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gythagirl

Beeswax/honey question...

So - please can someone tell me how to separate the melted wax cappings from the honey to make it useable (the wax, that is...)? I failed miserably last year!
joanne

The way I do it is

1) put all the cappings in a pan of water and melt them (don't boil)
2) leave to cool - you'll end up with a disc of wax

You might find there are bits of bees etc so in this case I do what I do when I'm melting down old frames - it's a bit messy but worth it

Do 1)
2) When melted strain through an old pair of tights that have been soaked in hot water
3) Leave the cleaned wax to cool - it may need doing again if there are alot of impurities in it
4) put the tights in some more hot water and bring it up to temperature as there is often quite alot of wax left in there and it gets the rest out - you do have to squeeze so be careful if it's hot

Alternatively you can put it all through a solar extractor

http://www.beesource.com/build-it-yourself/solar-wax-melter/

But to be honest it's so long since I've seen enough sun to do that and I'm not organised - I tend to go for the melting method and it seems to work even if I get beeswax all over the kitchen Smile

Oh - edited it to add: You do leave the cappings overnight to strain all the honey off them don't you - they should be quite dry when you start but a little sticky
Tavascarow

If you have a rapid feeder you can put the cappings over the feed hole (minus the cover inside but with the lid on).
The bees will come up & clean the wax for you & leave it flaked & ready for processing.
Always put it over the hive the honey came from though, to minimise disease spread.
For old brood combs, that always have a lot of debris I do as Joanne, & use a jelly bag in water.
arvo

Have you guys got a ripener?

You can borrow ours while you're extracting if you like. All the crud floats to the top and you pour the honey off the bottom.
gardening-girl

If you want the ripener Sue,we are going to see Chez tomorrow.Could bring it home with us.
gythagirl

Thank you - we are experimenting! It's only a small amount this time, but it would be nice to be able to end up with wax I can do something with.
gythagirl

Sorry, did not see Arvo and g-g's posts...no idea what a ripener is, but we do have an ancient heated tray-thingy that sounds likely, you put the cappings in and they melt and drain through, but what you end up with is pretty cruddy initially. Will hunt down an old pair of tights!
Tavascarow

If you have a rapid feeder you can put the cappings over the feed hole (minus the cover inside but with the lid on).
The bees will come up & clean the wax for you & leave it flaked & ready for processing.
Always put it over the hive the honey came from though, to minimise disease spread.
For old brood combs, that always have a lot of debris I do as Joanne, & use a jelly bag in water.

Should have added for horizontal top bar hives you can put the crushed & strained wax in a tray under the combs for a couple of days.
You can do the same with all types of hive but in a conventional hive you will need an empty bottom box (eke) & if there is a flow on you risk the bees building comb in the free space.
Mistress Rose

If you are using the hot water method, you can put the sticky wax into a pair of tights to start with. You can clean it again by filtering it through a white coffee filter or nappy liner. You will need to melt the wax first, then put something to catch the wax under a filter. We have made one from a large coffee tin with both ends missing and a nappy liner tied over the bottom end.

The hot water tray works quite well, but can take up rather a lot of room and be a right pain.

If we are using a solar extractor, I put the dirty wax into a filter paper or line the seive bit with filter paper. That way you get rid of the worst of the dirt and bee bits at the start. You will have to wash the resulting wax carefully to get rid of all the honey that gathers underneath it, ideally in soft water.
Midland Spinner

If you are using the water method, it's a good idea to use rain water - especially if you are in a hard water area.
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