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Beeswax Alchemy: How to Make Your Own Soap, Candles, Balms, Creams, and Salves from the Hive Paperback – April 1, 2015
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From the Publisher
"This book basically lets you become your own Burts Bees, but better, with clear instructions on how to make candles, soaps, salves and creams out of beeswax and much, much more! Beeswax candles help clean the air, beeswax salves have anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and anti-viral benefits. For people who have allergy problems, beeswax is a "go to" product. Once I started looking into the benefits of beeswax products, it made me realize all the man-made chemicals in those same products bought at a store." - Jeannie Boutelle (The Local Beet blog)
"Beeswax is a wonderful, malleable and beneficial product that has a wide array of possible uses. This attractive book has a lot to offer for the intermediate do-it-yourselfer. In her debut book, businesswoman Ahnert provides an excellent introduction and solid technique instruction to make candles, lotions, and soaps with beeswax. VERDICT The true strength of this book is its instructions for making homemade body products. While similar in coverage to Leeann Coleman and Jayne Barnes's Honey Crafting, Ahnert's book provides better body products and more detailed technical instruction. Strongly recommended." - Library Journal
"...a fabulous book with instructions and excellent photos on virtually any product one might wish to make from beeswax. It is so well written I never lost interest and was not tempted to skip around or to hurry to the end. The photos in the book are outstanding and make it even more professional and informative." - Suzanne Finley, Saponifier Magazine
About the Author
Petra Ahnert is the creative force behind Beehive Alchemy (beehivealchemy.com), a growing artisan soap, body care, and home goods business. After a serendipitous meeting with a beekeeper at the library in 2002, Petra soon had a couple hives of her own and extra honey to sell. Of course, with the honey, comes beeswax, too so she sought out ways to make good use of the wax she had on hand. Since that time, Petra has first looked to her own life and products she uses to replace them with items she could make herself with the honey and beeswax she had on hand. Eventually, those products made their way into the product line-up for Beehive Alchemy.
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It starts with an introduction to beeswax, the different kinds of commercial wax, how wax is used today and then covers 7 chapters that incorporate multiple ways to use it covering candles and body products such as lip balms, hand and face creams, salves and scrubs, and soap making. It also covers some lesser known uses of wax as home products such as ornaments, wood conditioner, furniture polish, waxed cloth, waterproofing, and for crafts such as beading, batik and encaustic art.
I was personally most interested in the instruction and recipes on candles, body products and soap making. These items are well covered in the book with instruction tips and hints as well as to the point instructions. Ingredients are listed in percentages so that recipes can be scaled up or down to suit your needs.
For candles, there’s good information on how to choose the correct size wick and why it matters. It covers making hand rolled, votive, pillar (using molds) and hand dipped candles. For body products it covers the different types of oils, many of which can be purchased at the local supermarket. For making salves the use of herb infusions in oil is explained.
At the back of the book are a list of commonly used herbs and essential oils and their benefits.
The photographs of the finished product give great inspiration on how to display the products and the list of resources at the back of the book is excellent, giving sources in the USA, Canada and international.
All in all this is an excellent book for a beekeeper or anyone who wants to work with beeswax.