Happy Hen Farm


Virtually everything a bee collects or produces is used by humans: honey, wax, pollen, propolis, royal jelly. Even bee larvae are nutritious, but I must admit I have never tried them. From that list of products the top two are honey and beeswax. When honey is extracted from the frames, the beeswax cappings from the tops of the cells are cut off. These cappings can be washed and melted down into bricks that can be used for a multitude of items, including

One need only browse the product line of Burt's Bees to see the variety of uses.

As one can imagine for a product that can be used to make candles, it is quite flammable, and great care must be exercised when processing beeswax near open flames. One way to melt and strain beeswax safely (and more cheaply) is to create a solar wax melter. You can buy them commercially, but we chose to build our own.

Essentially it is a wooden box with a clear top. A metal plan is modified by cutting an opening at one end and covering it with fine straining cloth. This is then placed inside the box on an incline with a collection pan placed under the opening. You can find numerous plans on the web by searching for solar wax melter on Google. Here is an example of one. (I intend to post the plans for the one shown below, but until that time, you can contact us if you would like the details.) I used plywood, acrylic, aluminum baking pans and "sheer" curtain material. And of course duct tape (no project would be complete without it.)

The picture below shows the cappings after they had just been placed into the melter. This is mid-summer in Texas so the outside temperature was over 100 degrees F. Click on the picture to watch the wax melt, leaving the residual honey and other debris behind.

Wax Melter

Solar Wax Melter
[Click on image to see wax melt.]



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