Wax is a useful beekeeping product, which is used for the preparation of various traditional medicine and home cosmetology. It is prepared by melting wax and old frames. They do this with the help of a special apparatus - a wax hopper, but it is expensive. Novice beekeepers can do without it, using other methods of reheating.
Raw material preparation
First, raw materials should be prepared from which wax will subsequently be obtained. To do this, you need to take the old framework, zabrus and wax. Clean the framework of wax, set aside in a separate container. All wax materials can be ground to a dust state.
Pour the prepared components with water and leave for 3-4 hours. Due to this, debris will float to the surface, which can easily be removed. The liquid-filled raw materials must be shaken periodically so that unnecessary residues rise from the bottom.
After separating the debris from the raw materials, you can proceed directly to the melting of the wax.
The most common method for producing wax without a special apparatus is re-heating with water. The method is simple and allows you to clean contaminated wax and old wax. Melting with water is also suitable if there are traces of mold on the product.
The process of obtaining a quality final product is as follows:
- Prepare a container for re-grinding. It must be deep. The preferred material is stainless steel or aluminum. Do not use containers made of iron, copper or brass.
- Raw materials are collected - wax, old honeycombs, zabrus. All this is placed in a container of warm water and allowed to stand for several days. After that, the water is replaced with clean water. The liquid should occupy a third of the volume of the vessel.
- They put a bowl (pot) with water and raw materials on the fire. Bring the mixture to a boil, after which the fire is reduced. The wax will begin to melt. The boiling time of raw materials depends on its condition: so, if it was covered with mold, then the process of reheating will take at least 2 hours.
- After complete melting of the wax, it is poured into another container, filtering. As the filter using any mesh material. The poured wax is pressed with a load. It will drain into clean containers.
The semi-finished product, filtered for the first time, is left to cool. After this happens, the resulting bar is cleaned of debris accumulated on the bottom or top. After this, the product of the first heating must again be melted to a fluid state. When a layer of small particles is collected on the surface, it must be removed using a slotted spoon.
After that, the wax should cool. As a result, a bar is formed that is resistant to temperature fluctuations and does not crack.
This method is simple and suitable for processing a small amount of bee raw materials. Melting wax in a jar will not take much time.
To melt wax in this way, you need to:
- prepare a deep pan, glass jar and molds for the final product;
- pour water into the pan (about 5-8 cm from the bottom) and put on fire;
- put peeled and finely chopped honeycombs in a glass jar;
- when the water in the pan boils, put a jar of raw materials at the bottom: the product must be constantly stirred, melting should occur evenly;
- when the composition becomes liquid and gains a uniform consistency, remove the container from the fire.
The final step is to pour liquid wax into containers or molds. Cool the final product in a warm place for at least 24 hours. Place wax in the refrigerator for storage only after its final cooling.
In the microwave
You can melt the material to wax in the microwave. This method will allow you to process a large amount of product, but in small portions.
It is necessary to grind or grate the raw materials and place them in a glass dish, which is suitable for use in the microwave. It is advisable not to cover it.
Melting time depends on the power of the microwave: if it is 650 watts, then the components need to be heated for a minute. With a power of 850 watts, time is reduced to 45 seconds, 1000 watts - up to 40 seconds.
Smelting of components from which pure wax is obtained can be done using a water bath. To do this, you need 2 containers of aluminum or stainless steel with different diameters.
Pour a little water (per third of the volume) into a pan with a larger diameter, and wax material, which should first be cleaned of impurities, with a smaller diameter. Put a smaller container in a large pot, put the latter on a slow fire.
As the water warms, you need to ensure that it does not boil away, and the wax does not burn.
When the bee product melts and boils for a while, you can turn off the fire. Liquid wax is poured into a glass jar or prepared molds. It should be cooled gradually, so the container needs to be wrapped in a thick towel.
This method of melting the wax is simpler than the previous one, since it does not require two-stage melting.
The metal container in which they plan to melt the wax is placed over the bonfire. It should be large - the volume should be enough for a whole bucket of water. Place the raw materials in the container. At the same time, a reserve should remain, since when heated, the wax frames boil, and the water will boil.
When the mass boils, you need to stir it regularly. After complete melting, the mass is stirred, dirt is removed, and allowed to cool. You can cool the mass in the same container or pour into another clean one.
How wax is melted at the stake is shown in this video:
Overheating in enameled containers
This method is suitable for those beekeepers who need to process a large amount of raw materials immediately.
Two enameled tanks act as containers for placing ingredients in them. The capacity of each is 20 liters.
Raw materials for subsequent wax preparation must be soaked in warm water, then grind it manually or using a grater. Add the resulting mass to the first tank, cover with a layer of gauze.
Pour clean water into a second enameled container and put it on fire. When the water begins to boil, you need to put another tank on this tank, which contains the composition of the future wax.
Both pans need to be connected with each other with ropes, covered with a warm blanket or unnecessary outer clothing. It is not necessary to remove them from the fire. It is important to ensure that clothing does not come in contact with heating elements.
On fire, the construction of the tanks should stand at least two hours. After this, the containers should be removed from the stove and left, without removing them from each other and without removing the insulation, for 12 hours. The material should become homogeneous and acquire a nice color.
It is strictly forbidden to remove clothing or a blanket from containers immediately after melting the composition. If you do this, then the quality of the final product will deteriorate significantly.
This method is popular because it allows you to process large quantities of raw materials immediately without much preparation.
In a double boiler
Another modern household appliance with which you can melt wax is a double boiler. To melt the wax with it, you should fill the bottom of the appliance with water about 2-5 cm.
Next, you need to take a bowl, put the wax components in it and send it to a double boiler. Depending on the power of the device and the amount of substance, this process takes from several minutes to an hour. The device must not be left unattended: during melting, liquid must be added to the double boiler.
After the wax becomes liquid, it must be poured into molds.
And from this video you will learn how to melt wax in the cheapest juice cooker:
You can create your own waxworks using heat from the sun. Install it in an apiary or in the yard.
A wax refinery, the principle of which is based on sunlight, is a box of wood or iron sheets, which is covered with a double glass frame on top. Inside this design, a stainless steel pan is installed at an angle of 40 degrees, as well as a tin can.
A little water is collected in the trough - this will facilitate the extraction of the final product from the tank. Finely chopped wax ingredients are placed on a baking sheet under the glass. When the glass heats up, the components melt. Liquid wax drains into the trough through a wire rack on a baking sheet.
Wax obtained in this way is much appreciated, since it melts naturally under the action of direct rays of the sun.
In a wax refinery made from an old washing machine
If there is an old unusable washing machine, you can make a wax heating apparatus from it yourself. The housing must be empty, that is, all parts must be removed from it. As a result, the body and the drum should remain inside.
The water that is poured into the drum must be heated, so you need to make the appropriate wiring. In the case it is necessary to build a chimney and make a channel for draining the melted wax.
The manufacture of such a device will require effort and certain skills, but it will be cheaper than acquiring a wax refinery.
After melting the wax, by-products remain. Usually this is the so-called sludge - particles of garbage glued together with wax.
This residue is called the Merv. It can be ground and brought into the ground. Merv increases the fertility of the earth.
Even if the beekeeper in the apiary does not have a wax hopper, he can still get wax at home using improvised means. Depending on the volume of raw materials and the availability of possibilities, it can be melted in a water bath, fire or under the sun, as well as in a microwave oven, a double boiler or a cooker.