The picture to the right is the wax before we cleaned the wax. There are also honeycombs and honey in the wax. When you feel the wax, it is crumbly, sticky and waxy. If you taste it you can taste honey in the wax. We started out with a 5 gallon bucket of beeswax that needed to be cleaned. We used less than half of the bucket and ended up with approximately 2lbs of wax and a quart of a honey byproduct that we are still searching for a use as we never like to throw things away.
Melting the wax - the wax is placed into an old kettle (that will forever become your wax melting kettle since it is very difficult to remove all of the wax from the kettle after it has been cleaned) in a double boiler and left to melt. It is best to let the wax melt without a lot of stirring.
Straining the wax - once the wax is melted, you need to strain the dirt, bees, and honey from the beeswax. This is done by pouring the wax through pantyhose or a stocking. The picture to the right, shows the debris that is left in the pantyhose once you've strained all of the melted wax. As you can see, some wax has already hardened. I find it best to warm all of the tools I'm using in this process, that will keep the wax from cooling and hardening.
Cooling the wax - The photo bottom left shows the wax as it is cooling. The wax is lighter than the honey that has made it through the straining process and will rise to the top as it cools
Preparing for the final melt - Once the wax is completely cool it will easily slide out of the bucket, you have to clean the remaining byproduct (something that resembles honey and molasses) from the wax. In my case we had to cut the bottom layer of wax off and scrub the sides of the wax before melting.
The final picture shows two bars of our wax, along with a chunk of wax I purchased from a natural food store. I think our wax is so much more beautiful than the purchased wax, and it smells so good, you can smell the honey that was once stored inside that wax.
We were able to make a large batch of the lotion bug rub, so we have plenty in stock for the remainder of your summer.