Monday, September 27, 2010
That'll give you, uh, bees.
It's spring! Or whatever the Australian Queensland semblance of spring is! Of course that means my apples are blossoming and fruit is fruiting and bees are buzzing. Which of course means honey and wax! For those of you that know me, you might know I make candles. What you probably don't know is the process. It's fucking gross. So I thought I'd share with you.
This is unrefined beeswax. Well, the ones below the top one are. The top one has been refined one whole time and then when I realized the batch was too large for my pot, I had to break it down into smaller batches to refine a further three times. To refine wax in your own home, you simply put it in a pot, turn up the heat, watch until the wax melts (try not to boil) and then turn it off.
It should look like this as it starts to cool. This is a 3rd refinement. It went through four total. After it gets to thgis stage it hardens and cools for about half a day (since the wax seals the top as it hardens, it keeps the pot quite warm for awhile). The bottom of the wax is covered in scungy stuff. Old beetles, dead bees, wax moth poo... everything. As a matter of fact, here's my sink after I've finished cleaning the wax:
How I can turn something like this into a candle is amazing. I'll update later on how that process works, but hey, now you can scrape bee guts and refine wax in your own time!