Although you’ve probably heard of beeswax, and you might even know what you can do with it, you might be unfamiliar with the collection process. Interestingly, when you extract the honey from your hive, you also remove beeswax. However, you have to remove the wax cappings from the honey. Explore the process of how beeswax is safely collected and stored.
What Is Beeswax?
Bees have wax glands in their abdomens that produce small wax scales. They mix these wax scales with their saliva to create beeswax, which works as a building material inside the hive. Beeswax is the wax cappings that cover the honey-filled cells inside the hive, and you must remove the cappings to extract the honey.
The Harvesting Process
The wax harvesting process is relatively simple, but it does require some specific skills, and it starts with honey extraction.
- Drain the honey: allow gravity to drain as much honey from the wax as possible. It can take a few days, but a double uncapping tank makes the process easier for you.
- Rinse the wax: Put the wax in a big bucket and add warm water. Use your hands or a large wooden spoon to rinse the remaining honey from the wax, and then drain using a colander. Repeat the process until the water is clear.
- Melting: Put the clean wax in the double boiler to melt it down. Strain the melted wax through a cheesecloth to remove the impurities. Pour the liquid wax into a mold and let it dry.
Once you have a block of light-golden wax, it has no expiration, and you can store it at room temperature until you use it.
Melting Wax: Safety Is Key
Melting beeswax can be a dangerous process, and you should take all necessary precautions to keep yourself safe. When it comes to melting wax, there’s one rule you should always follow: never melt it over an open flame.
The liquid wax is highly flammable, and it can start a horrific fire if it boils over into an open flame. Additionally, overheated wax creates a vapor that can explode. Instead, melt the wax over a double boiler to ensure safety.
Aside from how you should melt beeswax, you also have to consider where to melt it. You should never do this inside your home, so think of a spot where a few spills won’t matter and the heat can dissipate safely. It’s best to set up in your driveway or another outdoor space; however, you can use your garage if you don’t have an outdoor area.
Understanding how beeswax is safely collected and stored is vital for successful beekeeping. However, Crystal’s Honey has pure beeswax for sale in different weights that you can purchase and use as you please.