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Author Topic: beeswax rendering  (Read 393 times)

Offline Thomas2691

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beeswax rendering
« on: July 13, 2017, 03:37:57 pm »


Hello Everyone,

My name is Thomas and I would like to know if any of you guys know where I can render my organic natural beeswax anywhere in the United States.

Ps: I have a lot of quantity

Kind Regards

Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 08:28:12 pm »
Thomas,
First, welcome to Beemaster.
Most beekeepers clean there own wax. If you are good with your hands, I would recommend building a solar wax melter. Once built, it requires the least amount of work. Your other choice is to get a couple of large pots put water in the bottom and melt it do. Once melted pour it into another  container that is covered with mesh like cheese cloth.
Bee very careful. Wax is very flammable.
Jim
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Offline Eric Bosworth

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2017, 08:23:59 am »
I have to agree with Jim but cheese cloth is not the best choice. An old T shirt will be a better filter but depending on the wax you may want to filter it through cheese cloth first. If it was from the brood nest the cocoons will probably need to get filtered through cheese cloth. I take wax with cocoons and filter it through cheese cloth, then before it solidifies I wring out the as much wax as possible from the cheese cloth. Then I filter it through a T shirt.

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Offline paus

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2017, 09:26:41 am »
I use an old ice chest covered with Plexiglas and use a disposable roasting pan with a drain hole.  The cheese cloth can be put in the solar melter and get most of the residual wax.

Offline Acebird

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2017, 09:50:06 am »
Thomas it is not clear to me what you are asking for.  Do you want someone to render your wax and give it back to you or are you looking for someone to sell your wax in the US?  Exactly how much is a lot?
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Offline little john

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2017, 04:19:35 am »
These might be the kind of guys the OP is looking for ...
http://beeswaxrecovery.com/services

Like most beekeepers I recover my own wax.  Yesterday I tried a modified FatBeeMan method (BIG pan of hot water and a sieve) which worked ok, but noticed that there was still a lot of wax left in the slumgum (as usual). So I did a Google for "Beeswax Recovery" and found the above link.

What struck me was they will buy slumgum from you - which tells me that there must be enough wax left behind to make further recovery worthwhile - so I'll be playing with this later-on today. If I get lucky, I'll let you guys know.
LJ
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2017, 08:27:10 am »
LJ,
Looking foreword to see what you come up with.
I suspect that they might bee putting it in a solar wax melter, a very large one.
I think I get a lot more wax from my solar unit than I do from melting it in a pot.
Jim
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Offline little john

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2017, 09:16:32 am »
Hi Jim - it's 1 p.m. over here as I write this.  I did a "pillow-case submerged in boiling water held down by a huge chunk of stainless steel" during the morning, and right now the water is still cooling down.  There's already a fair amount of wax showing at the surface, but I was only able to get half the slumgum I produced yesterday into the pillow-case, so what I'll now do is process the remainder tomorrow and then weigh what results to get some kind of percentage figure.
The principle reason I'm trying the FatBeeMan method is that he recovers propolis as well as wax.  But - I'm beginning to wonder whether the hassle and mess is worth that additional feature ...
LJ

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Offline little john

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2017, 03:01:29 pm »
Ok guys - this is the result of this morning's experiment:



On the right is the wax recovered from pouring the 'soup' through a sieve and letting it harden. The slumgum in the sieve was squeezed-out the best I could.  Plenty of propolis attached to the wax, and all-in-all not a bad yield from only a handful of old combs.

In the middle is the wax which resulted from then submerging the slumgum under boiling water, inside a pillow-case.  The thickness is about half that of the first stage recovery (same sort of diameter), but only half the slumgum could be treated ... so it looks like double the first yield is possible.

On the left is the 'make do with what you've got' kit that I'm using.  You may notice strange shapes in the pillow case on either side of the heavy s/s plate.




In this shot you can see there are still small beads of wax on the slumgum, even after one hour of 'boiling', and the two odd chunks of wax at the top of the photograph are those strange shapes in the pillow case, where the wax has separated out, but couldn't easily pass through the pillow-case material.  The one on the right is 15mm thick !

One thing I noticed which could be an important indicator, is that slumgum without wax feels much like holding a handful of porridge, or wet compost.  If there's any rigidity or firmness at all in the slumgum, then that's due to the presence of wax.  No wonder those guys are buying slumgum, presumably from beekeepers using solar or steam extractors.

Next step is to make a mesh cage of some sort - and put that slumgum under boiling water again.

LJ
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Offline sawdstmakr

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2017, 06:24:53 pm »
Thanks for sharing. Do you have a solar wax melter?
I would like to know how much wax you get from the slum gum from it.
Jim
"If you don't read the newspaper you are uninformed.  If you do read the newspaper you are misinformed."--Mark Twain

Offline little john

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2017, 04:17:58 am »
Hi Jim.  Today it's raining - continuously.  Tomorrow is forecast the same.  Yesterday was heavily overcast, the day before that likewise.  Which is my way of saying that solar wax melters are, at best, a very 'chancy' way of melting wax over here in Britain.   Even when the sun shines, it's often not continuous throughout the day, enough to build up the temperature required.  Maybe during the height of summer - mid-June etc.  So - can't help on that one.

