Monday, July 14, 2014

Rendering Beeswax

This past weekend I tried my hand at refining the bit of beeswax I had.  That's one other advantage of the top bar hives, I think, is that you remove the wax and can use the entire comb rather than just the cappings.  That way the comb gets cycled out rather than being used over and over and over.  Reusing comb means faster/more honey production as the bees don't have to make the wax and the comb, but it also means that anything wonky with the hive can build up in the comb and with the top bar hive you remove them so the bees have fresh, clean comb more often.

After cutting out some cross comb I had about a gallon baggie full of it:
This comb is very white and pretty clean because we took it out before they could build anything in it.  Cross comb means it was going across two top bars and would be impossible to remove if we didn't correct them.

A little quick reading to see what I was supposed to do, and I had a double boiler set up with an old pot and bowl:

In went the comb:

And in not too long I could see it starting to melt:

I don't have pictures of the filtering process as I needed both hands for that, but essentially I did this, making a filter out of cheesecloth into an old almond milk carton:

And then from there I poured the filtered wax into my spiffy little molds:

And ta-da!  I can't believe how FLORAL it smells. I've never smelled beeswax like it.


  1. Wow, that's really beautiful! I love the end product. :)

    <3 Indigo Girl

  2. Pretty! And probably very nice to be able to work with something so natural and ancient as tending to bees.