Monday, April 7, 2014

Swarm Catcher…Solar Wax Melter 4.4.14

Jim and I moved the swarm catcher a little closer to the line of flight from the “blue” hive. They have really increased in numbers and if they do cast off a swarm I’d like to catch it for the Top Bar Hive. The hives are just behind the Bottle Brush bush.

See the squirrel on the table top? I put my Lovebird’s seed out there each day when I change her food.


The swarm catcher is on the top of the ladder. I have 5 “top bars” in it. If a swarm does move in and start building comb…I can remove them from the catcher and put them in the Top Bar Hive. The frames from the Langs hives will not fit the TBH.


To the L of the swarm catcher is an Owl box or Squirrel box that my sister gave me. If they don’t choose the TBH or the swarm catcher…maybe they’ll settle for the Squirrel/Owl box.


This is my solar wax melter. I have an old cast iron pot sitting on wood with window screen and a piece of fine mesh for straining the debris out of the wax as it melts and drips into a bowl with about an inch of water in it.

It gets so hot in there I have to use a pot holder to lift the pot out. That is why it sits on wood. Might melt through the rubber tub.


This is the first batch of wax. The wax  in the tray is flat because there was a smaller amount. Once the water cooled it floated and hardened on top.


Right now I am trying to melt some old brood comb (black stuff in pot in picture above). May not get much wax from it but wanted to try.

Once done I will remelt and make a candle.

Because we crushed and strained our honey last time we had wax left over. This year we are going to try a honey extractor and see if we can save most of the comb. It will make it much easier for the bees.  Once the honey is spun out we can put the comb back in the super and on the hive for them to clean out and refill.

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