July 4, 2018
Economic importance of wax
The value of beeswax for the national economy is extremely large. Thanks to a number of valuable properties, beeswax is the most important raw material for the socialist industry, and is used in more than 40 of its branches: aviation, metallurgy, electrical engineering, radio engineering and many others.
Thus, in the metallurgical industry, beeswax is used in checking molds intended for casting valuable parts from cast iron, since the “shrinkage” of the wax upon its hardening is approximately the same as the “shrinkage” of cast iron. In the electrical industry, wax is used in reliable insulation of wires, in the manufacture of high-quality capacitors, which are necessary parts of all radio transmitters, radio and telephone devices, as well as the most accurate electrical instruments.
In the optical, glass and engraving industries, wax is used when applying
Pasechnye wax, obtained as a result of processing of wax raw materials in apiaries. It is, in general, the highest quality waxes, obtained both by stamping out in solar wax-ups, and by digesting wax raw materials in water and push-ups on apiary wax presses. This is the highest quality wax, used mainly for making artificial wax.
Breakdown (press) waxes – are extracted from wax raw materials in wax factories with the help of powerful presses. The quality of this wax is different, which depends most on the processed raw materials. So, wax from the land (culled honeycomb) is of quite a high quality and can go on the development of an artificial honeycomb. Wax, obtained from the measures taken from the apiaries, is less qualitative and goes to the needs of industry.
Extraction wax – is extracted from the waste of the waxworks (from the factory measurement) by applying gasoline, in which the wax dissolves. In this wax there are extraneous substances; It is more soft and has an unpleasant smell. It is used only for industrial needs.
Bleached wax is obtained from the apiary or from a breakdown wax by so-called bleaching under the influence of sunlight or by the use of chemicals. It is characterized by the fact that it is almost odorless and harder than the wax from which it was obtained. It is used by some branches of industry in a relatively small amount.
When trading wax sorting, it is divided into three grades: the first, the second and the third. Wax, the quality of which is lower than the third grade, is called non-sour. The basis of the trade sorting of wax is its color. Than wax is lighter, so, usually, its quality is higher.
The first grade is wax white or light yellow color, completely clean from foreign impurities. In the fracture, it has a uniform color throughout the entire fracture area. The smell is honey. The best quality first-quality wax (“kapanets”) is obtained when processing waxy raw materials on solar wax-ups, especially if such raw materials were honeycombs built by bees in the building framework, or zabrus. The practice of advanced beekeepers shows that the bulk of apiary wax, obtained as a result of correct processing of wax raw material by means of digestion and pressing, can also be of the first-class quality.
The second grade is waxed yellow or light brown color, which does not have extraneous impurities. This wax sometimes in the fracture is inhomogeneous, that is, the lower layer (sediment) is somewhat darker than the upper one. This sludge should not be more than one-third the height of the circle or tile of the wax. The second grade usually refers to a part of apiary waxes and the best quality part of press wax (sipped from the land). Wax of the second grade in a mixture with the first grade is used to produce an artificial honeycomb.
The third grade includes wax dark brown, brown or gray color, not completely homogeneous at the break, with a sludge no more than half the thickness (height) of the tile or circle. This class includes the decayed apiary wax, as well as the worst wax. The quality of the press wax (dipped from measure and sink). It is used for technical purposes.
Unsorted wax is a burnt wax, dark gray or black, and also porous, heavily soiled, etc. Such a wax is inferior.
In practice, sometimes, in a small amount, there is a so-called propolized wax, which includes some propolis. The presence of propolis in the wax greatly reduces its quality. Such a wax becomes very soft and unsuitable for the production of an artificial wax. With a significant admixture of propolis, the wax should be considered as an off-grade wax.
There is still wax from rotten families. It can be of all three sorts. However, processing of waxy raw materials from rotting apiaries should be done separately from other types of raw materials, wax from which will go to the development of an artificial wax. Wax from the waxy raw materials of rotten families is used exclusively for technical purposes (in industry). Chemical composition of wax. Wax in chemical composition is a very complex substance.
The main (by number) part of the wax is made up of organic compounds called esters (esters are substances that result from the combination of so-called fatty acids with alcohols). Examples of esters are fats, however, the last in their chemical composition and structure Molecules are much simpler than the esters of wax.
Esters account for about 75% of all substances present in wax. These substances are usually neutral, that is, they do not possess chemical activity. Under the influence of prolonged boiling with alkali can decompose into fatty acids and alcohols.
In addition to esters, the composition of the wax includes still free (unbound) fatty acids, as well as saturated hydrocarbons.
The last two groups of substances are part of the wax in approximately the same amount, but they have different properties. Thus, the ultimate hydrocarbons are characterized by persistence, inertia. Free fatty acids, on the contrary, are the most active chemically part of wax. They, like all other acids, are able to interact with metals, resulting in the formation of salts. Under normal conditions, the acids, like other components of the wax, are in a solid state and show no significant activity, but when they go to a liquid state (with increasing temperature), their activity increases greatly. This has to be taken into account in practice. So, if waxy raw materials are processed into wax in iron ware, then salts are formed that have a brown color. Copper salts of fatty acids have a green (bluish-green) color. The presence of both brownish and greenish wax coloration often indicates the presence of these salts in the wax, and therefore the quality of the wax is reduced.
