“Beekeeper’s Lab” by Kim Lehman provides 52 fun projects for beekeepers to make for their bees and using products from the hive. This excerpt shows how to make candles out of beeswax.
You can purchase this book from the MOTHER EARTH NEWS store: Beekeeper’s Lab
Dipping candles has a way of taking us back to another time and place. All you really need is some wax and a wick, and time to make these useful candles.
You Will Need• Newsprint or cardboard
• Double boiler
• Large coffee can or tall metal container
• 2/0 or 1/0 square braid wicking
• Hex nuts
• Scissors or sharp knife
• Tall container of cool water
• Candy or deep-frying thermometer
• Ruler and bucket
1. Set up a workstation with newsprint to protect your work surface and cardboard to protect the floor.
2. In a double boiler, melt enough beeswax to fill a tall metal container about 1 in. (2.5 cm) from the top.
3. To dip two candles at once, cut the wick about two and a half times the length of the dipping container. Tie a hex nut at each end of the wick.
4. Hold the wick in the middle. Lower into the wax to soak for a few seconds.
5. If the wick is not smooth when removed from the wax, cool it a bit and then run your fingers down each side.
6. Begin the dipping process. Dip in the wax and then dip in cool water.
7. Pull down on the hex nuts occasionally to straighten the wicks, especially toward the beginning of the process. Dip until the desired diameter is reached.
8. Cool a bit before cutting off the hex nuts with scissors or a sharp knife. Remelt the wax end.
9. Increase the wax temperature to 180 degrees Farenheit (check with a thermometer) and dip one last time.
10. Hang the candles to dry. A simple hanger for shorter candles can be made by laying a ruler over the top of a bucket or pot.
Take It Further
Try flattening a warm dipped candle with a rolling pin. Holding the top and bottom, twist the candle into a spiral. Dip one last time.
Keep wax away from open flames. Unplug heating source when not in use.
More from Beekeeper's Lab:
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Beekeeper’s Lab by Kim Lehman, published by Quarry Books, 2017. Buy this book from our store: Beekeeper’s Lab.