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Recipes

Beeswax is produced by bees in the form of tiny scales which are "sweated" from the segments on the underside of the abdomen. To stimulate production the bees gorge themselves with honey or sugar syrup and huddle together to raise the temperature of the cluster. To produce one pound of wax requires the bees to consume about ten pounds of honey.

At normal hive temperature of 37C (100F), wax can support a considerable weight and yet still be moulded by the bee's jaws. Beeswax melts at 64C (147F).

Beeswax has a high resistance to the passage of heat but if cooled quickly will become pale in colour, more brittle and liable to develop cracks due to rapid contraction. For this reason wax for exhibition is cooled as slowly as possible to preserve the texture and colour. To preserve the aroma of fresh wax it should never be raised more than a few degrees above melting point and then only for a short period.

When melting beeswax always use a water bath by placing the container of wax - probably a small saucepan - inside a larger pan of water. Never place a pan of wax directly on a hot plate or gas ring. Beeswax can easily become damaged by localised overheating and if it ignites can burn more ferociously than any chip pan fire. Beeswax does not boil - it just gets hotter and hotter until it ignites. Under no circumstances allow the temperature of the wax to exceed 100C. Children should not heat wax without the supervision of an adult.

Wax should only be melted in stainless steel, plastic, or tin plated containers. Iron rust and containers of galvanised iron, brass or copper all impart a colour to beeswax and aluminum is said to make the wax dull and mud coloured.

The uses for beeswax are many but these days the most common are for better quality candles, soap, skin care products, the coatings of sweets and pills, furniture polish, batik art, putting on drawer runners to make them slide smoothly and in quilting and heavy sewing it's put on the thread to ease its passing through tough materials. It is also used for lubricant in metal shops, die casters, printing presses, on surf boards, boogie boards, ice skates and many other items that need lubricating. Many of the following beeswax recipes, and more, can be found in Elaine White's excellent book "Super Formulas - How to make more than 360 useful products that contain honey and beeswax" published by Valley Hills Press, Starkville, Mississippi.

Beeswax Craft Recipes

Grafting Wax for Horticultural Purposes

Melt equal portions of resin and beeswax in a double boiler. Allow the mixture to cool and roll it out into sticks. Wrap in wax paper and store in a cool, dry place.

Sewing

Pull the thread through small blocks of beeswax. The wax stiffens and smooths the thread. This is especially useful when sewing hides and thick material.

Lip Balm

2 tsp coconut oil; 1 tsp beeswax; 1 vitamin E capsule

Melt together in a double boiler and pour into a container, allow to cool. There are endless variations using more and less of different ingredients for the lips. Various essential oils and flavours may be added to taste. For example essential oils of peppermint; rosemary; orange, lemon or vanilla.

Skin Cream

71 gms beeswax; 113 gms lanolin; 151 gms baby or mineral oil; 170 gms water; 4.38 gms of borax (sodium borate CP); fragrance or essential oil (optional).

Melt the oil, lanolin and beeswax to 160 degrees F (72 degrees C). Heat the borax and water in a separate container to 160 degrees F. Be sure the borax is dissolved and the wax is melted. Add the water mixture to the oil mixture while stirring briskly. When white cream forms, stir slowly until the mixture cools to 100 degrees F. Pour it into small wide-mouth jars.

Moisturising Vitamin E Cream

113.4 gms sweet almond oil; 28.35 gms beeswax; 56.7 gms water; 5 ml drops Vitamin E oil; 5 ml lavender essential oil

Melt the oil and the wax in a double boiler. Remove from heat, add water and stir thoroughly. Add Vitamin E, essential oil and stir continuously until cool. This cream is very mosturising and emollient. When cool enough pour into salve jars.

Antiseptic Balm

58 gms beeswax; 85 gms sweet almond oil; 28 gms jojoba oil; 10 mls wheatgerm oil, 10 mls myrrh essential oil; 10 mls tea tree essential oil

Heat the sweet almond and jojoba oils in a saucepan and add beeswax. A rule of thumb is 2 parts oil to one part beeswax but this can be varied according to the desired consistency . Allow the base to cool to see what the consistency is like. If it's too thick add more sweet almond oil and reheat; too thin add more beeswax. As the base is cooling add the essential oils to enhance the healing effect of the balm. When cool enough pour into salve jars.

Body Lotion (by Amy Jenner)

226 gms (1 cup) of aloe vera gel; 5 mls (1 tspn) of lanolin; 5 mls (1 tspn) of vitamin E oil; 80 mls (1/3 cup) of coconut oil; 14 gms (1/2 oz) of beeswax; 177 mls (3/4 cup) of almond oil; up to 7 mls (1-1/2 tspns) of essential oil of your choice or more to prolong scent.

