Beeswax Wraps can be a lovely Christmas gift. Making them shouldn’t be difficult but if you’ve ever tried it you’ll know that it can he tedious, painful and messy. But here is a nice, simple mess-free method you can use to produce some last minute beeswax Christmas presents in less than an hour. Continue reading Beeswax Wraps made Simple
You know that feeling – happily munching on the sourdough and marmite breakfast toast when suddenly there’s a stone clattering about in the mix. How can this be?
If you are young and your teeth are white and shiny – then there probably is a stone in the mix and as long as you don’t crunch it – all will be well.
However, if you are not so young and your teeth are rickety like mine – there’s probably a lump of dentistry in there. And you know what that means don’t you. Dentist is what it means. Usually.
However, for us beekeepers there is another possible, albeit temporary solution. Read on…
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.
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
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 the most profitable part of the 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
Here is a recipe for lip balm – it won’t help much with the beeswax mountain but if your lips are in tatters this is the stuff for you. If not, well it does have tatter-prevention properties if you smear some on before you go out in the elements. At the very least it will give you a nice glossy pout. Continue reading Lip Balm 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.
- 50g spotlessly clean beeswax
- 200g jojoba oil
- 200g almond oil
- 200g soft water
- 10 g borax
- 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.
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This is how to assemble a frame properly but don’t do this too early or your wax will go off:
Remove 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
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