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Author Topic: cleaning wax  (Read 715 times)
Carol
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« on: July 28, 2013, 11:34:37 AM »

I am letting the bees clean the wax (did crush and strain). Once they are done with it...how would I finish cleaning it.
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flyingbrass
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« Reply #1 on: July 28, 2013, 11:37:33 AM »

solar wax melter
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Steel Tiger
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« Reply #2 on: July 28, 2013, 02:46:20 PM »

There are a few ways to melt wax and remove junk. Solar wax melter. As the wax melts, it's filtered to remove unwanted particles. Another way is to put it into a large pot, fill with hot water and set it on the stove. heat it but don't let it boil. Stir until all the wax it melted then use a strainer and pour it into a bucket. Let it cool and the wax will be on top.
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Wolfer
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« Reply #3 on: July 28, 2013, 07:24:21 PM »

I tend to just crush a few frames at a time. After the bees are done with it I shove a piece of window screen down in a large coffee can. I dump the wax in the screen and add water to the top of the wax. Set stove on simmer and in a couple hours everything is melted. Stir with something throwaway. Gently lift the screen out letting the wax drain out of the crud. Turn the stove off and by morning it's solid and has shrunk away from the sides of the can.
Usually still has a little bee hair on the bottom which I scrape off with a knife. The screen doesn't filter it real good. I think some people use pantyhose but I don't have any.
I use mine for bullet lube and it runs down a gun barrel just fine.
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Carol
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2013, 07:56:32 PM »

Never thought of bullet lube...I put the crushed wax out for the bees to clean up....will the hot water get the rest of the honey? I tried it today but the wax was still a bit yellow.
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sterling
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« Reply #5 on: July 29, 2013, 01:02:51 PM »

Never thought of bullet lube...I put the crushed wax out for the bees to clean up....will the hot water get the rest of the honey? I tried it today but the wax was still a bit yellow.

Crush and strain wax is probably going to be yellow. To get white wax you would have to have only new cappings and new wax. The kind like is used in comb honey and it would be a shame to crush that. yum
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Carol
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« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2013, 01:23:56 PM »

I think I'll try a frame or two of comb honey...watched some videos and it looks great. Makes me think of the red wax lips we used to buy and chew on as kids.

I guess if I chewed it good enough it would be pretty clean.  grin
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marktrl
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« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2013, 05:43:08 PM »

I've used a solar wax melter but here in Florida this time of year we get a lot of rain so I used the oven. I use a pyrex bowl with an inch of water in it, a piece of aluminum screen with a piece of paper towel as a filter, put a pile of wax on it and let it melt. Also, put an old cookie sheet under it to catch any drips. Oven temp 220-230 range.
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millipede
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« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2013, 12:27:06 AM »

I keep stuffing my wax into an old gym sock until its full then submerge it in a crock pot with a weight on it. The funky stuff says in the sock. After is cools I just pop the wheel out of the crock pot. At this point you can toss the sock or clean it. I have a lot of old socks so I toss it most of the time.
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sc-bee
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« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2013, 10:04:10 AM »

Never thought of bullet lube...I put the crushed wax out for the bees to clean up....will the hot water get the rest of the honey? I tried it today but the wax was still a bit yellow.

Crush and strain wax is probably going to be yellow. To get white wax you would have to have only new cappings and new wax. The kind like is used in comb honey and it would be a shame to crush that. yum

To the best of my knowledge clean wax is yellow. The white color wax is wax that has been bleached to turn it white. I have no experience at this at all---- just remember reading it somewhere a few years ago. Also based on wax competitions at fairs etc. the wax in competitions is always yellow. I would think if cleaner wax was white that would be the competition standard..... just a thought?
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John 3:16
JWChesnut
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« Reply #10 on: July 30, 2013, 11:07:39 AM »

Natural wax, lightly filtered and refined by separating in water or using a solar melter, is going to be some shade of lemon yellow.  The bright sunny color is very attractive.

 Color comes from various natural contaminants, primarily pollen, both as particles and absorbed as fats on to the wax.  The color varies with the hives harvesting (a lovely, and well worthwhile older Canadian review of wax properties notes Nova Scotia produces red wax because Dandelions are the primary nectar see-- http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/BF02609202#page-1   ).   No amount of home-scale filtering is going to remove pollen grains and absorbed fats are integral to the wax.

The famous red varnishes of Stradivarius violins had beeswax/propolis mixes  to seal the wood (and color it).  Perhaps dandelion or henbit is the secret to great music.

Wax can oxidize with heat, exposure to metal, acids and rosins can decay.  Industrial uses: molding for casting, spraying on fruit, etc demand highest purity and a neutral reaction.  This wax is bleached (primarily with hydrogen peroxide, per recent patents) and chelated to remove contaminates which cause the wax to crumble.

There is no need to use hydrogen peroxide on your home wax, but you can substantially brighten dull brown wax with it as an experiment.
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Carol
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« Reply #11 on: July 30, 2013, 02:29:07 PM »

Thanks all...kinda like that sock in the crockpot.....
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Beeboy01
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« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2013, 07:24:44 PM »

The sock in a crock pot works great, just let it simmer for a few hours then cool, can't pack a lot in them but they do a nice job. I'm using a solar wax melter for my old cruddy frames and culled comb wax. With cappings I use a stainless steel mixing bowl which goes in the solar melter for a day then the extra honey is poured out from under the wax plate. The wax then goes onto a tray in the solar melter which has a paper towel on it as a filter. The tray is bent to drip the melted wax into a container as it gets filtered through the paper towel. Solar melters are cool, just load them up and come back the next day.
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