Place aloe vera gel, lanolin and vitamin E oil in a blender or food processor. Place coconut oil and beeswax in a double boiler and heat until melted. Stir in almond oil, reheating if necessary. Run blender at low to medium speed, then pour in melted oils in a thick stream. As the oils is blended in the cream will turn white and the blender's motor will begin to grin. As soon as you have a mayonnaise-like consistency, stop motor, add essential oils and pulse blend. Do not overblend. Transfer cream to glass jars while still warm because it thickens quickly.

Sweet Lavender Ointment

113 gms sweet olive oil; 85 gms to 113 gms of beeswax; 28 gms cocoa butter; 7 mls (15 drops) Vitamin E oil; 15 mls lavender essential oil

Combine the sweet olive oil, beeswax, cocoa butter and heat thoroughly in the top of a double boiler. Remove from the heat. Add the Vitamin E, lavender oil and beat well. Pour into salve jars and allow to cool before covering.

Rich Hand Cream (by Rosemary Gladstar)

177 mls (3/4 cup) sweet almond oil; 80 mls (1/3 cup) coconut oil or cocoa butter; 5 mls (1 tspn) lanolin; 14 grams (1/2 oz) grated beeswax

Melt ingredients together over low heat and cool to room temperature. When cool, add

160 mls (2/3 cup) rosewater; 118 mls (1/2 cup) aloe vera gel; 1-2 drops rose blend EO; 5 drops Vitamin E oil

Whip all ingredients to a smooth consistency. Store in a sterile covered jar.

Art Mediums with Beeswax

Wax Crayons

Parts by weight:- 2 parts beeswax; 1 part talc; pigment

Melt the wax in a microwave or double boiler. Stir in the talc and dry artist's pigment or fresco colours. Pour the mixture into a lubricated aluminium foil mould. The crayon may be melted again and more pigment added until it is the exact colour desired. These crayons should not be used by children because some pigments are not food safe.

Wax Pastel Crayons

Parts by weight - 1 part grated soap; 1 part beeswax; pigment

Melt the beeswax in a double boiler. Add the grated soap and stir until the soap melts and the mixture is smooth. Colour the mixture with dry artist's pigments or fresco colours. Pour it into lubricated aluminium foil moulds. After testing the crayon it can be melted again and more pigment added. These crayons should not be used by children.

Wax Pastels for Children

Follow the directions above for wax pastel crayons using concentrated food colouring paste as the pigment. The paste is sold with cake decorating supplies. The crayons are food safe and they blend well. Their colour is almost as concentrated as the crayons made with artist's pigment.

Beeswax Sealing Wax

In ancient times Seals were a sign of tradition signifying dignity and standing. Today they are used for fun as a way to personalise letters such as wedding invitations.

The Sealing Wax:- You can make sealing wax by adding the resin of your choice and heating them together in a double boiler. A good proportion to try is two thirds beeswax and one third resin - the more resin you add, the harder the wax The traditional medieval resin is damar but any resin will work (eg frankincense and myrrh). Grind the resin to a powder in a coffer grinder and mix with wax. Any natural pigment will can be used for colouring (eg. alkanet, indigo or asphaltum). Add the smallest amount possible to colour the wax so that it doesn't get gritty and break up.

Moulding:- Sealing wax is moulded the same as a candle (with a wick in the centre). A self contained wick is not essential. Sealing wax can be melted over a flame such as a cigarette lighter. Several sheets of aluminium can be used as a mould. Shape the foil into a mould about 1/4 inch wide and six inches long and lubricate with a little cooking oil.

Making the Seal:- First close your envelope and seal it. Then prepare the seal by moistening the stamp thoroughly with a wet sponge or by rubbing a little oil over the stamping portion of the seal. This is to ensure that no wax will adhere to the stamp. Now light the wick of the sealing wax stick and hold it at an angle. Drop enough wax on the flap of the envelope. The amount of wax that you use depends on how elaborate an impression you wish to make. Now blow out the flame when there is enough wax on the envelope. Use the wax stick underside to stir around the molten wax in circular fashion thereby blending the wax and creating a smooth edge. Take the moistened seal and press gently into the soft wax. Hold it there firmly for a few seconds, then pull the seal up. If the wax dries too quickly to suit you, repeat the same procedure. Use sealing wax in a draft-free area. Sealing wax is not recommended for use by young children.

Disclaimer

This information is provided for use on a personal basis only. The information provided is for cosmetic purposes only and is not intended to be medicinal at all. If you have medical conditions we recommend seeing a qualified health care practitioner for advice before making and using these products.


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