Beehive Alchemy: Projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more

Beehive Alchemy: Projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more

by Petra Ahnert


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From crayons to cough drops, cookies to candles, Beehive Alchemy offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life.

Beehive Alchemy is a continuation of Petra Ahnert's best-selling Beeswax Alchemy. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees. Inside, you'll find instructions to make Ahnert's award-winning hand-dipped birthday candles, the classic French dessert canele bordelais, and much more, including:

Alchemy for the Body

  • Liquid soap with honey
  • Beard balm
  • Olive and honey lotion
Alchemy of Light
  • Taper candles
  • Tea lights
  • Pillars
Alchemy for the Home
  • Furniture polish
  • Waxed cotton food wraps
  • Woodcutter incense
Alchemy in the Studio
  • Beeswax crayons
  • Encaustic
  • Batik
Alchemy in the Kitchen
  • Cookies and candies
  • Beverages
  • Fermentations
Whether you keep bees or just love them, Beehive Alchemy will become your go-to comprehensive guide for hive-to-home creations.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781631594915
Publisher: Quarry Books
Publication date: 08/21/2018
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 283,475
Product dimensions: 8.10(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

Petra Ahnert is the creative force behind Beehive Alchemy (, an 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. Since that time, she has sought out ways to make good use of the extra wax, too, often replacing items in her home with ones she can create herself. Eventually, these beeswax-based items made their way into the product line-up for Beehive Alchemy and the projects featured in her book, Beeswax Alchemy.  

Table of Contents

Introduction 6

Chapter 1 Alchemy in the Beehive 9

Honey 10

How Honey Is Made 10

Harvesting and Processing 11

Beeswax 12

What is Beeswax? 12

How is Beeswax Made? 12

Harvesting and Processing 13

Propolis 14

Harvesting and Processing 14

How to Use Propolis 14

Pollen 15

Chapter 2 Alchemy for the Body 17

Soap 19

Soap-Making Equipment 19

Soap Making Basics 20

Bar Soap with Honey 22

Bar Soap with Beeswax and Honey 24

Liquid Soap with Honey 26

Body Care 29

Lip Balm 29

Face Cleansing Grains 30

Honey Glycerin Cleanser and Mask 32

Solid Lotion Bars 34

Whipped Shea Body Butter 35

Hair Pomade 36

Beard Balm 37

Herbal Salve 38

Propolis Salve 40

Olive and Honey Lotion 42

Beeswax Cream 44

Wellness 46

Propolis Toothpaste 46

Honey Propolis Lozenges 47

Chapter 3 Alchemy of Light 49

Candle Making 50

Wax 50

Temperature 50

Wicking 51

Oxygen 52

Molds 53

Color 54

Hand Dipped Candles 55

Hand Dipped Taper Candles 57

Birthday Candles 57

Hand Dipped Birthday Candles 58

Molded Candles 60

Taper Candles 60

Tea Lights 62

Votive Candles 64

Pillar Candles 66

Traditional Method 66

Quick Cool Method 68

Chapter 4 Alchemy for the Home 71

Furniture Polish 72

Salad Bowl Conditioner 73

Wood Conditioner Cream 73

Waxed Cotton Food Wraps 74

Woodcutter Incense 76

Scented Beeswax Melts 78

Sealing Wax 79

Chapter 5 Alchemy in the Studio 81

Beeswax Crayons 82

Encaustic 84

Tools for Encaustic 85

Encaustic Surfaces 86

Encaustic Medium 87

Encaustic Medium Master Batch 88

Encaustic Paint 89

Encaustic Techniques 90

Encaustic Artwork 94

Batik 96

The Wax Blend 96

The Dye 96

Basic Batik Recipe 97

Shibori-Inspired Batik Fabric 98

Chapter 6 Alchemy in the Kitchen 101

Cookies and Candies 102

Honey Cookies 102

Energy Bites 103

Honey Caramels 104

Peppermint Patties 105

Desserts 106

Cannelé Bordelais 106

Honey Citrus Tea Cakes 108

Mango Shrikhand 109

Chunky Buckwheat Granola 111

Ice Cream 112

Honey Ice Cream 112

Beeswax Ice Cream 113

Appetizers 114

Pistachio and Honey Chevre Log 114

Rustic Dutch Oven Bread 116

Honey Butter 117

Basil Honey Ricotta Tartine 118

Accompaniments 119

Honey Mustard 120

Honey Avocado Dressing 121

Honey Vinaigrette with Pollen 122

Honey Barbecue Sauce 123

Smoked Honey 125

Fermented Foods 126

Fermenting Basics 126

Fermenting Equipment 128

Fermented Ketchup 129

Fermented Honey Garlic 130

Fermented Honey Cranberries 131

Fermented Probiotic Honey Berry Soda 132

Tepache 133

Beverages 134

Basic Honey Syrup (with Variations) 134

Ginger Ale 136

Mandarin Fiz 136

Cucumber Lemongrass Cocktail 137

Apricot Cardamom Cocktail 138

Tequila Honey Cocktail 138

Lithuanian Honey Spirits 139

Elderberry tonic 140

Turmeric Honey Super Booster 141


Appendix A Sugar Honey Conversion 142

Appendix B Using Percentages in Recipes 142

Appendix C Lye Calculations 143

Appendix D Body Care ingredient Guide 144

Appendix E Fatty Acid Glossary 150

Appendix F Body Care Supplier Index 151

Acknowledgments 154

About the Author 154

Index 155

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