This blog explains how I keep bees. It works for me, it might not work for you. Use my methods at your own risk. Always wear protective clothing and use a smoker when working bees.

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Melting beeswax cappings

With the harvesting of honey almost done, what do we do with the wax cappings.
It is nice to make something out of them. Candles, lip balm, or a salve.
The first step is to make the cappings usable.
I take two stainless pots and make a double boiler with them. The first pot has water in it. I take the second pot that is smaller and float in the water of the first pan. The cappings go in the small pot and I turn on the stove. Beeswax melts at 160 degrees F. The nice part of the double boiler is the water can't get hotter than 212 degrees F.
The water gets hot and melts the wax. I usually turn off the stove when the wax has melted. I walk away until the next day. I then take out the wax block that is floating on top. Underneath the wax is old honey now burnt and slum gum. Then the crud is cleaned up and the bottom of the waxed bock is surface scraped to take off any crud. After everything is cleaned up I then remelt the wax block in the double boiler, when it is liquid I pour it through a tee shirt that is stretched over a rough mold for straining. Once it cools I can use this clean beeswax for some of my projects.
Be careful when melting beeswax it can be flammable if heated to hot. If the beeswax or hot water spills it can burn a person. Never leave a stove unattended when melting beeswax. Always have a plan in place if a fire starts.