Silly question......

Discussion in 'Beekeeping' started by Balancedmom2003, May 13, 2004.

  1. Balancedmom2003

    Balancedmom2003 Well-Known Member

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    Ok, I have no experience with bees but I intend to do research and have a hive on my homestead. I was wondering if anyone who does keep hives uses the comb to make the wax candles? A lady I did buy honey from always sold "honeycomb candles" ......well that was interesting until I went to a local craft store where they sell sheets of the stuff..... I was wondering if it were possible to get this product from your own hive, if so, how difficult, etc..... I am gonna have to come and sit in with all you folks from NC and get info on beginning a hive!

    Thanks,
    Michele
     
  2. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    First, no question is stupid! Second, are you talking about rolled candles or poured candles? Rolled candles are very easy to make, you just use the wax foundation that you order (taper the end if you want)and place a wick on the end and roll! Pour candles involve a lot more. You must first melt the wax, strain it until it is clean, heat it enough to pour into molds and then you will have to finish them (flat bottoms and clean sides), takes more time and skill. Debbie
     

  3. Balancedmom2003

    Balancedmom2003 Well-Known Member

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    Hi Queen,

    I have made the poured candles before and I have made the rolled candles. I was just wondering if it were possible to use the wax from the honeycombs, that the bees would supply, to create your own candles? You know, process it and make it into the sheets that could be rolled.

    Thanks for getting back to me so fast!

    Michele

    P.S. I think we are close neighbors..... don't you live in Moore Co? I live in Harnett!
     
  4. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    Balancedmom2003,

    It is possible to use the comb that the bees produce to make candles. You really don't want to take usable comb form the bees as it means they spend more time and energy making comb rather than producing honey, etc.

    If you keep bees you will end up getting wax from cappings, burr comb and old/damaged comb. You will need to clean the wax before making your candles. One hint is to seperate your lighter colored wax from the dark (The wax in the brood frams tends to get quite dark).

    Hope this helps.

    Mike
     
  5. Balancedmom2003

    Balancedmom2003 Well-Known Member

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    * Posted by Mike in Ohio*
    It is possible to use the comb that the bees produce to make candles. You really don't want to take usable comb form the bees as it means they spend more time and energy making comb rather than producing honey, etc.

    If you keep bees you will end up getting wax from cappings, burr comb and old/damaged comb. You will need to clean the wax before making your candles. One hint is to seperate your lighter colored wax from the dark (The wax in the brood frams tends to get quite dark).

    Hope this helps.

    Mike

    Thank you Mike!
    That is exactly what I am talking about. When I become interested in a homestead project I try to look at it from all angles, how many ways I can use one specific project. Bees would give me pollination, honey and as you say the old/damaged wax for candles. Thank you so much!

    Michele
     
  6. justgojumpit

    justgojumpit Well-Known Member

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    if you choose to keep your bees in a top-bar hive, the bees will build natural comb from the top bars, instead of using foundation in frames. you then harvest honey by cutting these combs off the top bars. now you can either keep this as comb honey or you can press the comb to get the honey out. you are left with crushed wax with trace amounts of honey in it. put this wax in a strainer and run under warm - not too hot or you'll melt the wax! - water to get the last bit of honey out. then you can melt this wax - with a strainer in the pot to heat the strainer. use a double boiler for this! then pour your wax through this strainer into another pot. i use coffee cans so my pots dont get covered in wax. re-heat if necessary. now you are ready to pour into molds. enjoy! processing your own wax into the imprinted sheets is not economical, because the cost of the press needed to do this is out of this world.

    justgojumpit
     
  7. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    The candles you saw are not actually honeycomb. They are sheets of foundation that are rolled into candles. The foundation is made from old beeswax that has been purified, rolled and then stamped with that honeycomb pattern. Foundation is installed in a wood frame and then installed in the hive. It gives the bees a "foundation" or a pattern to draw out the comb where you want it.