How to clean raw bee's wax?


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Pulp
April 12, 2012, 12:20 AM
A local bee keeper just gave me 6 old hive frames with honeycomb. This stuff is not nice clean wax. It's black, it's dirty, it stinks and probably has dead larva in at least some of it, as some of the cells are capped. Is it any good for lube, and if so how would one go about cleaning/filtering whatever to make it good?
He told me he had about 800 pounds of clean bricks of wax up in Iowa, but he won't be going back until fall.

I reckon I should've asked him while I was there.

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Fingers McGee
April 12, 2012, 12:31 AM
I suppose melting it down, skimming the impurities off the top then straining it through a cheese cloth would be a good place to start.

BTW, you going to be at Landrun???

WYOMan
April 12, 2012, 12:34 AM
Strained bees wax is excellent mixed with virgin olive oil. I really would wait till you can get some of that, unless you can find a good way to strain it yourself. I don't know the exact procedure. I used to buy cakes of it from a place in Keokuk, Iowa when I lived in that area.

T Bran
April 12, 2012, 12:47 AM
I agree with melting it and straining it but you may want to make it a two step filter system. Maybe use some metal window screen for the first filter reheat snd then use some cheese cloth. Sounds like double work but the larvae etc will clog up the cheesecloth pretty quick and it could get messy quick.
T

TheRodDoc
April 12, 2012, 01:46 AM
Put it in a woven cloth bag with some weights to hold it down into a large pan of water with a teaspoon of viniger added and boil. make sure bag is completly under the water. wax will go through bag and float to top of water. Either skim wax off water or let water cool completly and lift hardened wax off.

Beagle333
April 12, 2012, 01:51 AM
TheRodDoc +1

I was gonna say:
You don't strain the junk out of the wax, you strain the wax out of the junk. Get you a nylon stocking and put the wax in it and put it into hot water (beeswax melts at 145), when it melts and is all liquid take out the stocking and all the junk will stay in the stocking. When it cools, just pick up your clean wax off the top of the water.

arcticap
April 12, 2012, 05:21 AM
This video shows the melted honey comb being put through a coarse metal strainer first to get rid of a majority of the black remnants of bee cocoons which are called slum gum. Then afterward the wax can be filtered again through a finer filtering cloth. There are also many other videos showing how to render beeswax on youtube.

HOW TO RENDER THE BEESWAX HONEYCOMB FROM A GOLD STAR TOP BAR HIVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qXuVBncAykw&feature=related

StrawHat
April 12, 2012, 07:32 AM
One thing to bear in mind, when you are doing this, you will attract most of the bees in the area. Be careful.

sugarmaker
April 12, 2012, 07:54 AM
I kept bees at one time...

One simple way is to crumble up the combs and place them in a microwave packed into a fairly deep bowl. Melt CAREFULLY AND SLOWLY checking a little at a time. Remove the big chunks on top after it cools down and they are still soft. Let it cool and harden overnight. At the end honey will be on bottom, then wax layer, then the cocoons and other stuff on top. Wash the honey off of the wax under a faucet. Be careful with heat as the wax is very flammable.

Loyalist Dave
April 12, 2012, 09:11 AM
Actually, I found that with skimming the light bits after heating, that the heavy bits fall to the bottom, and the good wax can be easily removed. No real need for a two step strainer. I make beeswax candles a lot for living history events.

LD

Pulp
April 12, 2012, 10:06 AM
Thanks for all the information.

Fingers, I can't make Landrun. That evil 'w' word is getting in the way.

Ryden
April 12, 2012, 10:50 AM
Put it in a woven cloth bag with some weights to hold it down into a large pan of water with a teaspoon of viniger added and boil. make sure bag is completly under the water. wax will go through bag and float to top of water. Either skim wax off water or let water cool completly and lift hardened wax off.
+1
This is the way to go

Fingers McGee
April 12, 2012, 12:15 PM
Fingers, I can't make Landrun. That evil 'w' word is getting in the way.

Sorry the evil 'w' word will keep you from making smoke. I'll clang some steel for you.

Pulp
April 12, 2012, 01:00 PM
Somebody needs to, I haven't been to a match in seems like forever!

4v50 Gary
April 14, 2012, 08:00 AM
Keep it as pure as possible. Beeswax is excellent for preserving firearms.

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