Processing beeswax

Bindaree will, depending on demand, buy reasonably clean processed beeswax.

In the processing we are talking about, beeswax is melted. Cappings from extracting, old combs, and scraps can be processed. A solar wax melter can be used to provide clean processed beeswax.

Another method is process beeswax in water. Small quantities of wax are placed in a porous bag under water. The bag is weighted because wax is lighter than water. The water is heated to a temperature of between 75 and 80 degrees, but not boiled. The wax melts and rises to the surface leaving rubbish in the bag. The water is allowed to cool, and the wax will solidify in a block on top of the water. Impurities can be scraped from the bottom o f the block.

Several small blocks can be amalgamated by putting them in one container of water and heating to a little over melting point. A larger block will solidify when the wax cools. If using this method of processing:

  • Use rainwater to which a little vinegar has been added
  • Use stainless steel, aluminium, nickel, tin or unchipped enamel containers, not iron, zinc, brass or copper

Cautions about wax processing

  • wax is flammable. Never apply direct heat or place a container of wax over an open flame because of the fire hazard. Once wax catches fire it is very volatile and extremely hard to extinguish. Always heat wax with water, or in a saucepan placed in another saucepan filled with water
  • never reclaim wax from hives affected by American Foul Brood (AFB) disease
  • take care not to overheat wax, consider 85 to 90 degrees C a maximum.

Although not necessary for Bindaree purposes, there are more tips on filtering beeswax.