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Tutorial- How to make your own beeswax

It is much easier than you think! The trick is to find the raw honeycomb that the process begins with. I suggest contacting local beekeepers and asking if they do anything with their old honeycomb.  The honeycomb I used came from a unique place—an entire cross section of an old fallen tree that was filled with an abandoned wild bee hive. When the giant tree fell the bees didn’t survive and I was able to harvest a lot of honeycomb. The shapes, colors, and smells of the honeycomb were so enticing have served as inspiration for some of my recent work visually. In addition to drawing and painting images of the comb I thought it would be a great experience to make my own beeswax from it! The process ended up being very simple.
1. Break all the honeycomb into smaller pieces and add them to a large pot that you don’t mind getting dirty. Don’t worry if the comb is old or infested with moths, it is still usable.
2. Fill the pot 3/4 of the way with water and slowly heat. Don’t bring it to a boil, keep it to a nice simmer. I use a camp stove, but this can be done easily in a well-venitlated kitchen. Just be careful—it can be messy.
3. Let it simmer until all the honeycomb has melted into a soupy mess.
4. Take a strainer you are able to dedicate to this purpose and strain out the messy stuff, letting the liquid gold pour into another container or pot.
5. Now it is time to purify it again. Repour the liquid into the pot and bring it to a simmer again. Let it go until any leftover gunk is floating on the top then strain it out again into a plastic bucket.
6. Next let it sit. As the liquid cools the water and pure beeswax will separate leaving you with a disk of golden beauty! Wait until it cools completely before loosening the disk and removing it from the bucket.
Now you have beeswax!
It can be used for many different things. So far I have made a polish out of it for my spinning wheel, a salve, and begun experimening with beeswax in encaustics. If you have any other ideas for interested uses of beeswax I welcome all comments and suggestions.
                                            

This Post Has 27 Comments

  1. Definitely! The tree this comb came from fell during a storm— unfortunately the bees didn’t make it, but I am glad to have been able to put the material to good use. It is amazing what resources are out there once you start looking!

  2. Thanks for the info. I did it today, but I was disappointed in the amount of wax that I got. It was so think, it fell to pieces when I took it out and it was grainy. I thought I had alot of comb, but maybe not.

    1. Sandy, I’m sorry to hear that it didn’t turn out as you expected! It does take a lot of comb to make the wax, but I’m not sure why it ended up being grainy like you described. I will let you know if I come across any explanations or tips in the future.

    1. I am always amazned at how versatile beeswax is! It never crossed my mind to use homemade wax to coat beading thread. I hope it works out well for you! I’d love to see some photos of your work when it is finished.

  3. About it turning grainy, you may have gotten it too hot. I think it should be heated to about 70-75 degrees Celsius.

  4. The story is so cute and also the lady in the picture looks good..nice place wish i can visit you there.Thanks for sharing your method ..

    1. I have never tried making surf wax with it, but it might be worth a try. As for the temperature, I’m not sure exactly, but as long as it stays below boiling it should be fine

  5. Try using it for candles that’s what I use it for and the smell is amazing and they barly put of any smoke so there really good for people that can’t usually be around candles

  6. I love working with beeswax! One of my specialties that my wife and I do are beeswax candles. Check out our website on Etsy.com/AsheCreekBees and get inspired this holiday to make so amazing scented, healthy beeswax candles!

    1. I usually mix it with olive oil over the stove to make a salve and have been using that to polish some of my furniture! I’m not sure how well turpentine will mix in.

  7. Hi! Thank you for your tutorial, I will experiment with it tomorrow, I aim to make Beard Balm with it … it is one of the essentials together with Shea Butter … it’s fabulous

  8. If I purchased honeycomb from a local beekeeper and there is still honey how would I go about processing to get the beeswax? Would I use this same process and what happens to any residual honey that may be attached to the comb? Thank you for your great information.

  9. I am going to ask local beekeepers for comb so i can make it.. i just started making candles. You think you can add color and fragrance to it? is beeswax too dark to add color too?

    1. That is quite possibly to add fragrance, but I can’t say about color… let me know if you do any experiments!

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