Fatty acids of wax are able to react with alkalis. In this case, salts of fatty acids, so-called soaps, are formed.
The amount of fatty acids in wax varies between 13.5% and 15%.
Minor substances are present in a small amount in wax. When burning wax, they remain in the form of ash. In benign wax ash content is low: 0.3-0.4%, not more. However, the ash content of the wax can greatly increase due to its processing in iron, zinc or copper utensils, from which the quality of the wax is reduced.
In beeswax there are still dyes and aromatic substances, although in very small quantities. The color of the wax depends largely on the pollen of the plants. Thus, the wax emitted by the bees during the bloom of the sainfoin has a more yellow color than the wax distinguished during the blossoming of the acacia. But the most important effect on the color of wax is the presence in it of the salts that fall during the processing of wax raw materials.
The smell of wax is caused by the presence of volatile essential oils in it. Honey smell is inherent in beeswax. If the wax has the smell of propolis, then this indicates a significant admixture of the latter, and, consequently, a decrease in the quality of the wax.
Physico-chemical properties of wax. The most important parameters of wax are: specific weight (i. e., weight of 1 cubic cm of wax), coefficient of hardness, melting point and pour point, as well as its solubility in various solvents.
The specific gravity of wax at a temperature of 20 њ varies from 0.956 to 0.970. At the same time, the greater specific gravity of pure wax (within the specified limits), so this wax is better. However, wax with an admixture of propolis also has an increased specific gravity.
The specific gravity of the wax varies with temperature. So, with a decrease in specific temperature, the weight of the wax increases. With increasing temperature, the wax expands, and its expansion coefficient is 0.0008.
The hardness of wax is very important in determining the quality of wax and its suitability for various purposes, especially for making an artificial wax.
The harder the wax and the higher its elasticity, the more valuable the wax is.
The hardness of the wax is determined by using a needle that has a cross-sectional area of 1.5 square meters. mm and immersed in the wax under the force created by a weight of 1 kg.
The hardness of wax is usually characterized by the coefficient of hardness. The hardness factor is a number that indicates how many seconds the needle is immersed in the wax to a depth of 1 mm.
The coefficient of hardness of different waxes is different. Thus, at a temperature of 20 њ, the coefficient of hardness of the wax-kapanets is 8-13 and higher, the press wax 3-6, the proppant wax 1.5-2.2, the extraction wax – less than 1.
The hardness of the wax depends largely on the temperature. Thus, when the temperature rises from 20 њ to 35 њ, the hardness of the wax decreases by a factor of 4-5. Therefore, an artificial wax should have sufficient hardness and associated elasticity and strength, so that it is not deformed in the nest when it is detached by bees.
The melting point of the wax, that is, the temperature at which the wax passes from the solid state to the liquid state, lies within the range of 60-65 њ.
In practice, it is more convenient to measure not the melting point; and the freezing point of the wax. Due to the release of so-called latent heat during the transition of matter from the liquid state to the solid state, the pour point, wax temperature is slightly below its melting point and is 58-63 њ.
Of the other properties of wax, its viscosity is of great practical importance. The viscosity of the wax is especially high at a temperature close to the freezing point of it. When the temperature is raised to 100 њ, the viscosity of the wax decreases by a factor of 2-2.5, but still at this temperature it is much more viscous than water. With a further increase in temperature, for example, from 100 to 125 њ, the viscosity continues to decrease. Therefore, when processing the waxy raw materials, waxes must be left to settle at higher temperatures, for example, at a temperature of 120-125 њ.
The viscosity of wax is also associated with the ease of its “extrusion” of wax raw materials. This property is highly temperature dependent. So, with an increase in temperature from 70 to 100 њ, this “extrusion” is accelerated 3 to 4 times. That is why the processing of waxy raw materials must be carried out at a temperature as high as possible (at 100 њ C or close to this temperature).
The solubility of wax in different substances is different.
Wax dissolves well in gasoline, petroleum ether, turpentine, carbon disulfide and some other substances. When heated, the wax dissolves in vegetable oils and mixes with them in any proportion, forming a homogeneous liquid that does not separate when it cools.
Very slightly soluble wax in ethyl (wine) alcohol, almost insoluble in glycerin and in all those substances that are easily mixed with water. Wax does not dissolve in water, but under certain conditions it can form an emulsion with water.
An emulsion is a system of two liquid substances, when one of them in the form of fine particles is evenly distributed in the other. An example of an emulsion is milk; in it the smallest particles of fat and proteins are distributed in the aquatic environment. A similar system can form a liquid (melted) wax with water. However, pure wax with pure (distilled) water emulsion does not. In order to form an emulsion of wax with water, the presence of certain substances, the so-called emulsifiers, is necessary. Such emulsifiers are in this case salts of fatty acids – soaps; their molecules are located between the molecules of wax and water and are like a link, resulting in an emulsion, in which a certain amount of water is placed in the wax, or, conversely, the wax particles are placed in water.
