Friday, September 26, 2008

SHOW & TELL #28 - Melting Bee's Wax

Friday yet again .... which means Show & Tell time at Kelli's . Enjoy mine for today. Then do one of your own and add it to Mr. Linky and then enjoy all the wonderful things people have to Show & Tell.

This is the 4rd post about Mickey's new hobby as a bee keeper. You can read the other three about the actual bee hive and the honey extraction and getting another hive and swarming bees in the post below. This post is about the bee's wax or honey comb.

Here are two tubs of honey comb. Step 1 is putting all the honey comb pieces in a large tub and slanting it so all the honey will drain off. It takes several days to get all the honey to drain off. Step 2 Mickey took these two tubs and placed them in front of the bee hive. The bee's actually work to clean the remainder of the honey out of this comb. Isn't that amazing? They are truly industrious creatures. Step 3 is taking the honey comb and melting it to form a wax. We had been dreading this job, because it was so new to us and sounded complex and there was a huge warning about the danger of the wax catching on fire!!! We knew we had to get this done before leaving on our trip so Monday was the day.

Here is Mickey stirring the comb in a pan in another pan with boiling water. The melting temperature is 180 degrees.



Here is a closer view showing the melting wax, the therometer, and the two water bath pans. We continued to add handfuls of the comb into the pan as it would melt. We ended up with four 1/2 pans full.
Each pan full was then poured into this quart milk carton. The instructions said attach 2 paper towels to the top as a filter. We did this and it was too thick and would not go through. Then we tried 2 napkins. Still no success and all we are making is a mess!!! Finally Mickey said "I wonder if pouring it through a hose would work?" One of the ways you strain the raw honey, after you have first strained it through a normal strain is to pour it through a woman's hose. We got a hose and it worked!!!! This took us about 2 hours and we were both exhausted. I think more from the stress of the operation than anything else. I'm sure it will not be so stressful next time as we know what not to do!!!

Here is our finished product. About 3/4 of a quart of wax. Isn't it the prettiest light golden color? This is all we got from 38 frames of honey A LOT of work. I think I understand now why a lot of bee keepers do not anything with the comb.

You can make candles, hand creams, foot cream, soaps, and lip balm so I have to give it all a try and then decide whether it's something worth doing or not.

This honey comb was from the first extraction that was done on August 23rd. We will have more honey comb from the 46 frames that were done last Saturday, September 20th.

Thanks for letting me walk you through what I find to be a very interesting adventure and learning process.

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43 comments:

Hootin' Anni said...

Wow....this is just too impressive. I can't wait for an update on what you have tried to make...I'd probably try the hand cream first. LOL

My Show n Tell this week is entitled 'BEE CAREFUL'....stop by if you can find time. And, have a glorious weekend.

LBP said...

That is so cool! My father in law and great uncle were both bee keepers. I really do miss them and the honey!

Blessings

Linda

Jan and Tom's Place said...

Thanks for your visit and comment about my clock!

Bees...love the bees wax...just NOT the bees. I have asthma and am allergic to bees!! I carry an epi-pen with me outside...everywhere!!

~Blessings,
Jan

A Hint of Home said...

Wow, that is a lot of work. You both have more patience than I.
I love honey though.

JanMary said...

Fascinating. Thanks for sharing.

That is so amazing how you can use the bees to help clean it for you as part of the process.

It also gives me a greater appreciation for beeswax now that I see what work is involved!

Mary@notbefore7 said...

Wow! YOu all are amazingly adventurous. What a fun thing to do. Have fun making all kinds of things!

Sharon said...

Thanks for the show and tell it was so interesting.
It sure did sound like a lot of work.
Have a great week end.
God bless

Frazzled Farm Wife said...

That is interesting!

Maxine said...

This is so interesting, Susan! You guys are something. You're leading such productive lives in the golden years. That's what I'm trying to do, too! I Love your show and tell posts and look forward to them each week.
Oh, your comment just came in. Thanks!

diana said...

yep, looks like a lot of work. what are you going to try first? candles? it's so cool that you and mickey both have tried this new endeavor, learned new things, and getting a byproduct from the process.

hope you have a great weekend. i think your trip is coming up so in case i don't gt a chance, have a wonderful trip.

Ken said...

HI, I stopped in from sunshine on my sholders,
I have seen a couple of your comments and to days was almost the same as mine. so I ran over to meet your blog. I'm glad I did. My brother has hives I never realised how much work it is. I really enjoyed it very much, Thank you.

