In addition to honey, a beehive can provide other goodies like wax, pollen pellets and propolis. With a top bar hive, you get wax when you harvest the honey. In a Langstroth hive, the honey is spun out of the honeycomb and the comb is reused. It takes a lot of effort for the bees to make wax for the comb and some would argue that the top bar method is a strain on the bees. Others (like me) argue that reusing wax over and over is bad for the bees because over time, pesticides build up in the comb and the cells get smaller and smaller. It’s like vi vs. emacs – I like simplicity (vi).
From the honey harvests I did last fall, I got some wax that has been sitting in my freezer. So today, I used some of that to make lip balm. I had been procrastinating because I thought it would be hard to make. On the contrary it is a cinch to make:
- 2 oz beeswax (1/4 cup)
- 1 cup of sunflower oil
- a few drops of lavendar oil (or other essential oil)
Melt the beeswax in the oil in a double boiler. Stick a spoon in the melt and then stick it in the freezer for a few seconds. If it’s too hard, add more oil. Too soft, add more beeswax. Pour into lip balm tubes. I got mine from lipbalmtubes.com. Thanks to Rebecca at Rebecca’s Herbal Apothocary in Boulder for the spoon in the freezer trick (and the lavendar oil).
I found I could do some cool things with Picassa, so I made a label:
I’ll never buy lip balm again.