The ability of wax to form an emulsion with water in the presence of emulsifiers is very important in the production of artificial wax and in combating losses of wax during the processing of wax raw materials. It is as a result of the formation of the emulsion that wax often contains a certain amount of water “soldered” into it, which in practice is called wax moisture. Moisture of wax is heavily related to. its quality. So, the capon wax is usually devoid of water. Wax of the first grade contains water, on average, 0.14%; Press wax has an average moisture content of 0.57%. In some cases, low quality wax contains up to 4.9% water.
The presence of water in the wax sharply reduces the quality of the artificial wax produced from it, therefore, the methods used to remove emulsified water from wax are used in production. Decomposition of the emulsion is achieved by settling the wax at a temperature of about 100 њ for 8 hours, or by heating the wax at a temperature of 120-130 њ for 30 minutes. With this preparation of wax to produce an artificial honeycomb from it, as a result of the decomposition of the emulsion and the evaporation of part of the water, there is a slight loss in the total weight of the wax, which is commonly called “fume”. Usually, carbon monoxide is about 0.8% of the total weight of processed wax. In addition, with this processing, there is still a “sediment” in the form of a mixture of dirt and wax. Wax in “sludge” contains more than 50%
Sometimes an emulsion of wax with water has a pronounced heterogeneity and is, as it were, an antipodal mass. The formation of such an emulsion is most often observed during the apiary processing of waxy raw materials. About it will be said below. Effect on wax of different temperatures. Wax at a temperature of 30-35 њ. Is a solid.
With a further increase in temperature (from 35 to 47), it loses its elasticity and becomes more plastic. When heated above 47 њ the ductility increases sharply. The wax melts at a temperature of 60-65 њ. At a temperature of 95-100 њ, the wax sometimes “boils”, boils, it can be covered with foam. But this is only the kind of wax that contains emulsified water. This “boiling” is the decomposition of the emulsion. When the whole emulsion decomposes into wax and water, this “boiling” stops and when the temperature rises, the wax behaves calmly. To the actual boiling, at which the wax passes into a vapor state, it is not capable. When the temperature rises to 250-300 њ, the wax begins to smoke. This is the decomposition of the individual constituents of the wax. At a higher temperature it lights up.
Of the other properties of wax, which are of great practical importance, it should be noted its relationship to metals. The composition of the wax includes a significant amount of fatty acids; The latter, at a temperature above the melting point of the wax, can vigorously bind to metals, with the formation of salts that are emulsifiers. The formation of such salts is undesirable, because the quality of the wax deteriorates. In addition, the presence of an emulsion of wax with water is one of the reasons for the increase in wax losses during the processing of wax raw materials. Therefore, when processing wax raw materials and wax, iron, cast iron, zinc or copper utensils should not be used. Even tinware is undesirable. The best dishes for processing wax raw materials, as well as for heating and waxing, are wooden and aluminum. In conditions of apiaries, good dishes are also enameled. If pottery is used, it is only glazed, as wax can pass through the pores of biscuit.
The ability to store in pure wax is very high, since neither the air temperature, nor the humidity of the latter is practically not reflected on it.
When stored, the wax is sometimes covered with a gray coating, in appearance resembling mold. In fact, this plaque consists of fine crystals of some waxy substance. It is believed that some salts of waxes present in wax crystallize. Gray coating on wax should not cause concern to the beekeeper. In summer, it disappears by itself, because at a temperature of approximately 35 degrees the crystals of plaque melt. If such a plaque is present on a lying artificial wax, then it is only necessary to hold the wax sheet for some time in the sun, so that the gray coating disappears. Pure wax during storage does not change its weight. Some “shrinkage” is possible only when there was an emulsion in the wax.
Detection of impurities in wax.
Impurities to wax can be divided into two large groups: 1) mechanical impurities – clay, chalk, starch, brick powder, sulfur, gypsum, flour, sand, etc.; 2) chemical substances, admixed with wax in the form of alloys. The latter include mainly mineral waxes (ceresin, paraffin, technical wax), plant waxes, various resins (rosin, etc.), various fats, etc.
Mechanical impurities in wax are relatively easy to detect. In a test tube, pieces of wax are melted and then placed in a bath of hot water (with a temperature of at least 80-90 њ), let it settle. In this case, usually, mechanical impurities fall out as a precipitate, after which they are further recognized.
Chemicals melted with wax are much more difficult to detect. This determines the specific gravity of this wax sample, its melting point and freezing point, and also applies a number of special techniques and reactions described in the corresponding instructions. For example, an admixture of starch can be detected if the wax is melted in water (by boiling) and an iodine solution is added to the precipitate. Bright-violet or blue staining will indicate the presence of starch in the wax.
An admixture of the most common surrogates of wax – mineral waxes can be detected in the following way. In a test tube with a saturated solution of caustic potassium in wine alcohol, throw a piece of wax and boil for five minutes. Then, so that the mixture does not cool quickly, it is put in hot water for 20 – 30 minutes. If the wax is mixed with ceresin, paraffin or technical wax, these impurities float to the top of the solution in the form of oil stains. If the wax is pure, the liquid remains transparent and homogeneous.
