View Full Version : industrial beeswax?
09-07-2009, 10:24 AM
A local beekeeper's supply has some beeswax listed as " blackpowder special / industrial beeswax" From their listing, it is a darker color, almost brown. They say this dark color is why this isn't being sold with their other, premium capping grade wax.
I know very little about beeswax, and don't care what color my lube is.
Does anyone know of any other differances between brownish and yellow beeswax? Does this effect it's lube useage?
Their price is good on both grades of wax, and only .50/ lb more for capping grade wax.
Both grades are domestic, from Oregon and/ or Washington.
09-07-2009, 10:41 AM
It can be that it is not cleaned as well during refining or it could be that it is somewhat scorched during refining. I'm gonna guess it is stuff that was a bit darker in color to begin with and not refined quite as well as the more expensive grade. I'd say it would work fine for lube, but dont over cook it as scorching it will remove some of it lubricating properties.
09-07-2009, 10:44 AM
the grades of Beeswax are primarily in the form of color an "newness".
the beeswax that is cappings is primarily from 'recent' or this years wax production by the bees. It is more aromatic and less used by the bees, hence the nice light pretty color.
the darker wax was used a LOT by the bees, probably as brood chambers or comb that the beekeeper used for a few years to have the bees store honey in them.
the cappings are more desireable for lip balm and ointments because they most likely do not contain any of the chemicals that the Beek (beekeeper) used in treating the bees. Why? because during the honey flow the beek doesn't use chemicals because it would hurt honey production, and that is when the cappings are made by the bees.
By the same token the brood body or the darker wax may contain chemicals from the beek's use, and is not as desireable and therefore he may call it "industrial beeswax''. (what beeks' call things is up to them, there is no industry standard on what you call your bee's products)
for lube, get the cheap stuff it will work just fine!
09-07-2009, 12:04 PM
Industrial vs cosmetic or food or pharmaceutical grade. Depends on what it's ultimate use will be. Industrial for boolit lube would be fine. You might want to clean it by simmering it in water until all the wax is melted, then after it has completely hardened, scrape the bottom of the wax cake to remove any dirt. Should lighten the color some too.
09-07-2009, 06:16 PM
Thanks for the replies.:smile:
09-07-2009, 06:32 PM
I have a slightly different take on this. I have had some experience with bees wax (have a couple of friends that are bee keepers. Typically the darker wax is dirty (actual dirt and bee parts in it). It will clean up through filtering (I have used several layers of cheesecloth) or the boiling method suggested by markinalpine.
However, for ½ dollar difference per pound, I would take the Premium Capping Wax. You'll end up working for 50 cents an hour to clean it and it is a bit messy. I HAVE done it but will not again do it to save 50 cents a pound.
Having said that, I have near 100 lbs of nearly black wax to filter as a favor for a friend (I wished I hadn't volunteered but I did and I'll follow through). This little chore is not going to be a lot of fun as the wax is in two rather large (can you say, VERY large) balls...
09-07-2009, 07:51 PM
I've used and am using some dark wax. Can't see where a little bees foot would scratch my barrels. I do get some black specs settled on the bottom of my slow cooker. Not sure if that's wax I've burned myself or little bee body parts. For sure never lost any sleep over it.
I've made some successful lube from 1pt bees wax 1pt canning wax and 1pt mix of different lubes. Alox , Carnauba wax, lanolin and Castor oil. Last two ingredients I think help with keeping the Star sizer die lubed up as much as any help with shooting. I've had lube that shot very well like Jakes red and purple but needed to cycle a lubed boolit through the die at less than a ten count or the die would lead gall. Bit of lanolin seams to make a big difference in keeping the die lubed for a hand full of bullets. The Castor oil went in at one Dixie cup full. Jury is still out on that. Sure it hurts the lubes ability to stick in the groves at least until you get a semi hard lube. What I ended up with after some tweaking is a lube you have a hard time wiping of a bullet base if your Lyman flows lube under the base. Yes it sticks very well. It's been shot in all sorts of pistols and rifles up to 2400 fps. I don't see much magic in lube. Just need the right viscosity to flow out of the bullet when fired and enough slick to keep your sizer dies sizing. Then stay in the grove after dropping into a box. 50/50 is great lube but a total PITA mess.
My first half gallon of lube is about gone and I'm looking at different waxes to replace the canning wax. They have this soy wax that is interesting. Comes in all different flavors and melt temps. I've no clue what people use in bullet lubes. Have a feeling know one knows what soy wax is best since it doesn't make much greater difference than a few bee's knees in your bee's wax.
09-08-2009, 12:02 PM
Stopped by the beekeepers store today. Was pleasantly suprised, this darker wax is not that dark at all. Very close in color to JPW as it is in the can. I was expecting far worse.
Talked to the beekeeper lady working there, and what she said was almost exactly what Blammer said.
While it is darker than their capping wax, it wasn't nearly as dark as some other wax on display at the shop. They had a pyramid built of small bricks of wax, alternating light-dark-light, sort of an artwork. That dark wax was almost baker's cocoa brown.
This wax was supplied to them from a local (backyard??) beekeeper. Looking at it, i think he may have just mixed it all together, not bothering to separate or grade it.
Looks good enough to me:grin:
Thanks again for all your replies.
I guess this stuff must be fresh, because soon after i started melting it, here comes the bees!!
Flying around my deck, landing on the half block i have left, buzzing around me, trying to land on anything that has the wax on it. Didn't really think about beeswax attracting bees. Guess this smells like their house!!
09-09-2009, 05:43 AM
Lylejb, Every time I melt BW on the back deck I'm covered with bee's. They land on my hand's as I stir the pot. Some of them go right in the pot as if they can't feel the heat. I have to dip out 6 or 7 dead bees every time.Randy Rat of this forum could answer this question as he is the resident Bee Keeper. I would think that his answer would be in line with what Blammer stated but all I know about BW is that I need it to make my lube. Later David
09-16-2009, 08:03 PM
Just like Blammer says.... The darker wax comes from the Brood Comb and it needs to be purified more than the capping wax.
One more thing, the Flowers that Bees frequent make a color/smell difference also.
Beeswax is beeswax color makes no difference for bullet lube. The handling of it, not to burn or boil it makes it's quality, also how well it is filtered. I always triple filter mine. Course, Medium, then fine filter it.
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