Wax Steam Extractor

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Foxylad 

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I have around 20 supers and 3 commercial brood boxes all second hand which i would like to clean and renew the foundation.
I have already cleaned around 10 but i am finding it very labour intensive, scraping the wax into a drum, cleaning each one by hand. We have an industrial steam cleaner at work, which will shift the rest. Its taking forever, i would like to speed up the job.
Has anyone had the chance to test any of the steam wax extractors? My local association only has the solar type and as i am moving house in around a month, i would like to move with clean boxes. I'd like one that could take full size frames drop em in leave em for a few minutes, done. Anyone got any tips for cleaning large numbers of frames?
 

oliver90owner 

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Unless you know the provenance of this kit I would suggest burning the frames and wax and scorching the boxes. I think boiling in caustic soda is likely to sterilise the frames, but caustic soda solutions are nasty enough without being hot as well.

AFB spores are very resistant and long lasting.

Regards, RAB
 

borderer 

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I made my own using a cheap wallpaper stripper from on of the discount stores. I followed a design from Graham Royle with some slight variations. I used an old brood box added a metal flloor and used a crown board for a lid. It was crude but very effective.

The two things I learned were don't leave it unattended and to wait for it to cool before taking it apart.

I also agree with the comment on caution about foul brood

Regards

Borderer
 

Poly Hive 

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And has he been in reach of an AFB situation?

Just a time and money thought?

PH
 

Foxylad 

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Ive been soaking the boxes and frames in caustic soda after scarping the wax.

Theres an awful lot of frames to have to replace.
 
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Just wondering......

I had some old WBC lifts/covers that had been painted many times over with white gloss... paint was cracking and would have been a pain to scrape off with a blowlamp and scraper.

I took them to a stripping service (not THE AVONDALE by the docks!!) who usually strip doors etc in a large stripping tank.
Came out like new!!
Cost £40 for base 4 lifts and a roof, so not really budget priced.
Looking at the size of the tank full of boiling/ very hot caustic soda, I wondered if brood boxes supers frames etc would benefit from an immersion.
The guy said that the beeswax in furniture comes out, so he thought he could do some for me... at a price!

Any ideas/comments please
 

Saradan 

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Hi Foxy

I had my friendly metal merchant make me a roof and floor out of thin galvanised sheet metal.

It's based on the one Th**nes sell. The lid is just big enough to fit snuggly over the top of a Commercial deep and has a fitting in the middle to take the hose of a steam wallpaper stripper

The floor is sized to just sit inside a National Wooden floor.

I usually put nine or so frames in the brood chamber leaving a gap in the middle where the steam comes in from the roof.

A piece of stainless steel mesh (the size used for an OMF) sits beteween the National floor and brood chamber to catch any pieces of waste - cocoons etc.

The molten wax, together with recondensed water drips out of the metal floor into a suitable container.

It works, but it's messy and smelly. I don't reuse the frames, it's primarily to recycle the wax. Plus if I was using it to clean up hive parts I'd still blow torch them at a later date before use.....

Sorry, no photos, but as I mentioned above it looks like the Commercially available ones.
 

Mike a 

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I tried steaming earlier this year, just ensure the steam can't escape and it works really well. I used an old printing plate for a floor and a couple of bits of wood to lift the hive up at the front and steamed a full national hive and 3 year old frames.

[ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=087qjUiho-s"]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=087qjUiho-s[/ame]
 

Foxylad 

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Thanks everyone, still looking at steamers that will take full frames.

But still haven't found one big and cheep enough.
 

chrismcd 

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Thanks everyone, still looking at steamers that will take full frames. But still haven't found one big and cheep enough.
Having got a Th**nes one, all it is composed of is the metal part of a National roof, a wallpaper steamer and a hollow nut and bolt that takes the steam pipe and funnels it into the top of the roof.

To be frank, most beekeepers/DIY fans should have everything but the hollow nut and bolt - once you have one of those you can steam sterilise supers and brood chambers of whatever size you have!

Now, does anyone know where you can get the hollow nuts and bolts from?
 

Blodwen Price 

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Having got a Th**nes one, all it is composed of is the metal part of a National roof, a wallpaper steamer and a hollow nut and bolt that takes the steam pipe and funnels it into the top of the roof.

To be frank, most beekeepers/DIY fans should have everything but the hollow nut and bolt - once you have one of those you can steam sterilise supers and brood chambers of whatever size you have!

Now, does anyone know where you can get the hollow nuts and bolts from?
Most nuts are already hollow ;) but for the bolt (or piece of studding) find your local fastener specialist (most towns will have one tucked away in a light industrial unit somewhere) in the Yellow Pages, if they don't hold such a thing they should be able to help you source one. My local one has a small machine shop out the back and would drill a standard bolt out for for a quid or two.
 

victor meldrew 

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Plumbers merchants will stock something to fit without doubt ;)

John Wilkinson
 

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Ask your plumbers merchent for a 1/2 inch tank connector remove the
compession nut and olive. replace with an 1/2 inch cap and lining [as used
on a hose bib tap]. you may find the hose fitting from the steamer will fit
direct if not take the hose with you to see if they have bushes or reducer
to suit.
 

Teemore 

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Find a mate with a lathe and get him (or her) to machine out the centre of a standard bolt.... job done. It would be more difficult to do this with a pillar drill but not impossible. You could also have a chat with companies who make and repair hydraulic hoses as they are likely to have some pipe unions that would do the job.... but as said above, go speak to a plumber!
 

oliver90owner 

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Most nuts are already hollow;)

Ohhh no they arn't! Coconuts may be but the nuts for bolts most certainly are not! Most may have a hole through them but are not hollow. Only the domed nuts will have a 'cavity' (and would be NBG, as such, for this application)!

A bit like: Q. does your food go through your body? A. yes, but it never goes into your body unless digested (apart from already small-enough molecules like glucose) and absorbed for use - the rest goes straight through.

Regards, RAB
 
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Most nuts are already hollow;)

Ohhh no they arn't! Coconuts may be but the nuts for bolts most certainly are not! Most may have a hole through them but are not hollow. Only the domed nuts will have a 'cavity' (and would be NBG, as such, for this application)!

A bit like: Q. does your food go through your body? A. yes, but it never goes into your body unless digested (apart from already small-enough molecules like glucose) and absorbed for use - the rest goes straight through.

Regards, RAB
My Gran would have said you were splitting hairs !
 

oliver90owner 

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My Gran would have said you were splitting hairs !

She might. She was likely the one that told your mother that 'the sun has hidden behind that cloud'. Little wonder the majority of KS3 think the Sun goes round the Earth once every day!

You need to be precise to split hairs! Being imprecise can lead to all sorts of misconceptions. You might be very surprised if you knew the % of students who are amazed that the Sun does not rise and fall each day. Even though it was Galileo who sorted it all out, those hundreds of years ago!

RAB
 

Hivemaker. 

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Sun does not rise and fall each day. Even though it was Galileo who sorted it all out, those hundreds of years ago!

But he never worked out, that it's also fitted with a dimmer switch.
 

victor meldrew 

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:redface:
Sun does not rise and fall each day. Even though it was Galileo who sorted it all out, those hundreds of years ago!

But he never worked out, that it's also fitted with a dimmer switch.
I like it :iamwithstupid:

John Wilkinson
 

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