Ivory Spring said...

Hi Susan,

I am just so impressed by your bee/honey posts. I have found them to be very educational.

What is the difference between regular honey that you have melt and raw honey? We have a jar of raw honey, and I thought about you.

Manuela said...

Beekeeping is really fascinating!

Manuela

Gattina said...

My grandpa's brother had bees and I always was impressed of his protection cloth ! the honey was excellent !

Dianne said...

That is so neat! Bees are having a hard time and I appreciate you helping them out. Martha Stewart was showing her bees the other day. I'm reading 'The Secret Lives of Bees' and it's a good read.

Kitty said...

Neat!! That does look like a lot of work, but you're right, next time will be much easier!!! =) I am eager to hear what you decide to do with your wax. I bet lip balm would be really nice. =) That was a neat solution, using the hosiery. Way to be inventive!!!

Kitty said...

Neat!! That does look like a lot of work, but you're right, next time will be much easier!!! =) I am eager to hear what you decide to do with your wax. I bet lip balm would be really nice. =) That was a neat solution, using the hosiery. Way to be inventive!!!

The Olson's: said...

Very fascinating! That's quite a process for such a small amount. But if you can make some great gifts out of it, it might be worth it in the end!

Thanks for sharing,
~ Leanne

Sharon said...

That is so cool! I can't believe you guys made your own honey!

Pass the honey....honey! :0)

Have a happy weekend!

Sharon

Tina said...

I too will look forward to hearing what you do with the wax. Loving these posts Susan.

Jean said...

I have been enjoying all your information on being a beekeeper. Thank you. Jean

Kathi said...

This is quite a process. I commend you for learning how and doing each step. Great idea using the panty-hose. I've heard that they are useful for many things, even tying up tomato plants and the like. Thank you for your show and tell. Very interesting. Kathi

Tammy said...

There is so much to know about keeping bees and making honey and wax!
Thanks for sharing, Susan!

(I just posted late my show and tell, too!)

Grandma Faith said...

Thank you very much for sharing this information. It all sounds very interesting. Take care.

Danielle said...

Very cool. Are you selling their honey?

Dawn said...

Now that looks like a lot of work, but well worth the effort!

Earthmommy said...

This was so cool and educational to read! Both my daughters joined me and I read it to them (one is sixteen but we have a three year old too) and we were all so interested! Thanks for visiting us at Shore's End!

Lynn said...

I am enjoying the posts about bees and honey. My dad raised bees when I was growing up. It love the reminders of what it was all about.

Lori said...

Wow! That does look like a lot of work.
I bet it will be delicous though.

Wow! Look at all the things you can make with it...lipbalm, hand cream. You'll have to let us know if you make something else.

Yellow Rose Arbor said...

Very interesting procedure! Thanks for taking the time to share it with us.

Katherine

Lisa Ann said...

That is so cool. It sure is a lot of work.

Melissa Wertz said...

Susan, that is so very cool! Are you going to make candles? I know stitchers love bees wax for our threads for certain types of embroidery. (I need to do a post about that.)

Nancy said...

That is alot of work for honey but I bet it is soooo good.
My grandfather was a bee keeper but I was to small to remember much about it. But I do know he rarely got stung.

Heather said...

Mmm honey.... ahh, the way to my heart.. my daughter would be in heaven if we could do that here at our house! thank you for your comments on my tea pot. take care!

Kelli said...

That is so neat, Susan! I can't wait to see what we make from it!
~Kelli

Desia said...

What a process, a very interesting post. My in-laws used to keep bees too, and we often chewed pieces of the honeycomb with the honey still in it, like gum!

MightyMom said...

when hubby makes cream of mushroom soup one of the steps calls for straining through cheesecloth...but he found an old T-shirt works just as well...catches more chunks than hose does.....

lusks said...

How interesting, I love honey with my porridge in the morning and am amazed by the process of the bees.

Thanks for visiting my journal.
Lynette

Elizabeth said...

Wow, that is so neat! :)

ROXY said...

Wow that's on impressive hobby! It must be nice enjoyed fresh honey!

Momma Roar said...

This is all so very interesting! I'm eager to find out why you try to do with it! :)

Sarah said...

Thank you

Sioux said...

The beekeeping is so cool. Fascinating!