Success! Homemade Solar Wax Reducer!

I told myself when I began my beekeeping hobby that I would not spend a lot of money on it.  Right!  Have you told yourself that before?  I have spent a lot more than I ever thought I would.  The sales of honey don’t quite match up to what I spend somehow.  Beekeepers must love the hobby to say involved.  I have plenty of family and friends who like to help me consume my honey and it does make a wonderful gift.  I love the wax as well.  The candles smell yummy, even when they are not burning.  When they are burning, I don’t have to worry about the wax dripping.  It also makes great soap.

Separating the wax from the unusable debris and any residual honey is a messy, time consuming process.  After rendering the wax in my kitchen I began my research into doing it outside of my kitchen!  I really wanted to go solar but everything I was finding was costly.  I just didn’t want to spend the money.  I found a YouTube video that was close to what a wanted but was still too complicated.  So I came up with my own design.  It has worked great, cost under $5.00, and I can do it outside.

The materials I used were a purchased Styrofoam cooler, a black trash bag, some painters tape, a piece of clear Lexan I had in the garage, a small black lasagna frozen food tray, and an aluminum cake pan.  I lined the cooler with the black trash bag and then taped it around the outside of the cooler to hold it down.  I fit the frozen food tray into the cooler to catch the clean wax.  Then, I punched holes in the bend of one short side of the cake pan with a fine tapestry needle (not a small as a hand sewing needle but not a large as a wool darning needle).  I fit the pan inside the cooler at an angle and taped the un-punched side to the top edge allowing the punched side to hang above the frozen food tray.  The wax cappings were dropped in the top part of the cake pan and the Lexan was just laid over the top.

I went away and left it alone and came back the next day.  Sweet!  The clean wax had melted and collected in the frozen food tray along with some excess honey.  The debris was left behind in the cake pan which I have been able to reuse several times before cleaning or throwing away.

This method has been great and allows me to process wax when I pull one or all ten frames of honey from a hive.  The bag did melt in one place but I’m still happy with this method!

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