Here you see my setup: an impromptu double boiler and a big wad of honeycomb, both virgin and brood, shoved inside a pantyhose leg. Yes, very technical. I shoved as much broken comb as I could into the toe of a hose section, tied it off, then cut it and jammed it into the too-small saucepan. I set the saucepan inside a pot of simmering water and waited for it to all melt. the clean beeswax (and a little honey that was left inside from my most recent harvest) melts out and the junk stays inside the hose. As it melts, I poured off the liquid into small plastic take-out tubs you see here. I tried to pour each tub about half to two-thirds full, then move to the next tub.
If you render wax yourself, keep in mind that beeswax is so so flammable and needs to be tended carefully. It also gets everywhere. I should not have used my vintage dansk pot as my double boiler- wax got inside the pot and it took a lot of doing to clean it all out!!
In other news, today I checked both my beehives and was delighted to see this in both hives!
I'm not sure how well you can see it, but if you look very carefully you'll see white curlicue shapes in some of the cells. In others, especially near the top left, you'll see a small white dot - the dots are the eggs, the curlicues are developing larvae. BOTH of my hives have laying queens, lots of eggs, and capped brood! The flat caps are worker brood, and the puffed-out cells are drone cells. After my last post, my mentor told me that he thought my langstroth hive had swarmed and rehomed itself into the newly-cleaned out top bar hive. This means that the old langstroth queen laid an egg in a queen cell, and when it was nearly ready to hatch, she took half of the hive with her to find a new home. When the new queen emerged in the langstroth hive, she made herself at home, made a mating flight, and got busy laying eggs. While I saw neither queen in my inspections, this isn't unusual. The queens are shy and frequently covered up or laying eggs, making it difficult to see her large abdomen. As long as there are plenty of eggs and brood, the hive is in good shape. I can't tell you how relieved I was to see this! My bees are back on track!