The presence in the wax of stearin is determined in the following way. Finely chopped wax is boiled in lime water; when there is stearin in it turns a white cloud and after a while drops out a white precipitate, which is a calcareous salt of stearic acid. If the wax is clean, then the solution of lime water remains light.
There are other, more complex reactions, with which you can fairly accurately detect the falsification of wax.
Often distinguish natural beeswax from wax containing some impurities, according to the following features:
1. A piece of pure beeswax from the impact with a sharp end of the hammer splits.
2. Clean wax on the fracture has a characteristic fine-grained structure.
3. Clean wax when kneading in hands does not give a feeling of fatness and, being plastic, at the same time does not stick to the hand; when chewing does not give a taste of resin or fat and does not stick to the teeth.
4. The smell of pure wax is usually clearly expressed, pleasant, honey. When burning a piece of wax on the stove, you can hear a characteristic, pleasant smell.
Wax, which has impurities, has several other properties. So, a piece of bee wax alloy with mineral waxes, when struck with a sharp end of the hammer, will crumple and usually does not split; on the fracture – does not have a characteristic for the wax structure. Often, wax with impurities has the property of adhering to hands when kneading; when chewing in the mouth gives some unpleasant taste of resin, oil or fat; the smell of such waxes is usually very weak and sometimes unpleasant (tarry or slightly oily). Molten wax with an admixture of paraffin or technical wax, when hardened, forms a strongly concave surface. Often (but not always) a moiré pattern forms on the surface of the melted wax with an admixture of ceresin. Wax with a large admixture of fat becomes greasy to the touch. Wax with an admixture of fats burns on a hot plate with the release of a child (fumes), like burnt fat. Wax with an admixture of sulfur burns on the plate with the release of suffocating sulfur dioxide.
It should be taken into account that with the help of the organoleptic methods described here, it is not always possible to determine impurities in the wax of certain foreign substances. Therefore, in a number of cases it is necessary to resort to more subtle methods of analysis, which is done in chemical laboratories.
Wax raw materials.
To wax raw materials, resulting in the processing of which beeswax is obtained, include dry land, dredging, pasechnaya merva, factory measure and propolis.
Sush is a wax raw material, obtained directly from bee colonies and has not yet undergone processing. These include: old, black honeycombs, different by “age” honeycomb, subject to culling for one reason or another; cut queen cells; not in place, tuned honeycombs; honeycombs carved from building frames; casting (cell caps, cut off when printing honey), etc.
Usually it is dry, processed directly in the apiary and only in some cases is surrendered for processing to wax-making plants.
Stamping is a waste after a primitive pile processing of wax raw without boiling it in water, for example, after processing part of the land in a solar wax-up.
The ditches, like the dry land, usually undergo further processing in apiaries, but sometimes they are also surrendered to waxworks.
Passechnaya merva is a waste obtained after such passechnogo processing of wax raw materials, which used the boiling of raw materials in water. As a result of such processing, in the measure, unlike the outflows, a very small amount of water-soluble substances remains. Usually, the pasechnaya merva goes to wax-making plants, where a considerable amount of wax is extracted from it, after which it goes to the wax-extraction plants. Often it is sent directly to the wax-extraction plants.
The factory measure is a waste received during the processing of wax raw materials in wax factories. This waste is a waxy raw material only for the wax-extraction plants.
Propolis can also be considered as a wax raw material, since it has about 30% wax. Wax, obtained from propolis, must be surrendered separately. In view of the fact that propolis is not collected in apiaries, this type of waxy raw material does not matter much.
Of the listed types of waxy raw materials, only land is divided according to varieties. The remaining types of waxy raw materials are not divided into varieties, although they may be of different quality.
In practice, the land is divided into three varieties.
The first grade belongs to yellow or amber color (the lighter it is, the better it is), well-visible, completely dry, without pergah, honey and not affected by moth or mold.
The waxiness, that is, the content of wax, in such a land varies from 70% to 95-98%.
The second grade is dark brown, or dark, but translucent in the bottom of cells, dry, without honey, pergis, mildew, etc. To the same grade is also the first grade, which has a bit of perga, up to 15% of the volume of the cat. (If in sushi of first grade perga more than 15%, then it belongs to the third grade). The waxiness of land of the second grade is 55-70%.
The third grade is a land of very dark, almost black color, completely not translucent. However, it should be dry, without honey, moths, mold. Its waxiness is from 40 to 55%.
The land affected by the moth should be immediately processed in apiaries, and not surrender to wax-up plants. Any weighted land, and in particular dry land, which has a significant amount of honey, is valued below grade three and equated with digging. The higher the quality of sushi, the greater the yield of wax. Thus, the yield of wax from first-class sushi with careful processing of it is about 80% of its weight, while the yield of wax from third-class sushi is twice less (40%). The yield of wax from land of the second grade is approximately 55%.
In addition, from sushi of the first grade, wax is obtained of a much higher quality than from other varieties thereof. Therefore, before processing the waxy raw materials, it should be divided into varieties and not be mixed during processing.
