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Coconut, Honey, Beeswax Lipbalm

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Someone asked me a few weeks ago, “What do you do with all the beeswax from your honey extraction?”

Good question. I have saved almost all of it. I have tried to segregate the lighter cappings wax  from the more yellow comb wax. With my stock of wax decided to try my hand at making lip balm – move over Burt’s   Bees, Bishop’s Bees is moving in. 

I don’t intend to “bee” a threat to his business. Next spring I will have table at some “Farmers Markets” in the area to sell my raw local honey and to have some value added products to sell. Hopefully to draw some more folks in. The lip balm may be one of a few products.  I have plans for honey straws, more creamed honey of several flavors and possibly some honey wine vinegar. 

I made batch 1 of the lip balm today. This is a test batch. I weighed out 1 ounce of light beeswax, 2 ounces of organic coconut oil and 1/2 tsp of honey. All melted together and then divided into some small tins and a couple of tubes. All went pretty well. The only issue was the reluctance of the honey to blend into the melted oils and wax. More research to do. 

I intend to hand these few out, gather feedback and adjust going forward. 

  
Coconut oil to start with.

  
A look at some of the differences in color of beeswax. 

  
A few of the first batch samples. 

I will get some feedback and modify the recipe going forward. I am wanting to find a way to bring the flavor and aroma of honey out a little more for batch # 2. 
TTFN

Bishop

Harvesting a Little Honey

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While inspecting my hive this past week I was pleased to see that the medium super above the brood box was chock full of capped honey…..all 10 frames. The medium super above it was not showing any signs of activity so I decided to move some things around and in the process, harvest some honey.

I removed the top super and set it off to the side. I then pried loose the bottom super. It was heavy and loaded with honey. I removed two of the full frames and took two untouched frames from the top super and inserted them in the bottom one. I shooed the bees off of the full frames, took them inside and began the extraction process. I used the scrape and squeeze method. I used a fork to uncap and scrape the honey and beeswax into a big pan. I then used a spatula to scrape as much as I could from the frame without disturbing the base layer. I poured the honey and beeswax through a sieve. I then gently squeezed the beeswax sitting in the sieve to get as much honey as I could. My reward, about 4.5 lbs. of tasty and dark  honey.

A quart jar for me and a pint jar for Lisa.

A quart jar for me and a pint jar for Lisa. The extracted frames in the background.

Once the frames were mostly cleaned up and barely dripping I placed the wet frames into the top super as a lure to begin filling the top. I had four and half pounds, that  is ~ 1.5 quarts of honey. My beekeeper daughter gets the pint jar and I have the quart jar. Retail – at about $ 5.00 per pound,  that is $ 22.50 toward paying out my investment…The CFO is curious when that threshold will be met. Hmmmmm, 1.76 year payout Hun!

Clean-up easy and minimizes or eliminates waste. The honey coated beeswax after the extraction process is placed out near the hive and in less than an hour the message gets sent and the clean up begins. I was tempted to chew all of the beeswax to get most of the honey out, but, I had licked the bowl and spatula enough! Let the bees take it back into the hive!

Bees working on the honey coated beeswax. They were making great progress.

Bees working on the honey coated beeswax. They were making great progress.

I hope I don't gross you out but this is a wad of beeswax that I had chewed on for a bit. Less than two seconds after I set it down the work had begun.

I hope I don’t gross you out but this is a wad of beeswax that I had chewed on for a bit. Less than two seconds after I set it down the work had begun.

iPhone photos….batteries had died on my other cameras and I had not been diligent! They turned out well enough, I think!

TTFN

Bishop

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