Some boxes I had stored in my shed had gotten infested with wax moths. We all know what a pain it is salvaging once it's occured. I was looking at basically a brood and two med supers. I had gotten about half a super scraped and prepped for torching when I thought there's got to be an easier way. Being a jeweler I do wax burnout quite often, it's a smelly process and the wax fumes are quite caustic. The studio is also attached to the house which means the fumes do get into the house. To reduce the fumes as well as the wife getting on me, I purchased a steam dewaxer. I though well,,,,, I'll give it a try, worse that can happen is I'll ruin some frames. Let me tell you - it worked like a charm. I then put all ten frames of the brood in the dewaxer, set the timer for two hours, came back later and they were spify clean. It leaves the wood with a slight coating of wax, ready to have new foundation put on. I was thinking I would have to replace the wires as they were a little loose - once the wood dried though they had tension again. Now the neatest thing, all the goop went to the bottom, the floaties on top of that and the wax settled on the very top. Clean up consisted of spaying out the dewaxer with the garden hose and the separating the floaties from the wax. That was like separating icing from cake, all that was needed was a butter knife. Once separated, into the solar melter. I ended up harvesting wax I thought lost. The cost of a dewaxer runs between $200-400, sometimes cheaper on ebay. For large scale operations it would be great, and with the rising cost of equipment, frames do get expensive after a while.
Just a different way of doing something. I'm sure the steam would've also killed anything on them I didn't see. I can also report the bees had no issue with the process, as the frames were outside drying the bees seemed attacted to them. The thin coating was heavily scented with honey as was the wax from the dewaxer. On the lighter side, it also had the effect of scenting the studio with honey - a pleasant side effect.