Storage of wax raw materials. Wax raw materials, in contrast to wax, are a perishable product and are not suitable for long-term storage.
Wax raw during storage can be affected by fungi, as well as exposed to the processes of “burning” (rotting) and hit with a wax moth. In addition, it can be rendered unusable by mice.
The development of the processes of “molding” and “burning” largely depends on the moisture content of the waxy raw materials. The moisture content, in turn, depends on the grade of raw materials and the storage conditions. The higher the waxiness of sushi when it is stored in a dry room, the lower its moisture content. Thus, it has been established that first grade dry land usually contains water from 0.1 to 0.8%; the second grade – from 0.8 to 1.9%; dry land of third grade – from 2.5 to 3.8%, and air-dry carvings and merva have 6-8% moisture. Under adverse storage conditions, the moisture content of waxy raw materials can sharply increase. It must be firmly remembered that the moisture content of any kind of waxy raw materials should not exceed 10%.
Large losses in the storage of waxy raw materials can be from the wax moth. Measures to control this pest are described in the section “Diseases and pests of bees”. Here it is pertinent to emphasize that the previously described most common way of combating this pest, by fumigation of honeycombs with sulfur, can not be widely used in the storage of waxy raw materials, primarily because with this fumigation, the waxy raw material partially absorbs sulfur dioxide. Wax, produced from such raw materials, reduces its quality, becomes softer. The quality of the wax is also deteriorated, and from the spillage of the waxy raw material with salt or naphthalene. Especially it is inadmissible to make “katyshs” from wax raw materials boiled in water, since the water remaining in the raw material leads to wax losses due to the formation of mold.
Therefore, in order to avoid loss of wax when storing wax raw materials, it should be processed in time for wax. It does not need to be accumulated in large quantities, but, following the example of advanced beekeepers, to process as soon as possible without delay.
Of exceptional importance is the correct organization of the procurement of wax raw materials through district or inter-district procurement centers.
At the procuring points, a firm order must be established, which guarantees the spread of diseases of bees (especially – rotting). From apiaries, dysfunctional foulbrood diseases, as well as those where foulbrood was formerly used, dry land is not to be procured at harvesting stations, as well as stamping out should not be done: they should be processed only on apiaries. With such apiaries it is necessary to take only waste in the form of an apiary measure.
Due to the fact that it is not always possible to determine precisely whether an apiary is completely safe in the sense that there are no rot and other diseases on it, it is advisable to establish an order so that the primary processing of all land and flats is carried out only in apiaries.
In addition, it is necessary to strictly adhere to the rules that eliminate the possibility of spreading diseases. So, for example, the procurement items should be divided into two parts so that the raw materials (for example, merva) never touch the artificial warp coming from the plant, where it is made, to the beekeepers, since this artificial wax also passes through the blank paragraph. Therefore, one should not allow wax raw materials and an artificial wax to be stored in the same room, moreover, one can not weigh both on the same scales. It would be better if two people worked at the harvesting station: one took merleva and the other released an artificial wax.
It goes without saying that warehouses of wax raw materials should not be available to bees, other preventive measures should be taken against the spread of diseases.
Processing of waxy raw materials on a solar wax-furnace.
Processing of waxy raw materials for wax is carried out in apiaries, waxes and wax-extraction plants.
Primary processing of waxy raw materials is most profitable to produce in apiaries. At wax-processing factories, mainly pasechnaya merva and, in part, dredging and a small amount of sushi are processed. At the wax-proofing plants, they process the factory measure, extracting wax from it by applying gasoline as a solvent.
Passechnaya processing of waxy raw materials is made, mainly on solar wax and by digesting wax raw materials, followed by pressing.
A solar wax-up is the necessary accessory of each apiary, it should be kept at each apiary point. The absence of a solar wax-up inevitably entails considerable losses of wax raw material, obtained during the work of the beekeeper on the apiary. Where there are no good solar wax-ups, there is no struggle to improve the availability of the apiary, there is no struggle for obtaining a large amount of wax, and moreover of high quality.
Of exceptional importance is the quality of the solar wax-up, which, in general, depends on its design and thoroughness of manufacture. A good wax-up should have a significant productivity. The productivity of a wax-furnace depends not so much on its size, but on the temperature in it when using sunlight on a cloudless day. On a clear day, the temperature inside the wax-up should reach at least 80-100 њ, and even better – 100-120 њ. One of the most successful designs of solar wax-up, providing a temperature of up to 120-130 њ, moreover very simple to manufacture and convenient use, is described in the chapter “Expansion of nests and use of bees for obtaining wax.” The voskotopka this design in recent years is rapidly spreading to the apiaries of the Kiev region and gives excellent results. The stamping out of such a solar voskotopki usually surrendered together with the test to wax factories, since they contain relatively little wax.
Processing of wax raw material by its digestion in water and pressing. Ways of processing of wax raw material by digesting it in water with subsequent pressing on apiaries are the main ones for obtaining wax from second and third grade sushi. Also, by digesting the wax raw material and applying pressing (and more powerful), further processing of sushi, paseo measures and vytopoks in wax-making plants is carried out.
