When most people think about beekeeping, the big harvest is for the honey. Another byproduct of honeybees is of course beeswax. Beeswax is popularly used in candles, soaps, beauty products, and even as a wood finish. To obtain clean, pure beeswax, it is actually quite a laborious process.
Step 1: Scrapped Comb & Burr Comb Savings
It all starts during the honey extraction process. First, in effort to expose the honey, the wax caps are cut or scrapped off each cell. I like to scrap them into a tupperware container to collect them for later.
Step 2: Equipment Needed
What I used for this was:
- a cheap styrofoam cooler
- a large ziploc container
- a sheet of acrylic (or plexiglass)
- aluminum foil
- duct tape
- a paint strainer (or panty hose)
Step 3: Strainer on Container
I put the ziploc container in the strainer and tied the end off. The top needs to be pretty tight to prevent the wax on top from sagging into the melted wax.
Step 4: Line With Tin Foil
I then lined the styrofoam cooler with tin foil to reflect the sun’s rays.
Step 5: Fill With Beeswax
I put as much beeswax as I could fit on top of the strainer and into the cooler. Then I cut the acrylic sheet down to size to act as the lid for the cooler, allowing sun rays in.
Step 6: Sealing
By duct taping the acrylic to the cooler, you will have created a sun oven.
Step 7: Sun at Work..
Depending on your region, there are many hot summer days that are perfect for this.
Step 8: Filtered Waste
Here you can see the mesh has filtered out all of the old wax, pollen residue, and any bee parts that were stuck in the wax.
Step 9: Honey & Wax
As we see on the inside, it appears we have some clean wax and dark honey!
Step 10: Pure Yellow Beeswax
Now you have some pure yellow beeswax and some additional honey!