i made candles today. it was incredibly easy. i was blessed to find beeswax from sleeping bear farm for sale for a very reasonable price, and they seem like a farm worth supporting. with my first five pounds delivered, i've just been waiting for a day to melt the wax and get to work.
all it took was an empty can (used to be for tomato sauce i think) setting on a canning jar ring in a pot with a few inches of water. okay, so i took an axe to the hunk of beeswax, because it was too big to fit in the can, and too difficult to break up with a knife, but that wasn't so difficult.
then i read a book while the water in the 'double boiler' simmered away and i watched the hunks of wax slowly sink down into the can and melt.
eventually, i took a break from reading, cut some lengths of cotton yarn to act as wicking, and started dipping. once that began it was a pretty constant process, and easy except for slightly aching arms from holding them out very precisely in between dips and as i hung each pair of candles carefully before getting the next pair. in one calm and restful afternoon i made 5 pair of 6" candles, and enjoyed my whole cabin smelling of honey. i have tested one candle so far, and it seems it will burn for about 4 hours.
i look forward to making many more, to figuring out a good wick size to candle thickness ratio for good light and a slow burn, and of course one day soon having my own bees so that this wax can come from just a few yards away. in the meantime, cheers to the bees who made this possible!