The methods of such processing and the equipment used vary, from the simplest (for example, the straining method) used in small apiaries to the more complex ones used in wax factories where steam is used for digestion of raw materials, and hydraulic presses with mechanical drive for pressing.
In a variety of ways and with the help of various equipment, such processing is carried out in apiaries as well. However, science and practice set a number of rules that should be followed in order to obtain the highest yield of wax of the highest quality, and with minimal losses.
From these rules we give the most important ones.
The land before processing must be sorted. Each variety should be processed separately.
Care should be taken to ensure that the hot wax is not in contact with iron, zinc, copper and other metals throughout the process of processing the waxy raw materials (i. e., during the digestion of the land, during pressing and settling), with which the free fatty acids of the wax can form salt. All those parts of the cookware with which hot wax can come in contact must be wooden, aluminum or enamelled. It is also necessary to ensure that in the land prepared for digestion, there are no pieces of wire used to frame the frames.
Dilution of waxy raw materials must be done only in soft water: rain or snow. Even boiling in river water and water from streams results in losses of some amount of wax. It is even more unacceptable to use well water for the digestion of waxy raw materials, which usually has a high “hardness”, since calcium, magnesium and other metals are dissolved in it. Combining with fatty acids, which are part of the wax, these salts cause the formation of an emulsion of wax with water. Such an emulsion has a “mushy” or “pearly” consistency. The digested mass of waxy raw materials with such an emulsion becomes very mobile, often “escapes”, and a lot of wax is lost.
If you use when cooking wax raw materials and when dipping wax “cleanly” with hard water, then in some cases wax does not turn out at the end of digestion: it all turns into an emulsion, which mostly escapes in the form of foam.
Due to the fact that the constituents of honey, especially pade (for example, dextrins), can cause the formation of the emulsion, the copper paste must be carefully soaked in “soft” water before processing, repeating this procedure several times, until the honey is completely removed.
Pressing of the boiled wax raw material is important. Than under high pressure it occurs, and, most importantly, the higher the temperature of the pressed mass (that is, the closer it is to 100 њ), the greater the yield of wax.
The quality of wax largely depends on the duration of its upholding. The more sediment wax is in the liquid state at a high temperature (100-120 њ), the better it will be able to settle, the less there will be so-called “sludge” in it. In addition, the wax, which has been settled for a long time, has a much lower water content, hence, it is more qualitative.
Obtained during the processing of the waxy raw material, the beet merge must be dried immediately, then handed over to the wax plant.
The simplest method of apiary processing of land, known as “straining”, is as follows. Wax raw material is well boiled and then in hot form put in small portions in a sieve, strengthened over a wooden kadochka or some other suitable utensils. In this case, the wax together with hot water is filtered into the kadochku, and the measure remains on the sieve. It is better, if each such portion of the residual sieve is measured one or two times with steep boiling water and at least slightly wrung out with homemade wooden scapula. Then the measure is removed, a new portion of the boiled raw material is applied, and so on.
However, with this method, the merst content remains rather high, reaching 40-45%.
Sometimes this way of filtering is changed somewhat. The boiled mass of waxy raw materials is put in a bag made of a rare but strong cloth, through which liquid wax would easily pass through with water. The mass in the bag is squeezed out with a wooden roller, pressing the bag against the inclined board, along which the wax flows with the water into the set dishes. At the same time, it is necessary to use steep boiling water, which is several times added to the bag. Then the measure of the bag is taken out and new portions of boiled sushi are put into it using a large scoop. The resulting wax is necessarily subjected to a secondary, “clean” remelting on water. With the proper skill and the use of large quantities of boiling water, individual advanced beekeepers, using this method, achieve quite satisfactory results.
On most apiaries, the pressing of the boiled waxy raw material is now carried out with the help of wax presses of a wide variety of designs. The type of action of voskopressy can be divided into three groups: lever, wedge (the so-called “foxes”) and screw, in which the pressure is carried out with a screw. Screw voskopressy are the most common.
With respect to the general assessment of the suitability of wax compresses of all designs, it can be said that any press is good if it provides a sufficiently strong pressure, is easy to work with, and does not damage the wax (i. e., does not have metal parts that come into contact with liquid wax while working with it).
Among the most common designs of voskopressov we consider the voskopress of the old design and the widely adopted at present in practice apiary waxpress design, VA Temnova.
Voskopress of the old design consists of a massive metal frame, a screw, a metal (cast-iron) star, a wooden circle (pulp) and a separate metal stupa. Such a voskress is quite heavy (its weight often exceeds 50 kg) and it is mounted on a special stand near which a clarifier is placed. Processing of waxy raw materials with the help of such a voskopressa is as follows.
The boiled waxy raw material is collected in a small bag of a rare cloth and placed in a mortar. A wooden circle is placed on top of the bag (pulp). To ensure that the bag does not come into contact with the walls of the stupa (this is necessary for the best passage of water with wax from the lower part of the stupa to the upper one), squares of square cross-section are placed on the bottom of the stupa and near the walls of the stupa. The same brusochki strengthened on the pulp at its lower side. A stupa with a bag filled with waxy raw materials is placed under the star of the press, which rests against the pulp, and pressure is produced by tightening the screw.
