Old honeycomb

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Thinkinaboutit, Nov 4, 2006.

  1. Thinkinaboutit

    Thinkinaboutit Well-Known Member

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    We had a big ole tree snap in half in the windstorm that went up the east coast last week. There were bees flying out of the 20 foot stump that was left at the time. It was in the 60s. Today we cut down that stump. It is hollow and full of old honeycomb. We don't see any bees flying out of the tree today as it's in the low 40s.

    My question is this: can this honeycomb be used for beeswax? If so, how do we go about that?


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  2. rainesridgefarm

    rainesridgefarm Well-Known Member

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    just melt it down in a double boiler so the light wax rises to the top and skim it off. the rest (slumgum) you can pour over pine cones and make fire starters out of.
     

  3. Thinkinaboutit

    Thinkinaboutit Well-Known Member

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    Thanks so much for your reply!

    So let me get this straight. Are you saying that if the wax is dark that it will not work well as beeswax? That it is only suitable for firestarters?


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  4. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The wax will come to the waters surface, The trash is called slum, It will be full of cocoons and the like. I use A wax melter like you can buy at the hobby stores for candle making. The wax comes out the bottom, The trash is then discarded. And used in other products..
     
  5. dcross

    dcross Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First you'll have to convince the bees to give it up...
     
  6. Thinkinaboutit

    Thinkinaboutit Well-Known Member

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    We have already collected a bag full of the honeycomb. It looks as if it was abandoned. It does not have honey in it. Very few larvae.

    I don't have any equipment to process this with. How exactly do I melt it???? :help:

    Are there any good websites that would help a complete newbie on dealing with empty honeycomb?

    Thanks!



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  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    I melted dark honeycomb in a coffee can, then I poured it through an old sweatshirt to filter it.

    If you THEN melt the dark honeycomb in water, the dark color tends to stay in the water and the yellow wax rises to the surface.

    I only did this a couple of times, but it worked OK.

    By the way, wax is traditionally melted in a double boiler because it is such a fire hazard. The double boiler keeps it from over heating. But, because wax makes such a MESS in the pans, I used the coffee can to melt it in.

    Do NOT leave wax on the stove un-attended, as it IS a fire hazard!
     
  8. Thinkinaboutit

    Thinkinaboutit Well-Known Member

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    Now this sounds something like even I can do! Thank you so much!


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  9. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Don't put the coffee can on the burner: put it on a frying pan with water in it in case the seam of the coffee can gives way. They were not really designed to be cooked in and you don't want wax on the burner!

    Have fun!

    And, oh yes. A wax candle needs a thicker wick than a parrafin candle, I found out the hard way!