Rendering Pure Beeswax

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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!

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21 Discussions

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dan3008

2 years ago

Do you find that the honey left over from this tastes different to 'normal' honey? I read somewhere once, that the heat changes the honey?

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malinii

2 years ago

Hi guys!!!
Pls help me
I had almost 3 kilograms of honey combs to render beeswax,
But after rendering, i had to deal with disgusting stench,and the wax i got out is still not completely dry ,but i had left it overnight as i attended a birthday.
When i was back,the beeswax which was semi dry had a horrible texture. I tried to render out the cappings the second time but all i got was a brown colored water but very little amount of beeswax.
P. S . I used the cheescloth method

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SparkySolar

4 years ago

i shared your instructable by emailing it to our president bee keepers

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SparkySolar

4 years ago

I am getting my hive painted
and set up seady for my bees next year

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SparkySolar

4 years ago

So much easier than what I tried to do, Thank you so much

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Well done! A friend of mine is getting into bee keeping, and I'm going to start helping with the harvesting. Now I'll have a replenishable source of beeswax for my leatherwork!

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Drachefire

4 years ago on Introduction

I have used other methods, and this is the easiest, cheapest and cleanest way to get very clean wax and recover honey.

Thank you! This project should have won first!

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Tecwyn Twmffat

4 years ago

I will definitely try this idea - love it! Check out my plywood beehive sometime -have just instructablised it.

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thehivelifeBarnettz

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Since it has all gone through the strainer with the wax, there is nothing to strain out, so I just pour it into jars. See the attached pic. Since wax is less dense than honey, it naturally rises to the top!

beeswax-11.jpg
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thehivelifeBarnettz

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Hah, thanks! It is actually containing my mead that I make.. which is deserving of its own Instructable if I can ever get around to it.

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Barnettzthehivelife

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

Thanks for sharing. I have a good amount of wax that i need to process. I have been a little intimidated. Honeybees are hard work, but the rewards are great.

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thehivelifeBarnettz

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

It's honestly a really simple process. These photos actually document my first time doing this. You don't run the risk of ruining kitchenware, like other wax rendering processes. It's cheap too. I found this cooler in my alley. The only things I had to specially source was the sheet of acrylic and the paint strainer, which probably totaled $8.

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gintonforge

4 years ago on Introduction

we have a hive problem in my house and I see this as an opportunity to turn it into something positive! :D

it's also terribly hot here in the Philippines right now, the best time for that solar oven!

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Wolfbane221

4 years ago

cool! I have been saving cappings every season. I made the mistake of trying to purify cappings in a pan over a stove (didn't catch on fire). Anyway, it solidified in the pan and was terrible to clean.

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I learned from that mistake made by a fellow beekeeper friend of mine. This low-cost solar oven did a perfect job.