Melting Wax Tips

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Nov 9, 2008
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S.E. Cornwall
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Hi all,

I am a new beekeeper and haven't kept bees yet.

I bought a couple of second hand hives recently. I have been recommended to get new foundation as apparently bees love it! So, obviously I have some wax on my current frames. Some is mouldy though and some is falling apart and pale white! My questions is, can I still melt this? If so, how do I melt it and how do I give it to the bee supplier for the foundation swap?

Any advice gratefully received.
Might not be worth recovering the wax unless you have quite a lot. If you want to go for it, you could either construct a solar wax melter or warm the frames GENTLY in something in the oven.... tends not to be popular with people who also use the oven.

You need to really clean the frames before you put your clean foundation in. If you have an enormous pot or old boiler you can boil them in water with washing soda... then let them dry.

Also hive needs a good clean.
Scorch and scrape the inside of the hive with a blow torch (I assume it is wood not poly) including roof and floor. Throw away crown boards if they are the cheap ones made from hardbaord in a frame, otherwise treat as above.

Look forward to hearing how you get on. Poly.
wax melts at 64.4?? 0.6?C and it easily burns
you can cut it out of the frames pop them into a filter paper eg coffee filter that is suspended in a tin over a bowl of water in a very cool oven and let the melted wax drip though the filter paper . it is a long job ..... but you need to have removed the dead bees larva skins etc before being able to reuse the wax... swap it etc

you should definately start on new foundation and you should sterilise the whole hive before introducing new bees to it........

there are lots of implications re beekeeping - feeding - forage - disease - extracting honey - waxcraft and the best thing to do is find a local association join them and learn from them or a course on beekeeping ....
Good way to get nice clean wax into blocks, i use 30lb buckets as moulds. Use a old burco boiler and half fill with water,fill with your wax and melt,use old chip pan basket with some nylon tights around the outside,push this down into the molten wax and ladle out the clean wax from inside the basket into your mould,cover mould and allow to cool.rinse mould in some water before starting. This works well for larger ammounts and the wax is spotless.
Does this get rid of honey, or do you need to wash it first?
talking about wax?

Just had an ear 'syringed' by my GP/nurse...looked like enough for 4 sn frames foundation - same colour too!
Does this get rid of honey, or do you need to wash it first?

You need to wash it first or you get a layer of dark honey - partially caramelised.. so no use to feed to bees but OK for humans. (been there , done it:)
I gave my cappings back to the bees in an ashforth which they went through quite nicely and cleaned, do I still need to wash it or will it be ok? It's quite dry and powdery now. How might you go about washing it normally?
Depends how much you have.
Just extracted two supers. Cappings go in a jelly bag to get that last bit of honey overnight then tie it up and wash thoroughly in a bowl of water.
Hang to dry on the line and two days later a bag of clean white cappings :)

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