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Extracting Beeswax From The Hive For Our Salve

Bees are amazing creatures that produces honey galore, but what about the wax? Honey is stored int he comb and the caps on cells that are used to retain it are made of beeswax. With a little effort it is possible to extract this amazing substance which we use in our salve. Here are some other ways beeswax is used today.

  • Food production
  • Skin cosmetics
  • Skin care
  • Crafts
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Health products
  • Wood care products
  • Waxing of products
  • Seals for official documents

There are many other ways that beeswax have been used throughout history, but these are just a few of the many ways it is used today.

 

How is it created?

Worker bees have eight pairs of wax glands under the abdomen, which produce tiny wax scales. The process of making comb involves the worker bee taking on of these wax scales and moving it with her front legs and mixing it with her saliva. This creates a wax that is useful for building the honeycomb. It sounds gross, but it really is amazing and yummy.

 

What is in beeswax made from?

Beeswax is a complex substance made up of over 250 compounds, including long-chain alkanes, acids, eters, polyesters and much more. hentiracontane is the substance that forms about nine percent beeswax and it is the element that gives beeswax it’s waterproof properties. This is one of the things that make beeswax so perfect as a sealant. It is completely insoluble to water. Beeswax also is unique in the fact that it’s melting point is approximately 150 degrees. Because beeswax so high a melting point, it makes it perfect for candles. Beeswax candles have a clean, smokeless burn which doesn’t pollute your home.

 

Melt and Strain Method

We will assume that you have a small amount of beeswax to remove and this is not a large scale commercial operation. That would be a different process altogether.

  1. Gather all your wax together from your hives.
  2. Get a large saucepan and fill with water.
  3. Next wrap your beeswax in a thick layer of cheesecloth
  4. Bring your water to a boil and then put your beeswax wrapped in cheesecloth in the water.
  5. Over the next 10-15 minutes, your wax will begin to separate.
  6. All of the junk will settle at the bottom and the wax will float to the top.
  7. You’ll notice that your wax is still not totally clean from junk.
  8. Reheat your wax block and stain this time with a metal coffee stainer. Use this strainer only for beeswax as the wax is hard to remove.
  9. Keep doing this process until your wax is purified to your satisfaction.

Here is a brief video explaining this.