Melting beeswax with solar power

September 30, 2008 | By | Comments (7)

While gardeners are processing tomatoes, we beekeepers are deep into processing hive products.

After we drained the delicious honey from the mashed up comb, we were left with a bowl full of sticky wax. We also had some random bits of burr comb  we’ve collected during hive inspections. (Burr comb is comb the bees build at odd places on the frames rather than building on the foundation we provide)

In order to use the wax, we had to clean it, melt it, filter it, and transform it into a block of wax that we could store easily.

First we washed the wax by putting it in a sieve and running water through it.

Then we placed it between two paper towels and let it dry overnight.

Waxontowels

The next day we put some water in a glass bowl (the water keeps the melted wax from sticking to the glass). Then using string (the rubber band we first tried snapped in the heat), we tied a paper towel over the bowl. The towel needs to be fairly taut across the top of the bowl to prevent it from sagging into the water. The washed and dried wax  goes on top of the paper towel. This all goes into a solar wax melter, where the wax will melt and filter through the paper towel into the water below.

Waxreadytomelt


Making a solar wax melter (thank’s to our favorite bee blog,  Linda’s Bees) is easy. Line a styrofoam cool chest with tin foil, put it in the sun, and cover it with a sheet of glass or clear acrylic. We put in an oven thermometer out of curiosity; it was a warm day, and the temperature inside the solar melter was a little over 150 degrees Fahrenheit. Since beeswax melts at 145 degrees F., this was plenty hot enough.

Solarwaxmelter_2

At the end of the day, we had this lovely block of clean wax.

Beeswax

We’re not sure yet what we’ll do with this wax. Hand salve? Lip balm? Anyone have a good recipe to share?

COMMENTS

  1. Juiny C.

    Melting beeswax in a natural and eco-friendly way, good job!

    September 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm
  2. abeilles | Pearltrees

    [...] Melting beeswax with solar power – Westphoria | A blog by Sunset [...]

    April 23, 2012 at 5:09 pm
  3. craig

    Clever! Nice,cheap melter. I think I’m going to do that, too. Thanks

    July 1, 2010 at 2:44 pm
  4. Bsab

    Hello,We ran across your website and really liked it. Thank you for the good information. We’ll come back often.

    Thanks again,

    BsaB Candles

    March 11, 2009 at 10:59 am
  5. Bsab

    Hello,We ran across your website and really liked it. Thank you for the good information. We’ll come back often.

    Thanks again,

    BsaB Candles

    March 11, 2009 at 10:58 am
  6. Bsab

    Hello,We ran across your website and really liked it. Thank you for the good information. We’ll come back often.

    Thanks again,

    BsaB Candles

    March 11, 2009 at 10:57 am
  7. Tina K – friend of Nugget

    That is great information! Thanks for the connection to Linda’s Bee Blog, too. Your wax looks lovely.

    September 30, 2008 at 6:57 pm

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