Warning: Honey should never be directly heated because it can quickly start to burn and spoil at high temperatures.
That is the value of this machine - honey in containers (from little jars to 30lb buckets) can be gently warmed from every direction by the indirect heat of the surrounding water.
Separate and extract honey and beeswax from honey crystallised in the comb or from wild honeycomb.
- break up the comb as much as you can to fill 30lb buckets - seal the buckets with lids
- place the grill base in the machine
- place the bucket on the grill base
- fill the machine with water to the depth of the bucket and put the lid on the machine
- start with the thermostat at 40°C for 8-12 hours - this depends on ambient temperature and the honey so experiment to suit your conditions
- giving it a periodic mash and stir - this will help speed it up
- the honey will liquefy, lose viscosity and sink to bottom
- the wax will soften but not melt and will rise to form a layer of sticky wax porridge on top
- allow to settle and cool before skimming the porridge and process this as for cappings detailed below
- strain the honey
Liquefying or 'clearing' honey
Honey that has crystallised in containers can be melted in the same way as 2-5 above.
- honey that has been previously harvested and stored in buckets for bottling at a later date
- honey that has crystallised in the jar
Warning: Beeswax should never be directly heated because it can vaporise and combust at high temperatures.
That is the value of this machine - beeswax can be safely melted in water at a controlled temperature.
Melt and purify beeswax from cappings
- put enough water in the machine so the water level is above the drainage tap
- put the cappings in the water and stir
- start with the thermostat at 70°C - this depends on ambient temperature so experiment to suit your conditions - note that the melting point of beeswax is 63°C
- do not increase the temperature so the water boils under the wax - this is dangerous
- after melting allow to cool
- the solid wax disc will have shrunk so it can be removed
- any insoluble impurities will either have sunk to the bottom of the tank or formed a layer on the underside of the wax
- this layer can be scraped off with a hive tool
- any honey in the cappings will have dissolved in the water so this can be drunk, fed back to the bees or brewed into mead or beer
Melt and purify beeswax from old comb
Follow the same steps above, break up the old comb before Step 2 and Step 9 would not apply!
Do not expect to use this machine for dispensing molten beeswax through the tap, it would cool and solidify in the tap and block it. Specialist equipment with an externally heated tap would be required.
After use with beeswax, the machine can be simply cleaned by rinsing and then adding more water, setting the thermostat to 100°C and allowing the machine to steam clean itself.
We hope that our advice is useful but this cannot be a definitive instructional guide - users are responsible for their own health and safety risk assessments.