Homesteading/ Honey Bees

Rendering Beeswax

July 22, 2019 (Last Updated: September 21, 2019)

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Rendering Beeswax – A tutorial on how to turn beeswax from the hives into usable wax.

Yellow beeswax in a glass dish.

You’ve harvested your honey, but now what do you do with all that wax? Don’t throw it out! Beeswax is very valuable and can be used for many purposes. Knowing how to render your wax is key to using it. You can use your rendered wax in these beeswax wraps. 

The picture below shows wax gathered after extracting honey. 

A pile of cappings from bee hives.

There are many methods for rendering beeswax. I found a method for rendering it in the oven from LDS Prepper. He uses an outdoor solar oven, but I do it in my kitchen oven. 

Why do I need to render the wax?

Beeswax from extracted honey is filled with more than just wax. It will still have some honey in there and then there are usually a few trapped bees and sometimes grass, leaves or small twigs that manage to get caught when you’re moving the honey frames. 

What are the steps for rendering beeswax?

  1. Rinse your leftover wax cappings. When you spin honey there is always leftover wax and there’s always a bit of honey left in that wax. Put all cappings in a large bowl and fill with water. Let the wax soak for at least one hour. Drain and repeat. You will want to rinse at least three times.  Wax from a bee hive.
  2. Strain off as much water as possible. I use an old sieve and allow my wax to just sit in it for awhile so most of the water drains off.
  3. Place wax on a screen lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will help catch any impurities in the wax.
  4. Place screen on top of a baking dish filled with 1/4″ of water.
  5. Place baking dish on an old baking sheet. 
  6. Place in a 200 degree oven.
  7. When wax has melted, add additional wax if available. Beeswax melting in an oven.
  8. When all wax has melted, turn off oven and allow to fully cool.
  9. When oven and wax are fully cooled, the wax will  harden and turn yellow. Remove from oven.
  10. Discard paper towel and water in baking dish.
  11. Remove wax from baking dish.

Yellow beeswax in a glass dish with a wooden screen over dish.

Additional Tips for rendering beeswax

  • Designate a dish that you will only use for beeswax. You can easily use an old dish or pick one up from a garage sale or a thrift store. Don’t use your favorite anything – it just won’t ever be quite the same again.
  • Be very cautious with beeswax. It is very flammable.
  • Do not try to move the wax when it is hot or liquid.
  • You can purchase a screen from a home improvement store for a small window to use. My screen was made many years ago for making recycled paper with my students in my classroom. I still had it and decided to use it. Sometimes it pays to hang onto things forever although some people call that hoarding!
  • Work in small batches, rather than doing a huge amount at a time. Smaller chunks of cooled wax are easier to cut into usable portions.

Other honey bee posts include Installing a hive, Checking the hive and Honey Bees.

Don’t forget to PIN for later! Yellow beeswax in a glass baking dish.

If you render your own beeswax, Iā€™d love to hear about it! Leave a comment below and snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @beyondthechickencoop

 

Yield: beeswax

Rendering Beeswax

Rendering Beeswax

How to render beeswax into usable wax.

Prep Time 1 hour
Active Time 4 hours
Total Time 5 hours

Materials

  • Sieve
  • Baking Dish
  • Baking Tray
  • Window Screen
  • Paper Towels
  • Bees Wax

Tools

  • Screen
  • Baking Dish
  • Baking Sheet
  • Paper Towels
  • Sieve

Instructions

  1. Rinse your leftover wax cappings. When you spin honey there is always leftover wax and there's always a bit of honey left in that wax. Put all cappings in a large bowl and fill with water. Let the wax soak for at least one hour. Drain and repeat. You will want to rinse at least three times. 
  2. Strain off as much water as possible. I use an old sieve and allow my wax to just sit in it for awhile so most of the water drains off.
  3. Place wax on a screen lined with a paper towel. The paper towel will help catch any impurities in the wax.
  4. Place screen on top of a baking dish filled with 1/4" of water.
  5. Place baking dish on an old baking sheet.
  6. Place in a 250 degree oven.
  7. When wax has melted, add additional wax if available.
  8. When all wax has melted, turn off oven and allow to fully cool.
  9. When oven and wax are fully cooled, the wax will  harden and turn yellow. Remove from oven.
  10. Discard paper towel and water in baking dish.
  11. Remove wax from baking dish.

Notes

Always use caution when working with beeswax. Beeswax is flammable when exposed to high heats

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6 Comments

  • Reply
    Mary Ann | The Beach House Kitchen
    July 24, 2019 at 6:13 am

    I love coming to your blog and learning something interesting Kathy! Such a great idea for a post!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks!

  • Reply
    David @ Spiced
    July 23, 2019 at 5:15 am

    You amaze me, Kathy! I seriously love your ‘behind the scenes’ type of posts as it lets me live vicariously through you. I’ve always wanted to have honey bees! So this is such a cool post for so many reasons. I love that you aren’t wasting anything, and the thought of homemade beeswax is just too fun. I did see a really cool idea when we were on vacation in Germany that made me think of you. For breakfast, the hotel had put a large piece of honeycomb (with honey) on a flat steel tray. The tray was tilted up (clearly made for this purpose), and it had a spout at the bottom. The honey slowly dripped into a bowl under the tray, and that’s where you could get a spoonful. I’ve got a photo that I can send to you if you’d like! šŸ™‚

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 26, 2019 at 5:19 pm

      Thanks, David! What a cool way to serve honey! Sounds like an amazing place.

  • Reply
    Kelly | Foodtasia
    July 22, 2019 at 8:28 am

    Omg, I want bees! So cool how you can harvest your own honey and beeswax!

    • Reply
      Kathy
      July 26, 2019 at 5:21 pm

      šŸ™‚

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