Candlemaking

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by justgojumpit, Oct 14, 2004.

  1. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Hey, do any of you make candles from your wax?

    I have made a few candles for our own use, and then, after speaking with the owner of the store where i sell my eggs and honey, i decided to purchase molds to make votive candles, wicks, and 20 lbs of beeswax.

    I can make 12 candles at a time with my molds, and then bring them to the store for sale. I will sell the votives to the store for $2.00 each. they will easily sell for $2.50 retail. My investment in the molds, wicks, and wax was $150 including shipping, and the sales from the candles will get me $370 ($220 net for the first batch). After that, i can buy more wicks and wax for another set of candles for $90 including shipping, so each successive batch will make me $280) If the candles sell well, i am also considering making some scented paraffin candles, which will be cheaper for me to produce than the beeswax candles. I am also considering taper and tealight candles if sales are good. I was wondering if perhaps some of you also made candles?

    justgojumpit
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I see you mention scented candles. I think this would be popular.
    They sell here a lot in the specialty shops, even in the bulk food store, drug store...everywhere it seems, so it's obviously a popularly sold item. These are the small ones that are about 3" high and about same diameter for about $1.50 each. The 'flavors' of the scents like apple spice, balsam, pumkin pie spice (I know the women where I worked before talk about this as a favorite) and even Rain (a subtle, but great scent). These candles aren't marked bees wax, but do have a special display unit and brand name you've probably seen these.
    I can see that a natural wax candles like these if you could scent them special could be sought after, especially if a popular marketing idea with brand associated and to your honey customers as an 'add on' sale.
    I see these scented candles also poured into a metal sealed can. I've bought those before as a gifts to a friend who really liked it. I wouldn't think those even require a mold, except that there would be a cost for the metal containers. They would hold a label forever.
    I may be getting ahead of myself, because I'm not sure you can make a scented candle from beeswax? Can you?
     

  3. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    no, since beeswax is naturally scented, it is not advisable to add a scent, but i could make the scented candles with paraffin and leave the beeswax candles with their natural scent

    justgojumpit
     
  4. Jenco

    Jenco Well-Known Member

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    Justgojumpit, why don't you use the beeswax created by your own bees? How would you harvest the beeswax from your own hives? Is beeswax considered part of the honeycomb? I know these seem like simple questions :eek: , but I don't really know too much about bees or beekeeping. (which is why I troll so much...I'm quite eager to learn! :D )
     
  5. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've been making pure beeswax candles in antigue type tin molds and they sell well. I got stress cracks in the last batch and I don't know why.
     
  6. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Jenco, i have used the beeswax from my own hives, the problem is that with three hives, i don't produce all that much wax. also, the wax is the honeycomb, which means that, if you harvest the wax, the bees need to draw out new frames next year, reducing honey production. Since i didn't have an extractor this year, i had to destroy the combs anyway. What i do is squeeze all the honey i can out of the combs and then put the balls of raw wax into a coffee can with about four inches of water in it. I have the water just below the boiling point so i don't mix the melting wax. any pollen, leftover honey, and debris will sink below the molten wax, which has the lowest density of anything in the coffee can. Now that all is separated, allow the whole coffee can to cool. now take tin snips and cut open the coffee can (outisde!) as you peel the tin away from the block of wax, you will get down to the water and debris. remove any debris stuck to the bottom of your hunk of wax. now you are ready to make your candles! I prefer to buy the wax because this means my hives can produce more honey, which is more valuable to me than their wax. (for each pound of wax produced, the bees must first consume seven pounds of honey.

    justgojumpit
     
  7. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    On my first attempt to make votif candles, I found that they were miserable to get out of the mold and the wick was wrong for them so they didn't burn well.

    I will not try again unless I have a different mold and wick. Unfortunately, I had already given a candle to a friend of my daughters. It probably did not impress her much. :(

    I suppose the moral of my story is to burn a candle yourself before you give any away or sell them.
     
  8. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    i just made 215 votive candles this weekend, which are selling at a local store for $2.00 each. (i bought 20 lbs of beeswax from betterbee.com)

    the mold i also bought from betterbee worked wonderfully. i bought two of their metal votive molds, which made 6 votives each. i also bought the wick pins to go with them, which made things a lot easier. once the wax is cool enought, i removed the candles from the mold by the piece of the pin that stuck up (using pliers to get a good hold) and then (by holding the candle upside down and pushing the pin down on a piece of wood) removed the pin. then you just slide a wick into the hole made by the wick pin and you're good to go!

    Terri, did you use mold release??? that might help!

    you can buy that too at betterbee.com!

    justgojumpit
     
  9. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    Terri, i also found that if there was any wax in the mold before i sprayed, the wax melted off, taking the spray, which was over the wax, with it. (i forgot to spray the first time and made a mess; sprayed over the wax that i couldn't get out the second time and made another mess ;) ) i wound up having to melt the wax in the molds and soak it up with toilet paper to get the mold clean again so the spray would do it's job properly.

    justgojumpit
     
  10. Terri

    Terri Singletree & Weight Loss & Permaculture Moderator Staff Member Supporter

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    Nope. This happened the first time that I used them. I think that I just plain need different things to make candles with. :yeeha:
     
  11. brosil

    brosil Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Try olive oil as a mold release. It works well for me.