Category Archives: Beeswax

Dandelions

The dandelion season is almost over in most places but up here, on this chilly hill, they are still very much in flower which is nice for us and for the bees.

They are out working away in every patch of sunshine and this picture shows the colour of the pollen loads – a much stronger yellow than willow or rape. Inside the hives, everything is bright yellow with dandelion pollen. A little honey is appearing in the supers, it is very yellow quick to granulate and has a bit of a bitter aftertaste but the smell around the hives is wonderful – sort of waxy and musky.

Continue reading Dandelions

Beeswax Soap Recipe

I used to think that homemade soap would be a great way to use up some of that beeswax mountain. That is until I started to look into the subject and it turns out to be a bit more complicated than I thought.

For a start there’s the matter of Caustic Soda. Note the capital letters there; those are there as a mark of Respect. When using Caustic Soda, be on your Toes because it is a very nasty chemical indeed. Wear gloves, don’t spill it and don’t blame me if you do. Continue reading Beeswax Soap Recipe

Rendering Beeswax

Beeswax is one of the most recalcitrant substances known to man and rendering beeswax is  not for the faint-hearted, so gird yer loins and don’t use the kitchen.

For the beekeeper, honey is probably his most profitable harvest but it is not the only one. The next most important crop, for most, is beeswax, of which there are three sources:

  • Cappings from your honey extraction;
  • Old combs;
  • Scrapings from hive.

Beeswax has a thousand and one cosmetic and domestic uses but unless a good price can be assured the most fundamental use for the beeswax crop is as new foundation. Continue reading Rendering Beeswax

Easy Beeswax Handcream Recipe

This is a really simple and nourishing handcream recipe – in fact you could probably eat it.

If you’re not planning to eat it you could add fragrance but it’s lovely as it is. Just apply sparingly as possible and try and keep it off your palms because it doesn’t contain those chemicals that make it vanish into your skin.

If you do get greasy palms – rub it on your head. Your hair will be glossy as a colt’s back and even on a very windy day – it’ll hold it all down nicely.

Weigh everything including the water.

Ingredients

  • 50g spotlessly clean beeswax
  • 200g jojoba oil
  • 200g almond oil
  • 200g soft water
  • 10 g borax

Method

  • This will make 9 x 50ml pots so get them ready first;
  • Measure oils into a pyrex bowl;
  • Break up beeswax and add to oils;
  • Set pyrex bowl in pan of hot water and set on low heat to melt wax;
  • When beeswax is melted put water and borax into a jar, mix then warm this mixture so it is the same temperature as the oil etc;
  • Pour oil/beeswax mixture and boraxed water both together at the same time into a bowl and stir;
  • A creamy mixture will form and you need to get it into pots before it sets and it will set quite quickly.

Click here for how to render beeswax

Click here for beeswax facts

Click here for beeswax lipbalm recipe

Click here for beeswax furniture polish recipe

Click here for beeswax soap recipe

Click here for beeswax candlemaking

Copyright © Beespoke.info, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Frame Assembly – Good

This is how to assemble a frame properly but don’t do this too early or your wax will go off:

FrameAssembly1Remove the wedge cleanly or it won’t sit properly when you put the wax in. It doesn’t matter too much with wired wax, but if you’re using unwired wax the wedge won’t grip it properly. If necessary shave the area clean with a nice sharp chisel. Continue reading Frame Assembly – Good

Wax-moth Hell

This is the time of year for scraping down the stack of equipment that got thrown into the shed during the active season – I know this because that’s what I’ve been doing this afternoon. Once started I realise why it takes so long to get down to it because it really isn’t nice. Not nice at all.

There should be a course -‘Entomology for Beekeepers’ because the assortment of creepy crawlies to be found in the detritus at the bottom of a beehive is bewildering and horrifying – like Doctor Who with maggots. Continue reading Wax-moth Hell

Beeswax Facts

Beeswax has been described as the most recalcitrant substance known to man which means it makes great, long lasting polish but is not so great to splash it on your clothes.

  • Beeswax is produced by the bees from wax glands on the undersides of the abdomen;
  • Bees will only produce wax when there is a nectar flow;
  • To produce wax the bees cling together in clumps and consume a lot of honey to bring up the temperature, then wax is extruded in little white lens shaped scales that can sometimes be discovered amongst the debris on the hive floor;
  • Approximately 4lbs of honey is consumed to produce 1lb of wax.
  • Beeswax begins to melt at 64 degrees centigrade;
  • Beeswax begins to discolour at temperatures above 85 degrees centigrade;
  • Beeswax will spontaneously combust if it is heated to above 200 degrees centigrade;
  • The natural colour of beeswax is yellow – all shades of yellow depending on forage but if it is brownish or olive it has been overheated. If it is pure white it has been bleached.

Click here for how to render beeswax

Click here for beeswax facts

Click here for beeswax lipbalm recipe

Click here for beeswax handcream recipe

Click here for beeswax furniture polish recipe

Click here for beeswax soap recipe

Click here for beeswax candlemaking

Copyright © Beespoke.info, 2014. All Rights Reserved.

Beeswax Mountain – Candle Making

Beeswax is a by-product of beekeeping  and there are dozens of things you can do with it. Each time you visit your bees and scrape those bits of brace comb off the top bars or the crownboard – instead of flicking them into the undergrowth, save them in a bucket and when you have enough you can render it into blocks of clean wax which can be stacked in a cupboard and in a very short while it will be bursting out the door.

I’ve been doing that for 12 years now and the cupboard is full of wobbly stacks of it and the time has come to do something with it. The options include the following: Continue reading Beeswax Mountain – Candle Making