Screwing the screw first is very slow, and then reinforced. With this pressing, the water with the wax is squeezed out of the waxy raw material in the bag, passes through the bag and accumulates, mainly in the upper part of the stupa, covering itself with a metal starlet. At the end of pressing, waxpress is raised and water with wax is poured into the sump. Then the screw is released, the position of the bag is changed in a mortar sometimes 2-3 more loaves of steep boiling water are poured into the contents of the bag) and the same portion of raw material is subjected to secondary pressing, after which, pouring out water with a small amount of wax from the stupa, releasing the screw and taking out the bag from stupas, remove from it merve. Then again, in the same manner, the voscopress is charged and the next portion of the waxy raw material is squeezed out, and so on.
The described voskopress has great disadvantages. The most significant of them is that during the pressing process the dissolved mass of the waxy raw material is noticeably cooled due to the contact of the liquid with the metal mass of the stupa and starch pulp. The decrease in temperature worsens the conditions for filtering wax from wax raw materials, as a result of which a considerable part of the wax remains (measure about 30%). The second drawback is the contact of wax with metal parts (stupas, stellate so that the quality of wax decreases.) In addition, such a wax press is cumbersome, inconvenient to work with.
Voskopress design of VA Temnov does not have these drawbacks. This voskopress consists of a wooden stupa with a hinged bar with a screw and pulp. The stupa has a ribbed inner surface and is strengthened above the sump. This creates considerable convenience in work. A special feature of the stupa is that it has holes at the bottom, through which water with wax can freely pass during pressing. Metal parts in the pressing process do not touch anywhere with wax, which ensures a higher quality of wax.
When starting to use voskopressom, it is necessary to pour stupa and pulp with boiling water. Charging voskopressa is as follows. The crossbar with the screw is raised and, folding it so that it does not interfere, prepare the stupa for work. Then a layer of rye straw is laid on the ribbed bottom of the stupa, on which are placed two cruciformly connected pieces of rope so that all four ends of the rope hang out through the edges of the stupa. Then, on top of the rope, put a piece of burlap of this size, so that its ends also hang over the sides of the stupa. In a well-prepared stupa, a scoop of well-baked, very hot sushi is poured onto the sacking; then over this mass lay a layer of straw, then again pour a scoop of boiled sushi, which is again covered with a layer of straw. This is repeated several times. The last (upper) layer of the straw is covered with sacking from the sides of the stupa, and the ends of the ropes are tied over it. Putting a small layer of straw on top again, put the wood pulp.
In order to increase the pressure of the mass in the form of a “package” gradually, the pulp is first pressed down with the hand, and then, by replacing the crossbar with the screw, the pressure is gradually increased by rotating the screw to a certain limit (taking into account the strength of the structure). Water with wax passes through the burlap, leaves through the lower holes of the stupa and gradually drains into the sump. After the water and wax cease to flow out of the stupa with the rotation of the screw stopped, the screw is released several times, the bar is removed again, the bag is removed from the bag, taking the rope, taking out the bag and disassembling it. In this case, the straw is taken separately from the measure: it is used in subsequent “packages” of boiled wax raw material during its pressing. Then the same way the voskopress is charged again, and so on.
Fig. Voskopress designs by VA Temnov.
The productivity of the voskopress of VA Temnov’s design is much higher than that of the old design. Work on it is easier, easier, more convenient. Due to the fact that the pressing occurs at a much higher temperature than in the old press, and also due to the use of straw (it plays the role of drainage), a greater yield of wax is provided. The resurfacing of the Measure usually does not exceed 23-25%, and in some cases it is even lower. In addition, due to the fact that when wax is processed with this wax, wax does not come into contact with the metal parts, the quality of the wax is much higher than in the case of the old press.
When the wax raw material is processed, in many cases it is necessary to re-heat the wax from the waxy raw material for a second time, “clean”. At the same time, it is melted in a relatively small amount of soft (rain) water.
It is very important that in this case also the wax, after being settled, should be in a liquid state for as long as possible (at least 5-6 hours), for which it is necessary to apply the wrapping of forms with paper, a blanket, etc.
Cooled wax ingots should be thoroughly cleaned of “dirt”, which happens at the bottom of the circle or tile. This “mud” is a mixture of extraneous, non-wax impurities with wax and its emulsion with water. “Dirt” must be collected separately and, drowning in soft water, also allow to stand for as long as possible.
When processing wax raw materials in apiaries where foulbrood diseases are present, preventive measures against the spread of the disease must be applied. Thus, the digestion of waxy raw materials should be carried out with vigorous boiling at least 21 / g hours. The processing of wax and drying Merva must be done only in a room completely inaccessible to bees. The received wax to hand over to procurement centers with an inscription on each ingot “rotten”. Merva from the rotting apiaries should be handed over directly to the wax-extraction plants, bypassing the procuring points of the wax-up plants.
