Beekeepers Friend

Peaches' Beekeeping Blog

September 20, 2013

More Melting of Wax

The last post started the process of melting wax. I told you some of the ways to accomplish this. Now I will proceed to tell you some of the other ways to melt wax and clean it for other uses.

There is an electric wax melter with a water jacket that you heat up and the hot water will melt the wax in the tub and the hot wax will run out a port into a bucket or catch pan. It is thermostat controlled and since the melting point for wax is 144° – 147° F, I would not let the water get over 150° F.

You can put the wax in a Solar Wax Melter and let the sun melt the wax. Be careful though, this can get up into the 200° + range and can ruin your wax or burn you if you get some of the wax on you.

Now here is the meat of the wax subject. The reasons and uses for wax. Up until recently 20 years or so ago, the Roman Catholic Church used only bees wax for their candles.  Candles are a large part of the ceremonies of the  Church. They have kept many beekeepers busy just producing wax for the candles.

The uses of wax candles are many, aside from the many shapes of candles, there are ornamental candles, wax for key impressions, wax for seals, wax for machinists to use to keep their dies and tools sharp and cool when in use, seamstresses dip their hand needles in wax to make them slide through cloth easier.

Then there is wax used to waterproof boots and rain gear,  wax is incorporated into waterproofing for tents and outside fabric structures, and finally beeswax is made into car wax and cosmetics (lipstick, lip balm, lotions and hand creams).

Some beekeepers gain a lot of their income from sale of wax, so save the wax and melt it into blocks. Again, it depends on what it is to be used for as to how you melt and package the wax.

The last bit of advice I can give is that if the wax is not looking the way you want it to, then put it in a solar wax melter again and again until it is clean and the sun has bleached to to the color you want.

Now, if you don’t mind, I need to get my wax melter heated up and start melting some of the seven 5 gal buckets of wax that I have accumulated. See you next time.

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