(Last Updated On: 21/06/2020)

Rendering Beeswax [the easy way] with Bruce White

A Step By Step Video

Rendering Beeswax THE EASY WAY Video shows a simple step by step solution that few people have demonstrated. This video is the third in our first series of Beekeeping for Beginners Videos. In this video we look at rendering beeswax the easy way. No need for a huge pot on a stove, or a specially modified urn. Just a few things almost everyone would have in their house is all that’s needed. It’s ideal for the amateur beekeeper with only 1 or 2 hives and it’s easy enough for almost anyone to do.

What You Will Need

Our method the render beeswax couldn’t be simpler. And better still it will cost you next to nothing because the things you will need are easily found in most homes. So, you will need the following:

  1. either wax cappings, old honeycomb or scrapings
  2. two plastic 4 litre ice cream containers
  3. about 50cm fine straining cloth (remnants can be purchased for less than $1 in a curtain shop)
  4. about 10 clothes pegs
  5. microwave oven

The Main Advantages of Rendering Beeswax this Way

Some of the main advantages with the method Bruce shows are:

  1. a microwave reduces chance of reaching flash point
  2. only putting beeswax scraps in the container means you are not wasting the honey, especially from cappings the honey is quite usable. But doing the same process on a stove means you need to add water thus wasting the honey
  3. the ice cream containers are disposable and cost virtually nothing and can be re-used for the same process in the future as opposed to using a metal pot or a double boiler that some people aren’t willing to buy especially for melting wax

The Advantages of Rendering Beeswax with Both Traditional and the Microwave Methods

There are advantages to both the traditional methods of rendering beeswax on a stove and the method shown here. If you have a lot of hives or a lot of beeswax to render in one hit, it can be better to use the traditional methods to get 1 or more big block of wax. However, the method shown in this video using a couple of 4 litre ice cream containers and a few other things is aimed at people with a lot less beeswax to render. The beeswax made from this method in 1 batch will get you a lot less than the stove top methods with buckets of beeswax scraps.

Video Contents

Chapters include:

00:00 intro to rendering beeswax

00:50 what you will need

01:18 rendering beeswax process

01:54 fitting straining cloth to container to filter impurities

02:10 preparing the beeswax for cooling

02:33 common impurities found in beeswax

03:20 alternative method of rendering beeswax without a strainer

03:48 the underside of wax block with slum gum & impurities

04:08 the high value of pure bees wax

04:57 pouring hot beeswax in strainer

06:32 liquid beeswax

06:41 block of beeswax prepared earlier

07:08 beeswax block set with honey on the bottom

Video Transcript Captions

The following is a transcript and captions from the above video, Rendering Beeswax [the Easy Way] with Bruce White OAM

0:00:19.180,0:00:24.500
everyone who owns bees eventually gets
round to extracting the honey from the

0:00:24.500,0:00:29.720
colonies when you extract the honey from the colonies & the two-thirds of the

0:00:29.720,0:00:36.699
frames capped and when you cut the wax
off the cap you get pure beeswax and

0:00:36.699,0:00:43.400
that pure beeswax is called wax cappings
and it is mixed with honey there are

0:00:43.400,0:00:48.410
several methods of refining beeswax so
what I’m going to talk about today is

0:00:48.410,0:00:52.760
the most simplest one and very
appropriate for beekeepers with small

0:00:52.760,0:00:58.460
numbers of hives if you’ve got small
numbers of hives and a microwave all you

0:00:58.460,0:01:06.440
need is some ice cream containers and a straining cloth and a microwave you get

0:01:06.440,0:01:10.760
the cappings mixed with honey you transfer
them into an ice cream container that’s

0:01:10.760,0:01:17.570
microwave friendly you put the ice cream
container in the microwave and set the

0:01:17.570,0:01:23.090
microwave for about 15 minutes now the
time is going to vary depending on the

0:01:23.090,0:01:27.170
strength of the microwave and the amount of honey and wax and you put in

0:01:27.170,0:01:35.450
the ice cream container the aim is to have the
whole lot liquid and you can check that

0:01:35.450,0:01:40.369
by opening the microwave and checking
that the whole lot’s liquid once the

0:01:40.369,0:01:45.409
whole lot is liquid the wax and honey
are mixed up together you then need

0:01:45.409,0:01:51.819
another ice cream container like this
one and you put a strainer on the top of

0:01:51.819,0:01:58.609
the ice cream container and with the
melting wax and honey but be careful you

0:01:58.609,0:02:04.490
pour that through this straining cloth
by pouring it through the straining

0:02:04.490,0:02:12.620
cloth only honey and pure beeswax ends
up in the container you need to let that

0:02:12.620,0:02:18.650
set and it takes a while for beeswax to
set and to cool down and you will end up

0:02:18.650,0:02:25.370
with pure beeswax that’s been strained
on the top and honey on the bottom so a

0:02:25.370,0:02:31.790
bit like milk and cream melted wax and
honey separate out with the wax going to

