Archives for posts with tag: wax

I recently made some lip balm based on several different recipes I found on the Internet and combining that knowledge with flavours that I enjoy. It turns out that lip balm is ridiculously easy to make. You can make it in your microwave in under 5 minutes by simply estimating measurements.

 

Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon of beeswax
  • 1/2 teaspoon of mint/peppermint extract

Heat up the oil in a pyrex measuring cup until it’s hot enough to melt beeswax. Then add in your beeswax and put it back in the microwave, stirring frequently until everything is melted. Finally, stir in your mint/peppermint extract and pour into a container of your choosing.

Lip balm in Altoids container

Last night I tried rendering some beeswax for the first time. During my hive inspections, I always brought a jar with me, and I used it to collect any stray beeswax or burr comb that I found in the hive.

Beeswax in a pot

I put all this wax, along with whatever was stuck to it (honey, dead bees and other impurities) into a pot. Be sure that you’re never going to use this pot for cooking ever again. It will forever be your wax pot.

Beeswax in a pot

I then added a tiny bit of water to the mixture to help dissolve some of the honey and cook the wax more evenly. I used about 1/2 cup of water, but it shouldn’t really matter because the wax will float on top of the water and you can separate it in the end.

I then gently heated the entire mixture. Emphasis on “gently” because wax is flammable and if you heat it too fast and hot, it could start on fire. You can see in the photo above that as you do this, a lot of the impurities will float to the top.

Beeswax and cheesecloth

After heating the entire mixture to a liquified state, you can then strain it through a cheesecloth. I secured a chunk of cheesecloth over the pot and then poured it into an aluminum pan. It’s also worth noting that you should use a pan that you don’t mind destroying as well. All the impurities will stay behind in the pot, and you can throw them out.

Beeswax cooling

At this point, I just let the wax sit and cool. You can see from the photo above, that it’s already starting to solidify. Once the wax is solid again, it’s very easy to drain out the “honey water” from the bottom and keep the wax on top. Note: Just to be safe, I discarded the water/honey mixture outside rather than pouring down my drain. I didn’t want any chance that there was still liquid wax in the mixture, which could then solidify in my drain.

Raw beeswax

From a single mason jar of discarded comb, I filled a small container with pure, filtered beeswax. I’m not sure what I am going to do with it yet. Perhaps I’ll make some lip balm or use it for coating pans while cooking.

In the future, I’m likely going to do this on a cheap hotplate burner rather than on our fancy gas range. I can see how this might get pretty messy doing larger batches.

Today I started an experiment with foundationless frames in my Langstroth hive. Specifically, I have installed a third deep box on my hive and intentionally left every second frame mostly empty. The only foundation that exists is a very small strip of wax foundation that I added to the top of each frame which should guide the bees into drawing out comb completely on their own.

Here’s a short video of what the frames look like now, and I will post an update in a week or two when they are drawn out.