Beekeeping: 8 Frame Solar Wax Melter #1: Design

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Blog entry by DoctorDan posted 11-29-2010 09:11 PM 8565 reads 1 time favorited 4 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Beekeeping: 8 Frame Solar Wax Melter series Part 2: Case Work Complete »

What is a Solar Wax Melter?!
Over the past few weeks I’ve been working on my version of a solar wax melter. A wax melter is a tool used by apiarists (beekeepers) to clean to old wax/honey off wooden frames. Essentially, the frame is placed within a wooden box and the temperature increased to the wax’s melting point (~50-60 degrees) at which point it melts off into a collection point below. With a glass top and black sides a solar wax melter uses the sun’s energy to achieve the desired temperatures.

There are various designs available on the internet from a simple foam box with a second hand window frame resting on it to more complex stainless steel models. The limitations of most of these designs however is that they hold only a single frame a time. The design brief for this project outlined the need to hold eight frames, that is an entire box.

(Design by Bee Source)

(Designs by Dadant)

(Design by Envrotom)

My Design
After a few sketches and discussions we came up with this design. The eight frames are arranged on steps at ~30 degrees. (The angle is to allow for maximum sun exposure throughout the day.) Although the vertical design would limit the direct exposure of the frame to the sun the temperature within the box will still achieve desired melting temperature.

This sketchup design only includes the top half. The box is to be extended below to include 1 or 2 filters, the collecting tray, and a back door to allow the access to the tray and filters.

For detailed updates of the progress check out my blog - Wax Melter Project @ The Love of Wood.

-- Daniel -

4 comments so far

View SASmith               's profile


1850 posts in 3494 days

#1 posted 11-29-2010 09:50 PM

Hello daniel. Looking forward to the blog. Who knew there were so many beeks on LJs?

-- Scott Smith, Southern Illinois

View Dennisgrosen's profile


10880 posts in 3623 days

#2 posted 11-29-2010 10:48 PM

ceep up the head with the designing even if this fail donĀ“t underestimate the power from the sun :-)
I have seen a big project were they melt steal with sunpower on you-tube

looking forward to hear and see how this turn out


View Beeguy's profile


179 posts in 4144 days

#3 posted 11-30-2010 09:16 PM

Hi Dan,

Another beekeeper here. I like your design. It could also be used to remove the residual wax from frames of cutcomb after the comb has been removed. One thought on the design. How would you handle comb not on the frame, or handle cappings? Or is this just for frames. I have switched to using plastic foundation and you really can’t put that in a melter. But I scrape the comb free and melt that.

-- Ron, Kutztown, PA "The reward is in the journey."

View MsDebbieP's profile


18619 posts in 4668 days

#4 posted 01-14-2011 10:59 AM

huh… learn something new every day!
when you’re finished building you should post the finished project at GardenTenders as well.

-- ~ Debbie, Canada (, Young Living Wellness )

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