After we finished our honey project last night, Ron took the spent frames out to the garden and set them next to the beehive so the girls could clean them up. They were very excited about this, as you can see from the picture.
Meanwhile, back in the kitchen, I spent part of this evening rendering beeswax. It wasn’t nearly as difficult or scary as the stuff I read online made it out to be.
It’s pretty simple: After straining out as much of the honey as possible, you put the spent comb in a mesh bag, close it up, and heat it in a pan of water until the wax melts. The wax floats to the top of the pan, while the impurities stay in the bag. Once it cools, you have a nice sheet of beeswax floating on top of the water.
This is how the impurities looked:
And this is how the wax looked:
The color is a little off because I was too lazy to bother getting out the flash unit, but you get the idea. A finer mesh bag would have removed more of the impurities, and a few rocks in the bag would have kept it from floating up and sticking to the bottom of the wax as it cooled, but I think this is pretty good for a first try.
On an unrelated note, this is the new and improved compost pile. You can see how big it is. Pay close attention, because it will look different the next time you see it. 🙂