How to Render Beeswax the Easy Way

How to Render Beeswax the Easy Way
 

In the last post I wrote about my new honey press, which is actually a fruit press made for crushing apples and grapes. It works great for pressing honey. So after all of the honey is pressed out of the comb, what do you do with the smashed, crushed pieces of propolis covered comb? I tried lots of different ways of cleaning and melting it using crockpots, stovetops, and the sun (which in Arizona is pretty effective in the summer). But the most reliable and easy way of rendering wax in my experience is in the oven.

 

It is almost like magic to me. I pile this brown, dirty-looking comb on a paper towel and at the end comes this marigold yellow beeswax. Like how does that happen? It’s so cool!

 

This is what it looks like when you start.

 
pile of honeycomb
Pile of pressed honeycomb ready to be melted.
 

I use a broiler pan, which has a slotted pan on top of a deeper solid pan. Then I place one layer of paper towels over it and then pile the comb on top of that.

 

*Make sure to fill the bottom pan half full of water.

 

Turn the oven to 200 degrees F, and wait a few hours until all the wax is melted. You can leave it overnight if you want.

 
Remains of melted honeycomb.
 

Once the wax has melted you will have the remains of propolis and other things that didn’t melt through the paper towel. Hint: Make sure to remove the paper towel and unfiltered remnants of the comb while the pan is still warm so that it comes off easily. Once that cools, you can tear or cut it into pieces to be used as fire starters for camping or barbecuing.

 

Beautiful, Clean Beeswax!

 
Cooled beeswax
 

Under the broiler slotted pan you will see a clean layer of wax floating on the water. Once it has cooled you can lift if off and break it into pieces for use in making salves, lib balms, candles, or whatever else your heart desires.

 
Gallon-size Ziplock bags with ready-to-use clean beeswax.

4 thoughts on “How to Render Beeswax the Easy Way

  1. I used this method with a disk of wax about 6 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick. It was full of propolis and gunk and i needed to filter it. However, when i did this, about 5% of the wax, if that much, ended up in the pan, and the rest just got soaked up by the paper towel. I went from a good pound of wax to having nothing usable left!! I only used a single layer of paper towel like you said. Is this supposed to happen?! What went wrong?

    • Post Author cricket

      Wow. I’ve not had that experience. I do have wax soak into the paper towel for sure but I usually am rendering some pretty old comb from removals so I do end up with a lot of dark propolis and wax on the towel. It’s hard to imagine the paper towel holding that much wax. Can you melt it again and squeeze out the towel? Wish I had a better answer for you.

    • My thoughts are that there probably wasn’t that much “real wax” in the pile of gunk. More propolis and dead bee parts and things. Use some window screen instead of paper towel for first go around and then on second try use paper towel. Just my thoughts. Wax is good.

      • uYes, the window screen works well. I use a window screen in my solar wax melter, paper towel the second time around. found that works best for me.

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