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bee on landing board
This bee is on a landing board.

worker on fresh comb

This bee is on newly made honey comb.

Working With Beeswax

The sheets of colored beeswax the children used are not the same as the ones they use for foundation in the frames in their beehives.
The colored beeswax is not pure. It does have some paraffin in it. Pure beeswax burns cleaner and longer.

Candle making and hand lotion bar making are good ways to make products to sell along with the honey your bees will produce.

In the December 2005 meeting Megan gave a talk and demonstrated how to make lip balm using beeswax.

When melting beeswax always use a double boiler.
Never
put the pan of wax over direct heat.

This bee is on a block of pure beeswax saved from cappings. bee on beeswax

When making hand lotions, lip balms and lip creams, use this nice, clean wax. Its lovely smell will add value to your product.


Making Things With Beeswax

These cappings from honey frames make the best candles, lip gloss and hand lotion after they have been heated in a coffee can set in hot water. We find old slow cookers are excellent for this. The next step is to pour the melted wax through a mesh (old nylons or cotton fabric work well) into milk cartons. We use the plastic berry baskets on top of the half gallon cartons to hold the straining material. When the wax is cold, any honey will have separated from it and sunk to the bottom. You will have a lovely, clean block of wax to use when you do this.
Liberty 4-H Beekeepers
made beeswax candles at their December 2004 Meeting . They used sheets of colored beeswax. These are available at many craft stores and in catalogs. Kaitlyn placing wick on wax
Kasey with three candles Boy showing off the bee skep candle he made.
  Kaitlyn is demonstrating the way to place the wick on the beeswax. She pressed it firmly onto the edge of the wax. Next she will roll the wax tightly around the wick. The top of the wick is 1/4" above the candle. Before rolling the wax, she softened it with a hair dryer so that it was easier to work with.
Kasey made her rolled candles and then cut out pieces to
make pictures. They stuck on after she warmed them slightly
with the hair drier.
The bee skep candle is a favorite. Note the candle to the right in the mold. We used wooden skewers to hold the wick up by splitting the skewer and wedging the wick in the split.
Molded beeswax candles require clean wax filtered through mesh or a nylon stocking. Wax saved from the cappings cut off the honey frames is great. It has the best fragrance. Melting old comb in a solar wax melter also gives a beautiful wax. spray mold with silicon spray first

 

Carefully pouring wax

two color candle
  Hard plastic and metal molds require spraying with a silicon spray. Always spray away from yourself and anything that could cause a fire. Flexible silicon molds do not need spraying. Phoebe is pouring wax that is not too hot. Pouring temperatures should be between 145F and 155F. Note she is holding the container very close to the mold. To make this two color floating candle Jessie carefully poured the red wax first and let it set awhile before pouring the lighter color.
support the wick in the center candles made by 4-H members Girls holding their candles
Wood skewers work well to support the wick in the large candles. We used hair pins for the little votive candles seen in the photo.

In November's meeting we made candles, lip gloss and hand lotion bars. Some of the candles were made with soy wax so we could see how it is different from bees wax. We much prefer the real beeswax!

The tallest molds were expensive but will last for years. They are silicon flexible molds. The two piece bee skep molds were the hardest to seal and pour. Arianna, Phoebe and Jessie are planning to give their beautiful candles
away for Christmas gifts.
Megan did a great job preparing a talk and teaching the other 4-H beekeepers the art of making lip balms and creams. She now prefers to use olive oil in these recipes rather than the almond or other oils she found in her research. Megan giving talk Kendall holding her beeswax candle.
Kendal is showing off the tuplip candle she made from real beeswax.
Boy holding a real beeswax candle.
This is a floating candle made from real beeswax.
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