I've found a mesh wastepaper basket, which I'll modify to make a slumgum cage, and try that.  The mesh size is a little on the big side - but I think worth experimenting with.
LJ
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Offline MT Bee Girl

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2017, 11:58:16 am »
Ok. I'm really glad that this has come up here. I've been wondering, and now LJ brings it up.
I've watched the fat bee man's video where he says that stuff that remains on the bottom of the wax brick is #1 propolis. How can that be? Wouldn't #1 propolis be the stuff you scrape directly from the hive? I've saved that stuff before and have melted it down and got quite a bit more wax out of it but if it contains propolis, how would you render that?
Also, I read you shouldn't boil beeswax. I accidentally did the other day and it turned really dark. So I question why you say you're boiling your wax, LJ, and yet it still looks pretty light.
Yvonne
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Offline Jim 134

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #12 on: August 19, 2017, 03:02:07 am »
What you really need to extract wax with. Is a steam press. I know Walter T Kelley used to sell them..


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Offline little john

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #13 on: August 19, 2017, 07:04:30 am »
Ok. I'm really glad that this has come up here. I've been wondering, and now LJ brings it up.
I've watched the fat bee man's video where he says that stuff that remains on the bottom of the wax brick is #1 propolis. How can that be? Wouldn't #1 propolis be the stuff you scrape directly from the hive? I've saved that stuff before and have melted it down and got quite a bit more wax out of it but if it contains propolis, how would you render that?
Also, I read you shouldn't boil beeswax. I accidentally did the other day and it turned really dark. So I question why you say you're boiling your wax, LJ, and yet it still looks pretty light.

Hiya.  I'm pretty sure (bearing in mind that my memory isn't all that it once was) that he calls that #2 propolis.  I agree with you - the stuff scraped off the woodwork is #1.

Re: boiling - I've also heard that you shouldn't boil it - and the FatBeeMan says NOT to boil it .... but just watch his video again: he boils it !  Ok, not for very long - but you can clearly see in that video that he brings the water to the boil in order to melt a few remaining lumps of wax.  I've just copied his method as a test (first time trying this method, I must stress) and that's exactly what I've done too.  But just as soon as the water begins boiling - in goes the strainer to pre-heat, and then the heat is switched off and the soup poured through the strainer - so it doesn't get to boil for very long. **

Or could it be that we're talking about two different types of boiling: water-boiling, and wax-boiling ?  I've only ever boiled the water, not the wax itself.

Jim is quite right - a steam wax-press would be the ideal bit of kit for this - but that sounds to me like a lot of money.

I've been distracted by some last-minute queen-rearing trials - but will return to finish-off this wax extraction stuff asap.
LJ

** WHOOPS - my apologises - that refers to the 'first run' - during the second run, I did indeed boil the water for one hour.  And yes, the wax comes out looking fine - no obvious darkening,  over and above the 'natural' amber colour of beeswax.
« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 09:49:24 am by little john »
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Offline Robo

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #14 on: August 19, 2017, 07:40:10 am »
I have taken one of these home steam cleaner and adapted to use as a wax melter.


I took a 30 Gal new garbage can and drilled a small hole about 6" from the bottom that the steam nozzle will fit in.   I put the wax in a 5 gallon paint strainer and hang it from the underside of the lid.   The wax bag is suspended in the can and the steamer is run through a couple cycles of steam and left to cool.   The condensed steam leaves a pocket of water on the bottom, so only the edges of the wax puck needs to be freed from the can walls.

Works fairly well, but not as easy as a solar melter.    However solar melters can't be used year round while this can.   

If anyone is looking for a small affordable solar melter,  I don't believe you can get a better deal than the Lyson one sold by betterbee.  I picked one up this year and love it.  It doesn't hold excluders though.
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Offline Acebird

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2017, 10:05:58 am »
I don't get the boiling restriction... If you burn a bees wax candle the melted wax is exposed to 800C over 1400F and yet the melted wax doesn't get darker.  There is not a lot of difference between steam and boiling water.  They are both near 212F.  The latent heat of the water will cool as the wax melts and so too steam which will condense into water.  The fat bee man is a heck of a beekeeper but he tends to write his own laws of nature.
I think the cheapest steam generator you can buy is a Wagner wall paper stripper.
Brian Cardinal
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Offline MT Bee Girl

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2017, 07:53:34 pm »
Yeah, i'm pretty sure he said #1. I remember rewinding it and listening to it a few times. He was talking about how you can sell it and get top $$$. I even asked on his fb page, but he never replied. After that I've seen a couple of things and was like...huh? ...so I dont really watch him much anymore.  lol

That thing looks cool Robo.
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Offline Robo

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2017, 10:42:07 pm »

Next step is to make a mesh cage of some sort - and put that slumgum under boiling water again.

LJ

Try a 5 gallon paint strainer. I think you will have better results than the pillow case.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it comes dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison



Offline Jim 134

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Re: beeswax rendering
« Reply #18 on: August 20, 2017, 09:59:12 pm »

Next step is to make a mesh cage of some sort - and put that slumgum under boiling water again.

LJ

Try a 5 gallon paint strainer. I think you will have better results than the pillow case.
   Back many years ago I used to use burlap bags for this operation. I see no reason . Why nylon paint strainers would not work.

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"Tell me and I'll forget,show me and I may  remember,involve me and I'll understand"
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"The farmer is the only man in our economy who buys everything at retail, sells everything at wholesale, and pays the freight both ways."
 John F. Kennedy
Franklin County Beekeepers Association MA. http://www.franklinmabeekeepers.org/