Beeswax is a beautiful commodity that should be treated like gold. Don’t throw away any wax from your beekeeping processes! Even the grungiest of wax can be filtered to reveal a beautiful golden silky product that can be used for so many common purposes.
Ways to save your wax:
I keep a little Tupperware container near my beehives to deposit any wax that I scrape off of the top, side, or bottom bars of my frames. Cleaning up burr comb is a great way to keep your frames easily maneuverable while also collecting this golden goodness.
Keep all the wax that you cut off of your honey frames during your honey extraction. Set it into a strainer over a bowl to allow as much honey to drip off as possible. Keep the remaining wax!
The next step is to melt the wax, which will help in separating the gunk from the gold. There’s lots of homemade ways to do this!
My mentor and beek friend, Jeff, made his own solar wax melter using a deep hive box, some plexiglass, an old roller tray for a paint roller, and a bread pan. You can look up specs on how to build your own online.
You can also make a homemade solar wax melter using an old stock pot, cooler, and plexiglass. Check out this link on how! At Boise State we use a solar wax melter that we purchased from Mann Lake LTD.
Here is a photo of our stellar intern, Jake, placing scraps of bees wax onto the wire screening. The sun’s heat will shine through the layer of plexiglass creating a lot of heat inside the melter. This will cause the wax to melt through the wire screening, leaving any chunks of brood, dead bees, or gunk on the screening. The incline of the melter will cause the melted honey to drip down into a bread pan in the bottom of the melter.
The next step is to filter this to further strain any remaining bee parts or crud out of the wax. Check out my next blog on that process!
The result is beautiful clean and golden beeswax, ready for your next craft project.
Keep your bees buzzin’ y’all!