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I have questions regarding the use of Hotwater Pressure Washer to clean old comb off plastic frames. Is there any advice anyone can give me regarding these. Do they work? Is there an ideal pressure?What should the temperature of the water be for a maximum clean? Do you need to use any chemicals as well? Do they damage the boxes? Is there a brand that anyone could recommend? Ive given up on my steam chest after melting plastic frames as I couldn't control the temperature very well. I have nearly convince the husband that he needs one of the above to clean the car and the house Ha Ha!

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Not 100% sure but the hot water from the pressure washer might be just as bad as the steamer = bendy frames;.

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I have questions regarding the use of Hotwater Pressure Washer to clean old comb off plastic frames. Is there any advice anyone can give me regarding these. Do they work? Is there an ideal pressure?What should the temperature of the water be for a maximum clean? Do you need to use any chemicals as well? Do they damage the boxes? Is there a brand that anyone could recommend? Ive given up on my steam chest after melting plastic frames as I couldn't control the temperature very well. I have nearly convince the husband that he needs one of the above to clean the car and the house Ha Ha!

A Steam chest works well for wooden frames.

A cold water pressure cleaner will clean up plastic frames just fine, though it is a horrible and time consuming job.

Soaking the frames for a few days and scraping off most of the comb first helps.

A hot water pressure cleaner at 75 deg will be quicker and better, but will cost 4 - 10 times as much as a cold cleaner.

Everything is a compromise some where, make a choice and stick with the compromise.

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A Steam chest works well for wooden frames.

A cold water pressure cleaner will clean up plastic frames just fine, though it is a horrible and time consuming job.

Soaking the frames for a few days and scraping off most of the comb first helps.

A hot water pressure cleaner at 75 deg will be quicker and better, but will cost 4 - 10 times as much as a cold cleaner.

Everything is a compromise some where, make a choice and stick with the compromise.

Does a hot or cold cleaner remove all the wax so that the frame needs recoating?

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Thanks for your answers. We have a couple of cold water blasters one with a psi up to 4000 and lots of nozzles that would cut down the pressure to something suitable but when I used it I thought the frames should have come out cleaner (I did scrape them off first). Now I'm thinking with the nosema about the 75deg wash would help protect my bees and I love the sound of quicker and better. I have been looking at one for sale at Kerrick Industries a Universal Hotshot Hotwater Pressure Washer with a psi of 1600, max temp 120deg C. It has an adjustable thermostat which should help if 75deg is what to use. Just wondered what others were using apart from elbow grease and lots of time. I spent part of today soaking 2 boxes of frames in my UFO steam barbeque with the gas hard out trying to get the temp up, then giving them a scrub with a gong brush and thinking there must be a more efficient way. The hot water blaster would help clean up the barbeque too I'v left it coated in crud.

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I used the hot waterblaster - rented - and it did a very good job. And it was expensive.

To work faster I set the temps to max(130C) and worked very fast. Yes, scrap off all the comb to the plastic foundation.

I made 3 frames at the time and after I finished one side I turned them over immediately and did the other side too. By this time the plastic was already hot so when I did the second side the plastic foundation got a bit concave - but nothing major, only for the fussy eye.

 

The frames looked like new and needed waxing too.

 

Meanwhile it was a bit too rough for the boxes. You can easily damage the boxes with it. It removes the paint very fast too.

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This thread has made me discard the tiny idea I might try plastic

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Yes will just give the boxes a quick wash with a brush, just to take off anything water soluble. Interesting you got up to 130 deg C without too much damage?

Have just spoken to a guy who used to own a place called Splash Equipment in west Auckland and now designs and builds waterblasting equipment for truck and trailer units and trains. His suggestion was that we could run 60degC water thru our water blaster as it is no problems we also have a rotary whirl washer as an attachment. All we would need is a unit to heat the water like a firebox water boiler. We could put a bunch of frames flat on a surface clamp them so they couldn't move and run the rotary washer over them. This way it wont splash back at you and as your doing maybe 10 at a time should be quick. We could do it on duck boards so the waste can go straight into the ground in the orchard. The rotary washer is shooting jets from different angles so should take care of the hex shapes in the frame and get them clean. If we want it hotter we need to change the hoses. Apparently you can't put pre heated hot water thru a water blaster the pressure makes it go cold? When I get this sorted so that it works will put up some photos. There just has to be an easier way.

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There just has to be an easier way.

Chuck them out with the re-cycling & buy new ?

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Sorry @OmaI never got back to this, I may missed it.

 

No I have not heard about that guy, however we have someone here on the forum who built a unit that can run one frame at the time and the frames look very good after the cleaning process. I can not find the video.

