Sunday, June 10, 2012

What in the Bee's Wax is Going On??

Beautifully golden in color, it is one of nature’s perfect products…

Did you know...that throughout history in Europe people actually paid their taxes with beeswax ? I am not so sure that Uncle Sam would let us do that now but if he did, why, everyone would be raising bees!  Let me tell you something else while I'm at it...beeswax  makes the   finest candlesbecause the wax is so pure and burns so clean. The Catholic churches (and maybe other churches) burned them forcenturies because of that very reason.
In our working with the bees, after we rob them and harvest the honey the beeswax remains. When I was a child, chewing wax with globs of honey still attached was a HUGE TREAT. For children with very little pocket money, it was the BEST!
     Sometimes we like to leave the wax for the bees but sometimes I like to find ways to use it. Before I can re-purpose the wax it must be cleaned. There are  impurities in that sweet golden mess and throughout the process of being cleaned or washed you will be able to see just how dirty the wax really is. 

Kind of looks like fried bacon!
I can tell you one thing, I was downright surprised at how much debris is embedded in the wax. Nothing toxic, it just looks like something I would not want to eat. For all I know, it might be absolutely delicious but I won't be trying it just yet. Oh wait! Come to think of it, if I eat honeycomb in its natural state - and I do - then I am ingesting this stuff. Has it made me sick? Nope. Absolutely not.

It's actually a very simple process to clean beeswax. Grab an old crock pot and fill halfway with warm water. Place the beeswax into the pot and heat with the lowest temperature. After the wax has melted (remember, it's a crock pot so it will take a bit of time) the impurities just sink to the bottom and the clean wax will float. Unplug the crock pot and let the wax cool completely.
When the wax is cool to the touch, remove it and pour off the dirty water. Hey, don't pour this stuff down your sink! Pitch it outside on the ground.
If you see brown spots on the hardened wax it will need to be cleaned once more so repeat the process.
Once you have done that - what do you have to show for it?
Cakes of clean & bee-u-ti-ful golden wax!
You may ask..."Beeswax? So what! Whatcha gonna do with it now that you got it?"
Well, just you wait and see!

No comments:

Post a Comment