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Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

IRescueBees shows you how we process our wax, with our guide to  Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb
Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

In Beekeeping and the bee removal business we have a lot of comb to deal with. At times the amount is overwhelming.

We all have to learn from someone, especially in Beekeeping. Everyone has little tricks that can help others.

Today, I am gonna show you some tips I learned from Don ( The Fat Beeman) and my friend Richard Bittner.

First, lets talk a little about Beeswax...

Since man began keeping bees he realized many uses of beeswax.  Beeswax was used for casting metals, tooth injuries and light.

Worker honey bees have six wax glands under their abdomen.

When honey bees digest honey, liquid wax ( the by-product of their digestion process ) is secreted from their wax glands.

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb
Photo Courtesy of Juste Apiculture, Karim Lesecq

These secretions bees use to build comb for raising their young and for food storage.

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old CombBeekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

There are many ways to render beeswax. You can use a solar wax melter, you can boil and you can broil.

Today, we will cover boil and broil...

I learned broiling for Richard Bittner. Broiling is a convenient way for rendering large volumes of cappings and crushed comb.

Here at IRescuebees we use no foundation. This means that we crush and strain our honey comb.

Yet, most people extract their honey with an extractor which means they have to cut the cappings off. We will go over these different methods in a later post.

Here is how we do it...

After straining our crushed honey comb, we put it out for the bees to clean. You can wash it out if you would like.

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

After the honey bees clean the wax we put the wax into a perforated pan. The pan with the wax is placed on top of a six inch steam table pan with two or three inches of water in the bottom.

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

These are placed into an ELECTRIC oven and broiled until there is nothing but slum in the top pan. Slum is usable, we will cover that later.

Not done yet we still need to boil it...

Using an old stock, put the cooled wax form your broiling in pot. Add water about one third of the pot and boil.

Beekeeping Basics Cappings and Old Comb

Once the wax has come to a boil, remove from heat and pour into a five gallon bucket thru a filter. An old sheet works fine for a filter.

Boiling also works well for old comb. Just put the old comb into pot and boil. Remember to skim the top with a strainer to get the cocoons and larva out.

Pour into bucket and let cool for twenty four hours.

What do you do with all this wax...

Manufactures of health and beauty lines will buy your wax. Most pay a couple bucks a pound.

Better yet, did you know that ebay moves about twenty four tonnes of beeswax a year.

That's right, you can sell your bees wax online for a little over ten dollars a pound.

Larger profits in beeswax is in making candles. Everybody loves candles, especially beeswax candles.




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