Monday, August 15, 2016


One of my last projects for the summer was the construction of this solar melter. As bee keepers, we end up with a LOT of wax cappings from the supers. When bees have collected the nectar and put the resultant honey in the comb, they fan it with their wings until the water content is Just Right. How they do this is a mystery (isn't it wonderful?), but once it reaches that magic number, they seal it right up and move on. To "spin" the honey, which means to extract it from the foundation, we have to first crack the cap on the cell. All those little bits of wax have precious honey on them which we don't want to waste. We put some back out for the girls, but the rest we have saved with plans to put in the solar melter, thus separating the wax bits from the honey.

 The solar melter is just what it sounds like -- a passive solar collector which heats up the wax to melting, allowing the honey to run right off while the wax is caught in a netting, dried, and then used for making candles or even right back to the girls to recycle into their new foundation.

I have been longing for a solar oven, too, but they are just out of my reach. Then, I realized -- this guy has a tin insert, a glass cover, and, by all rights, should operate the same way! I am so excited to see if this will substitute for the oven! I plan on painting it black tomorrow when I get home from my first day of work (only 187 more to go!) and then, over Labor Day, give it a try out. I'll be sure to share my results!

And, just for the record: I did all the construction. I love building and using power tools, so this was an easy, quick, and very fun project. Anyone, I am convinced, could build this guy! Just do an Internet search for "solar melters" and see what pops up. Let me know if you build one, won't you? 

This little bit of sunshine was coming through the front door early this morning, creating a beautiful shadow on the floor. I was enchanted by the detail and play of light and dark and just wanted to share it.

Beauty is everywhere, isn't it? We just need eyes to see it... Have a wonderful week!


  1. It's amazing what we can do, if we only have the gumption isn't it? Do you get very much wax? Must be wonderful to have candles made from your own bees wax. We aren't supposed to have bee hives here according to our building code, but I'm wondering if a small top-bar one would hurt much. After all, there's plenty of bees around here and they certainly don't make a mess! Hope your first days back to teaching are easy ones!


  2. Not a power tool person here! I really need to learn. Love the idea of a solar wax melter. Sadly, I discovered my last hive dead and gone. I think it was that 2 months of upper 90s and no rain that probably starved them out. :(


Thanks for dropping in on the farm today! I enjoy your comments!