The processing of wax raw materials in wax factories, in principle, differs little from the pile processing, however, with the help of an improved process and more powerful equipment, the yield of wax is much greater, which makes it possible to process not only the dry land, but also the apiary, part of the wax.
At wax-making plants, before boiling the waxy raw materials, it is steamed with steep boiling water, as a result of which the raw material particles swell. This contributes to an increase in the yield of wax. Often, the raw material is boiled with hot steam (by letting steam directly into the wax raw with water). Steam for this purpose is produced in steam boilers.
Pressing is performed by more powerful (mainly hydraulic) presses. A great deal of attention is paid to long-term protection of wax.
Wax-extraction production has an exceptionally high state significance. At wax-extraction plants with the help of complex equipment, as a result of processing gasoline wax raw materials (Measure), the wax in the gasoline dissolves. From the solution, the wax is separated by evaporation of gasoline. In the future, the gasoline vapor is cooled, condensed and re-used to extract the wax. The output – wax from merva with such processing it reaches on average 20-25%. The waste of wax-extraction production, meal, can be used as a nitrogen fertilizer.
Propolis (bee glue). Typically, propolis contains 50-55% of resinous substances, 30% of wax, about 10% of essential oils and 5-10% of foreign impurities. Due to the presence of wax in its composition, propolis can be considered as a wax raw material and must be taken as procuring points.
When cleaning the frame propolis is sometimes mixed with other wax raw materials, but it is easily separated with water: propolis in water sinks, and other waxy raw materials float up.
The wax, which is a part of propolis, is not connected with it, but as if mixed with it mechanically and can be easily separated from it. So, if propolis is heated in water, the wax floats upward, and resins and other substances will occupy the bottom of the vessel.
The wax obtained from propolis is very soft: its coefficient of hardness is about 2, that is lower than that of the worst wax press. Therefore, the mixing of propolis in wax raw material during processing of the latter is unacceptable. Propolis should be collected separately and, as a special kind of waxy raw material, surrender to procuring points. If propolis is processed in apiaries, the wax extracted from it should be marked and also surrendered to harvesting points separately from other varieties of wax. Propolis is used in industry for the production of valuable varnishes.
At present, in Ukraine, an artificial wax is produced in state wax workshops, which are available in each region. These workshops are equipped with perfect equipment. Many of them use sophisticated, so-called tape-forming machines of domestic production, which together with the use of advanced technology provides high quality artificial wax.
The final processing of the wax tape takes place on the engraved rolls squeezing the bases of the cells of the future honeycomb cells on it.
The artificial wax is released in exchange for the wax coming from the apiaries from the following calculation: for 1 kg of the first grade wax – 950 g of honeycomb, the second grade – 900 g and the third grade – 800 g. The surcharge for the processing of wax on the artificial wax is made in money.
The quality of an artificial honeycomb in beekeeping practice is of paramount importance. Artificial wax of poor quality can not be used, because it can not be built good honeycomb. A poor-quality wax will not only “crumple”, but also break off when its bees are detached and as a result, significant harm will be caused both to individual bee families and to the apiary as a whole.
Requirements for the quality of artificial wax. The sheet of a good artificial wax should be sufficiently transparent. A cloudy-looking artificial wax can be due to poor wax cleaning or from the fact that there is an emulsion of wax with water in the wax, the presence of which reduces the strength of the wax.
An artificial wax should be strong enough. Sometimes the weak strength of an artificial wax can be determined by the fact that the leaf of such a wax, being put on the palm of the hand, strongly bends.
The strength of an artificial wax is usually expressed by its breaking length. The discontinuous length represents such a length of a strip 5 cm wide of this wax, at which this strip, being suspended from the upper end, will break from its own gravity. The breaking length of the wax is determined by means of a so-called breaking machine.
A wax of excellent quality has a breaking length of more than 50 m, a good length is 40-50 m. If the breaking length of the wax is less than 40 m, then such a wax is considered to be of poor quality.
Wax sheets should be not rumpled and standard in size: 410X260 mm. In one kilogram of artificial wax mechanized production should be 15-16 sheets.
The width of the cells of the artificial honeycomb (the diameter of the inscribed circle) should be the same in all directions and be between 5.3 and 5.45 mm. It is easy to check this size by measuring 10 next to the lying cells of a honeycomb (in millimeters) and dividing the resulting number by 10.
All three diamonds of the bottoms of the depressions of the honeycomb should have the same thickness and, when viewed with light, it should be equally translucent.
It should be borne in mind that on the surface of a freshly prepared artificial honeycomb there is quite a considerable amount of water. Such water sometimes happens up to 6-8% of the weight of the wax. Therefore, the wax, exchanged for wax, should be sufficiently “seasoned”. To do this, it is necessary that after manufacturing it should lie for at least 2-3 weeks. The longer the wax lies after manufacturing, the stronger it is, and therefore, better. Therefore, it is desirable to establish such an order that the main amount of wax is exchanged for an artificial wax a few months before the honeycomb in the hive, so that it rests well. This would also improve the working conditions of the waxwork shops, which could work with a more even load during the winter-spring period.
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