Beeswax Candles

Through the bitter cold and freshly fallen snow, Mike and I made our way to the home of The Beekeeper.  {I wrote about him here a few years ago.}  His wife emailed me and said they had some caps they'd been saving all year for us, and did we still want them?  Um, yes please.

So, with eleven gallons of cappings and a jar of fresh honey {in exchange for our homemade soap}, we were set to the task of processing beeswax.   

Here's how it worked....

* I filled the pot full and turned the heat on really low.  The cappings contain wax and honey at this point, so I needed everything to melt without burning the honey.  

* Once melted, I filtered the liquid to remove all the dirt and debris.  The filtered containers of liquid were moved to the front porch to cool.  As it cooled, the wax floated to the top making it easy to wash and separate from the honey.

*  Two of the buckets had fermented over the summer and smelled like mead.  We wanted to try and remove as much of the alcohol smell as possible from the wax, so we melted the raw beeswax very slowly again and filtered it one more time.  I think that really helped to cook the alcohol off and remove the unpleasant odor.

In the end, we processed about 10 lbs of usable wax.

Now, what to do with all this golden goodness?  By coincidence, there is a lovely article in the newest issue of Taproot about candle making and decided it would be fun to try a few jar candles for gifts.   

I made some simple labels for belated gift giving, too.  {Luke was carefully guarding a stack of jars, making sure there were some for us to keep, as well.}

p.s.  The beekeepers also have fainting goats.  Mike spent five minutes with them, and it's sure to say that these delightful creatures have now been added to the "most definitely" list of animals on the homestead.  Oh, how our list keeps growing...

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