Melting old wax in a Thornes warming cabinet

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Beekeeper Brownie 

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As the title suggests has anyone had any experience using a Thornes warming cabinet to render used wax down, more specifically old brood comb? I'm currently using a ban marie set up on a gas burner (not a very big one) but for convenience I was wondering if it's possible to use a cabinet, apparently it will go to 70 degrees C. I've processed my cappings wax already which all melted relativley quickly but I had a got today rendering down brood comb using my current method and it was incredibly slow at melting compared to the small bits of cappings.
 

pargyle 

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That's because there is not a huge amount of wax in old brood combs ... it's heavily propolised and that slows down the melting. I tend to do brood comb in my solar wax melter as it does leave an awful lot of slum gum behind.
 

Swarm 

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Funny enough, I had a nice bonfire this evening ;)
 

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We are not allowed bonfires at the moment due to covid. Perhaps now it getting chillier and people are not outside in their gardens the local council will relax the restrictions?
 

Malcolm Stamp 

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It has never crossed my mind to use my hot cabinet (old fridge), might be worth a little experiment if nothing else to remove some of the honey from the cappings before final rendering.
 

Kaz 

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As the title suggests has anyone had any experience using a Thornes warming cabinet to render used wax down, more specifically old brood comb? I'm currently using a ban marie set up on a gas burner (not a very big one) but for convenience I was wondering if it's possible to use a cabinet, apparently it will go to 70 degrees C. I've processed my cappings wax already which all melted relativley quickly but I had a got today rendering down brood comb using my current method and it was incredibly slow at melting compared to the small bits of cappings.
I have used a warming cabinet to render brood frames, but you can't get many in before the bucket is full... I now render them in an old brood box, covered top and bottom with plywood and a hole in the top for a wallpaper steamer (obviously cut a little spout in the bottom ply). Much more effective and renders a whole box of frames at a time. Nearly all the brood 'jackets' stay in the frames. Then I put the wax in a bucket with an inch of water to melt again in the warming cabinet and filter from there. Takes a while in the cabinet but with minimal effort involved cubist to melting over a stove i prefer it.
 

Tim.S 

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As Kaz above, steam is the only really effective way to extract wax from brood frames. It is surprising how much you can recover with this method vs a vs the others.
 

drex 

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As Kaz above, steam is the only really effective way to extract wax from brood frames. It is surprising how much you can recover with this method vs a vs the others.
I would disagree from my experience. It is the temperature reached and the time it is held there that are important, not the mechanism. I have really good results with my solar wax melter. I am changing frames out in the summer, so sunshine is not a worry. I just bung the frames in and leave alone for several days, no work at all. Mine is home made, a polystyrene fish box, old double glazing sheet, a stainless steel baking tray with holes drilled in one end, and a collecting tray ( non stick loaf tin)
 

pargyle 

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I would disagree from my experience. It is the temperature reached and the time it is held there that are important, not the mechanism. I have really good results with my solar wax melter. I am changing frames out in the summer, so sunshine is not a worry. I just bung the frames in and leave alone for several days, no work at all. Mine is home made, a polystyrene fish box, old double glazing sheet, a stainless steel baking tray with holes drilled in one end, and a collecting tray ( non stick loaf tin)
Yes ... on a really sunny day it renders them down in a few hours although you need to get to the resultant mess of slumgum whilst it is still soft and warm otherwise it sets like concrete. It always goes in to then make my propolis varnish ... nothing much gets wasted if you are clever in beekeeping ...
 

Beekeeper Brownie 

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Thanks for everyone's comments. As I don't have a solar wax melter I think making a steam extractor is a possibility.
 

pargyle 

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Thanks for everyone's comments. As I don't have a solar wax melter I think making a steam extractor is a possibility.
Make one that does both ... all you need to do is have two separate lids ... one that is steam proof and one that is glass for solar extraction ... two birds ~ one stone ...
 

Erichalfbee 

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Yes ... you need to get to the resultant mess of slumgum whilst it is still soft
I read that you could compost it so I put the first batch in the compost bin.
The whole afternoon gazillions if bees patrolled every hole.
I had to wait till the evening to empty it.

I never thought of putting it into the varnish bucket. Good idea.
 

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Make one that does both ... all you need to do is have two separate lids ... one that is steam proof and one that is glass for solar extraction ... two birds ~ one stone ...
Can’t picture that...............do you have one/made one? Any chance of a photo?
 

Gilberdyke John 

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I read that you could compost it so I put the first batch in the compost bin.
The whole afternoon gazillions if bees patrolled every hole.
I had to wait till the evening to empty it.

I never thought of putting it into the varnish bucket. Good idea.
That'll stop most compost thieves Dani 😀
 

Erichalfbee 

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That'll stop most compost thieves Dani 😀
I’m amazed I’ve survived more or less intact after the mistakes I’ve made without thinking 😂😂😂

It does go in the compost pile now, buried.
 

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If I bury anything in the compost it gets dug up immediately next time the chooks are let loose around the garden!
 

pargyle 

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Can’t picture that...............do you have one/made one? Any chance of a photo?
Here is my solar wax extractor ... I have a glass lid for the summer solar and a metal 'roof' that goes on for use with steam. I would caution the use of a steam wallpaper steamer with it though ... a lot of steam comes out and you need to allow a hole at the top to let the steam out otherwise it can be quite destructive. I'm in the process of making a new one for the coming season as mine has stood outside for many years and is getting a bit knocked about and weather beaten. Still works OK and I will use bits of it for tne new one. I am planning to line the inside of the new one with either marine ply with a facing of alumium foil or aluminium sheets. It won't add much weight but it will mean it should outlast my beekeeping days. Using celotx/kingspan makes construction very easy ... more Blue Peter than Chippendale. Edge joints are secured with NoMoreNails and barbecue skewers with the exposed surfaces covered with aluminium taps.
 

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hemo 

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A simple and easy solar melter Pargyle.
My current ply model is showing rot and will need to be renewed, a job for next year or next winter.
 

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