gentle heat, the dish stays pretty clean.
 

David P 

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i use an old pan that was originally destined for the bin and use that as a water bath for an old tupperware storage jar, I use rainwater in the tupperware mixed with the bit of wax etc i want to reclaim, heat the water in pan on a very low heat, this in turn heats the water/wax in the tupperware. when its all melted i stretch a pair of she who must be obeyed old tights over the top and pour it all into another container allow to cool and job done. Does need doing a few times though as Frisbee said.
 

Hivemaker. 

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Bet if your missus was out you would nick her new tights for the job,LOL.
 

MarkyMark 

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MarkyMark - I said this

You may well need to do it 3 times to get rid of the crud. Just strain the water off and do the whole thing again. On the underside you get a lot of tiny balls, it's still wax, just put the whole lot back into water, break it up a bit to reduce the time it takes to melt. Honestly it will improve.

Frisbee
I know what you said mate...i did read it....and im saying....sod it...its just not worth the hassle.... and now i know why ive never bothered with it before.
Again.....thanks for your help.
 

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From the local pound shop I bought a bowl with a vented lid designed for heating food in the microwave. I also have an old metal strainer. Bring the wax and hot water from the kettle to a boil and pour through the strainer into a Pyrex bowl.

The sludge left behind I quickly flick into the bin collecting peelings etc for the compost bin. I have missed and the mass has solidified like bee-bit pebble dash. Wife not unduly impressed with the finish that I had to scrape off.

I am amazed at the colour of the liqueur in the bowl below the wax and wonder if it's possible to recover propylis from this. I usually leave overnight to cool and remove the resulting disk of wax, usually about half an inch thick - real small time.

I suppose that with a large pot, a similar technique could be used when the electric oven has finished it's duty and is cooling - free heat.

The reason for acidification of the water with vinegar or lemon juice etc is to prevent saponification, the production of soap, where the water tends to have a lot of lime and is therefore alkaline. I think that the saponification is likely to be slight due to the very small amount of lime in the water, but enough to cause noticeable degradation in really hard water areas. Dave Cushman mentions it here.

Frisbee, you obviously have the kitchen complaints department under your complete control. I am merely tolerated and frequently reminded of the need to tidy up after experimenting, Always prepared to replace anything irreparably damaged and scrub anything that isn't quite.
 
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Frisbee 

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The reason for acidification of the water with vinegar or lemon juice etc is to prevent saponification, the production of soap, where the water tends to have a lot of lime and is therefore alkaline.
Ahhh - the fog clears, lye + fat & water = soap. Wax must be fatty then....I'd never looked at it like that. :)

Frisbee, you obviously have the kitchen complaints department under your complete control. I am merely tolerated and frequently reminded of the need to tidy up after experimenting, Always prepared to replace anything irreparably damaged and scrub anything that isn't quite.
A friend of mine several years ago was left home alone after his wife went to Australia for 3 months to visit a son, He managed to weld a saucepan to the hob................... he had to buy a new hob and set of saucepans........

At the moment my front room is full of bee stuff. I have 3 snelgrove boards being constructed, lots of polystyrene blocks being stuck to dummy boards, 2 brood boxes and a super in for repair and painting............the bees seem to have taken over my life and my front room and sometimes kitchen.

Frisbee
 

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