DIY Honey Hand Salve

Use this basic recipe and your favorite ingredients from the beehive to create a personalized hand salve that’s perfectly suited to your skin.

| August/September 2019


Readers, this is the eighth of 12 basic skills we’re presenting throughout 2019 from Kimberlee Bastien’s book 52 Homestead Skills (available below). We invite you to join Kimberlee’s family on their journey to self-sufficiency. Visit 52 Homestead Skills on our website to learn more about this series.

While on my journey to teach myself one new homesteading skill each week for a year, I focused on beekeeping during August. I bought a Bee Gym to help rid my hive of varroa mites, and watched it go wrong. Heartbroken, I scraped away problematically placed burr comb that was full of bee larvae, but I learned that I may have actually done my bees a favor by ridding the hive of the mites that would have reproduced in those same cells. And while I didn’t expect catching a swarm to be one of the skills I learned, half my bees decided they’d had enough of me and were leaving the hive. But I caught those troublemakers and put them in a new home.

Through these trials, I made sure products gathered from my hives didn’t go to waste. When my bees weren’t able to make enough honey to share, I tagged along with my mentor at his apiary to see how he removed supers and extracted honey from his frames. Back at my own hive, I learned how to render honeycomb into clean and pure beeswax, which I use to make hand salve and lip balm. The resulting honey salve is the best, least expensive hand moisturizer you’ll ever use.

Add more oil to the mix for a softer hand salve, or more beeswax for a firmer final consistency.

Beeswax: I use 1 part beeswax to 4 parts oil. If you like a softer salve for your hands, add more oil. If you like a harder salve, use more wax. Experiment to determine the best consistency for your skin.

Skylar Friel
9/22/2019 12:07:06 PM

Thanks for writing this, I will be trying it soon.

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