0:02:31.790,0:02:35.500
the top
in the straining cloth you will find

0:02:35.500,0:02:40.610
cocoons of bees that are dark in color
and they’re regarded as impurities in

0:02:40.610,0:02:46.100
beeswax once the whole block is set you
end up with pure beeswax that you can

0:02:46.100,0:02:52.160
trade in for comb Foundation beekeeping
supply places buy beeswax and it’s

0:02:52.160,0:02:57.860
quite a valuable byproduct of the hive it
melts at 62 degrees Celsius the honey

0:02:57.860,0:03:03.739
underneath is darker than normal but
still quite edible and perfectly cleaned

0:03:03.739,0:03:11.690
so you can take the block out get the
honey off it and put the honey into you

0:03:11.690,0:03:17.900
know a jar and that’s quite edible and
the block of wax is solid that you can

0:03:17.900,0:03:23.600
trade in and sell if you just melt the
whole lot up and don’t use a strainer

0:03:23.600,0:03:31.670
you end up with a block of beeswax like
that and it’s got the impurities of the

0:03:31.670,0:03:37.610
cocoons in the beeswax we turn this
block over which is cracked you’ll see

0:03:37.610,0:03:43.100
on the bottom it’s quite black and dark
so that’s called slum gum we look at an

0:03:43.100,0:03:47.720
angle like that we see the wax on the
top in the slum gum and impurities on

0:03:47.720,0:03:51.290
the bottom the honey will still be
perfectly clean if you do that and just

0:03:51.290,0:03:58.100
melt it up and leave it there but to
sell beeswax it needs to be strained and

0:03:58.100,0:04:03.350
clean and that’s what happens and we’ll
see that block in a little while once we

0:04:03.350,0:04:09.920
finish melting the wax down and you get
a pure block of beeswax… by all

0:04:09.920,0:04:15.230
means do this because wax is valuable
and it’s easy to sell to beekeeping

0:04:15.230,0:04:21.709
suppliers to buy more beekeeping equipment or comb Foundation or you can

0:04:21.709,0:04:24.979
use it yourself to make candles to make lips salv to

0:04:24.979,0:04:29.060
make hand creams there’s many formulas
that you can get you know to make your

0:04:29.060,0:04:36.380
own products from beeswax some people
sell beeswax on eBay and get quite a

0:04:36.380,0:04:41.650
high price for it so we’re never got
quite a hot mass in this container of

0:04:41.650,0:04:46.249
beeswax and honey and what we call slum gum which is

0:04:46.249,0:04:51.069
residues from the cells where the
cocoons were where the brood combs were

0:04:51.069,0:04:55.369
even though you extracted…
there’s been brood in some of the honey

0:04:55.369,0:05:00.919
combs as well so just quite hot so you
have to be careful that the ice cream

0:05:00.919,0:05:09.099
container is not that hot so now I’ve
got it very carefully pour this into the

0:05:09.099,0:05:19.669
straining cloth for it to run through so
if you just do it steadily that’s the

0:05:19.669,0:05:26.919
best way to do it
so the cloth doesn’t block up too much

0:05:28.029,0:05:35.509
so the honey in the wax is all now
completely mixed but when it cools then

0:05:35.509,0:05:42.649
we’ll have pure honey on the bottom and
pure beeswax on the top that will be a

0:05:42.649,0:05:50.049
marketable block of wax for you to sell
or to make products from

0:05:56.560,0:06:02.010
so there just need to wait for that to
run through the strainer

0:06:02.010,0:06:11.050
so once you’ve only got slum gum in the
strainer you can then carefully remove

0:06:11.050,0:06:32.889
the strainer and that will reveal you
know the clean block of beeswax

0:06:32.889,0:06:37.919
so that’s a block of clean wax

0:06:38.090,0:06:46.190
that’ll set fairly soon this is a block
I prepared yesterday and you’ll notice

0:06:46.190,0:06:52.790
that the wax is quite yellow quite clean
and it’s cracked because it cooled down

0:06:52.790,0:06:58.820
fairly quickly and you’ll notice some of
the honey has come through the cracks

0:06:58.820,0:07:05.000
and that’s the colour of the honey still
quite edible but darker than normal

0:07:05.000,0:07:10.610
because it’s been overheated okay so
this is unfortunately cracked but it’ll

0:07:10.610,0:07:18.169
just demonstrate you know the colour of
the honey and how clean the wax is on

0:07:18.169,0:07:27.460
the top and also on the bottom

0:07:28.689,0:07:37.659
so the idea now is to strain that honey
off it and you’ll end up with a block of

0:07:37.659,0:08:06.779
clean pure beeswax

This is the first set of a number of videos that members of the illawarra beekeepers Association are doing so that members can see first hand how different beekeepers carry out different operations for the management of their colonies over a 12 month period.”

See More Free Beekeeping Videos

We will be adding more beekeeping videos soon. And you can see other videos published already in the links below,