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3 minutes ago, Kiwi Bee said:

Sorry @OmaI never got back to this, I may missed it.

 

No I have not heard about that guy, however we have someone here on the forum who built a unit that can run one frame at the time and the frames look very good after the cleaning process. I can not find the video.

Thanks @Kiwi Bee I brought the Hot Shot diesel steam cleaner from Kerrick Industries, I’ve used it the last 2 seasons.  It’s been cheap to run and does a great job on my plastic frames run at about 75 deg.   I do scrap the bulk of the wax off by hand first and dump it.  Gives me something to do on winter days.  I rather like to keep the old brood frames culled out on a regular basis, but then I’m not into high honey production and I have enough capping wax to re wax the frames as required.  I like to leave the frames out in the sun for a day or two, apparently that’s supposed to help with all the dreaded lurgies too.  Gotta give the bees every chance.  So enjoying the challenge of keeping bees. ? ? ? 

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@Omayou dump the scrapped comb? Why? Melt it in a crock pot and filter the wax.

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My wax is bright yellow the same colour as your flower and looks the picture of health ? after I’ve sieved it. Black brood wax looks like it’s full of disease to me, no I haven’t put it under a microscope but it looks yuck and I wouldn’t like to rear my babies in it over and over.  Like I said it’s not about the honey harvest for me and I don’t feed sugar, luckily my bees manage to find forage year round to keep the colony ticking over. Things might change if I get too many hives close by year round.

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7 hours ago, Kiwi Bee said:

@Omayou dump the scrapped comb? Why? Melt it in a crock pot and filter the wax.

Old brood comb with lots of cocoon skins yields hardly any wax. It’s not worth the time and effort to try to recover it. Just add it to the compost mix.

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3 hours ago, dansar said:

Old brood comb with lots of cocoon skins yields hardly any wax. It’s not worth the time and effort to try to recover it. Just add it to the compost mix.

They also make great fire starters ..... another reason not to go plastic.

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On 16/06/2018 at 4:57 AM, dansar said:

Old brood comb with lots of cocoon skins yields hardly any wax. It’s not worth the time and effort to try to recover it. Just add it to the compost mix.

It worth  money its that freight that kill it when you send it to nz bee wax 

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On 15/06/2018 at 6:57 PM, dansar said:

Old brood comb with lots of cocoon skins yields hardly any wax. It’s not worth the time and effort to try to recover it. Just add it to the compost mix.

 

So it’s just me who boils it over in the kitchen, coating the place in scum?

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12 hours ago, cBank said:

 

So it’s just me who boils it over in the kitchen, coating the place in scum?

I use the BBQ for heating the wax rendering pot. Awesome fun when bees sniff out what you are up to. ?

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On 15/06/2018 at 7:08 PM, Kiwi Bee said:

we have someone here on the forum who built a unit that can run one frame at the time and the frames look very good after the cleaning process. I can not find the video.

 

That would be @tony I think

How has the device gone since then Tony? any improvements/updates?

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Hi guys, yea there's been a couple of updates to the machine since I do have a steam cleaner now and I have made a few mods to the layout, currently we cleaning about 40 to 50 frames an hour this includes scraping and cleaning the boxs, and all depends a bit on the condition frames, on my machine I only use 40 deg, water this seems to be hot enough to soften wax but not melt it, melting OT in this machine causes more problems than its worth if you could imagine pouring melted wax on a stainless bench and trying to clean that of opposed to just cold loose wax, we are in town on storm water drainage so I need to be responsible for how I get rid of waste, I am contract cleaning at moment I haven't worked the figures out properly yet but I reckon it costs about $1 frame to do including cheap labor and a little for return on investment, I do need to work it properly though. With slightly more expensive labour it probably needs to be at least, $1.50. Per frame. What I do know however cleaning frames is not a easy task and there's so many variables in frame condition, to be honest the best plastic frame cleaner is wax moth, if I was a small time beekeeper I would look at a system that would utilise those little blighters.

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41 minutes ago, tony said:

What I do know however cleaning frames is not a easy task and there's so many variables in frame condition, to be honest the best plastic frame cleaner is wax moth, if I was a small time beekeeper I would look at a system that would utilise those little blighters.

 

Now here is another way to make money as a side line, breeding and selling wax moths.  This bee business  has so many facets and under-utilised aspects to it aye.

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2 hours ago, Oma said:

 

Now here is another way to make money as a side line, breeding and selling wax moths.  This bee business  has so many facets and under-utilised aspects to it aye.

I’ve been told Lizard owners pay up to $1 for a caterpillar ? 

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why not something like this seems cheap and easy

 

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@black bee we are talking "cleaning  plastic frames"  not "wax extraction"

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