WAX RECOVERY

Yesterday I found a plastic bucket half full of old, mangled, honeycomb which looked as if I had chucked it in with some home brew to let yeast and water recover the last of the honey. There may even have been some hops with it.  I needed the bucket so it was time to do something with the wax. 

First I transferred it to a plastic bowl and added some rain water (the impurities in hard water tend to saponify wax). Then I put it in the microwave for an experimental few minutes at a time until the mucky wax had melted and formed a layer on top of the water. The water had separated the denser and the soluble materials from the molten wax.

When it had cooled and set I was able to remove the cake of wax/cocoons/hops and break it up. There was some debris on the bottom of the wax that I was able to scrape off easily.  Then I got a throw-away kitchen cloth – a J Cloth – and tied it with string around the top of the bowl, leaving a depression in the middle to hold the broken-up wax which I added, together with a modicum of rain water again.

Into the microwave again for a few cautious minutes at a time until all that was going to go through the cloth had done so.  I left it to cool overnight and now have a 12 ounce cake of beeswax, not quite of show bench quality but fine for everyday purposes.  Actually, it looks better than some I have in view behind this computer screen that I have been selling gradually, so maybe I’ll give it one more filtering and turn it into 1 oz blocks or a candle or two.

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About chrissladesbeeblog

I have been keeping bees since 1978 and currently have about a dozen hives. I am a member of the BBKA where for many years I represented Dorset at the Annual Delegates' Meeting. I am the co-author (with Dave MacFawn of of S. Carolina) of "Getting the Best from Your Bees" and am working on a book of my own poems : "Bee People".
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