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Question about removing wax from frames


I recently got a bunch of hive bodies and supers for a very good price. I want to clean them up and render the wax to make candles and soaps. The wax is very old and has been used for at least a year, so it is pretty dirty. Do you just cut the wax out with a knife and render it from there? Do you have to disassemble the whole frame to get the wax out? I am new to beekeeping, but I am enjoying learning!
Thank you!


I cut it out with a fishing knife then use hot water to separate the wax and the cocoons. Don’t let the water boil, it spoils the wax.


I have a home made steamer. It melts the wax and cleans the frames at the same time ready for waxing. Wonderful.


The multipurpose tea urn? :wink:


No it’s an old poly brood box with a grill on the bottom to catch the crud and a spout where the hot water and wax exit into a bucket. I hang the frames in normally and strap the roof on then introduce the wallpaper steamer hose into the top.


Very clever idea. I am always looking for better ways of rendering, so if you have any photos, I would love to see them. I should have quite a number of old brood frames to render next spring, and this would help a lot.



I’ll see what I can do. :smiley:


Oh dear forgot about this. Next time I do some frames I’ll open the box and take a snap. It’s too bloomin cold at the moment brrrrrrrr


A little late to the party here but very keen to see this gizmo you’ve built @Dee :nerd_face:


There is not as much wax in comb as you would think. Keep it simple. I use old cooler with Plexiglas top aimed at sun. Hardware cloth a few inches off bottom. You will be lucky to get a candle or 2 unless you have a lot of comb.


I just read a blog post on ‘trogtrogbee’ about a homemade steam extractor. I was fascinated to read that the wax melted from the frames leaving the interwoven cocoons intact on the frames.