How do I ruin a perfectly good pair of Sheer Black Stockings?

Make beeswax!  Didn’t expect that did you?

I have these beeswax cappings left over from this fall’s honey making process. They have been sitting and waiting patiently for me to render the honey out of them and collect the wax. I have a special pot that I keep just for this job. It is impossible to clean up after working with wax, so I don’t bother. This is actually pretty simple.  Take all the cappings left over from your honey gathering.  Wait for a miserable gloomy day.  Pop them into the big melting pot. Sit it on a warm woodstove  and slowly heat until the whole mess is melted. 

It will look like this. Not appetising at all, which is good because you are not meant to eat it, though of course you could eat it if you were desperate.  Which I am not.  So I won’t. 

Now get those beautiful new black silk stockings that you never got to wear because you never go anywhere in those ridiculously high heels. Tie the nylons firmly over a little old bowl kept specifically for this purpose because you will never get it clean, so don’t bother trying. Carefully strain the mess through the stockings.  And there you have it.  The wax will rise to the top and the honey will sit below.  Wait while the wax cools and sets.

Bit longer. 

Bit longer.


Now take the wax off the top, clean and put aside for making into lip balm and candles,  on another miserable gloomy day.  And pour the honey into vessels. Mark it as heated. 

This honey I use in the bread. 

OK Daisy, maybe you can have a little honey with your beet shreds in the morning. Such a spoilt cow.  She is getting bigger you know. Such a spoilt pregnant cow!

I will rummage about and find all the makings for lip balm and we can cook up a batch of that soon.  Now I am off to make miniature Party Pies!


90 Comments on “How do I ruin a perfectly good pair of Sheer Black Stockings?

  1. Daisy looks very deep in thought. Probably thinking about college funds, etc., for the little sprout.

    Lip balm, eh? Burt’s Bees lip balm actually dries out my lips!

  2. This is another piece of farm life that I’d no idea about. I get my honey from the BeeMan in Michigan every September and he gets it from his bees and there’s wax. That’s the extent of my honey knowledge, well, till now. Thanks, Celi, for the primer.

    • You are welcome John. Once you get the wax it opens up a whole new world of ‘stuff’.. We will make some interesting and useful potions this winter with the beeswax. c

  3. There is a stand up comedian who has the whole spiel about nylon stockings and they way Soviet women use them versus French women.
    French women: wear with those ridiculous high heels.
    Soviet women: store onions,strain jams,and so on.
    Now he can add your method 🙂

    • Oh that is fantastic, I am a soviet woman, I also use nylons to store my Tuberosa bulbs in the basement for the winter!!.. c

    • Daisy fosters that intelligent interested thoughtful look to get out of work! Now, puzzle time.. IMHO…hmm.. I Might Have Orribles, NO? .. ok wait .. I May Hate Oranges. Daisy actually likes oranges and lemons..Oh I know. I Might Have One!! Exactly she was watching the cats play and was thinking ..I Might Have One! Yeah?.. c

  4. You are a wonder, woman! You have the special talent of making things that I have no interest in, interesting. When a writer can make bees’ wax a good read, they have arrived! Love you, Celi!

  5. Your “BEES WAX” written on that special pot reminds me of the enamelware bowl I have from my maternal grandmother. She wrote “Strawberries” on a piece of white tape and stuck it onto the bowl. My grandma died within months of my birth, so I never knew here. But I’ve heard the stories about the kind, wonderful woman she was. Every time I use that bowl, I think of her. I’ve never once considered removing the “Strawberries” label.

    Thanks so much for causing me to think of my grandmother this morning via your story.

    • Audrey that is wonderful, i would have left the label on the bowl as well, it is great to have your grandmothers actual, if faded, handwriting.. c

  6. You have a way of describing the processes, whether they be baking, making beeswax or lip balm that makes them sound like fun. I hope you enjoy doing the things you do, because I really enjoy reading about them.


    • I do enjoy what i do. It is something I am very sure of in my life .. i hurry through the stuff i do not want to do (dishes!) so i can get to what entertains me, and most of all i enjoy that you enjoy reading if that makes any sense at all.. c

  7. What a wonderful “use of everything”! You know that’s what I’m all about… I love this! And beeswax, for candles, lip balm, whatever — what a super gift from the bees! Thank you for sharing… mmmm…

    • I love to use everything too Rachel, I think it is the essence of sustainable, everything finds a use. And something we can all do in our own homes! You are pretty good at it I know! c

  8. Your pots for collecting your bees wax sound like Pete’s candle wax pots – not worth cleaning either. Bet he would give an eye tooth to get hold of some of your wax to make into candles.
    🙂 Mandy

    • I am going to have to pick Petes brains (try and say that fast with a wine glass in your hand!) about the candle making, mine last year were not so good.. c

  9. I have bees and even I never thought of that. DUH? 😐
    I actually did scrub out my pot and my colander that held my cheese cloth… once. So, it can be done, but I don’t want to do it again. EVER! Thinking I will visit the second hand store today for an old pot to mark bees wax. Thanks Cecilia!
    ~ Lynda

  10. I’m fascinated by this, love the idea of having your own beeswax to do with as you will, and as usual am completely sucked into the process by your post. Question: what is the significance of marking the honey “heated”?

    • How did you miss that Claire. She must be three months pregnant now, maybe a little more, now we just have to cross our fingers that she has a heifer, plenty of time to worry about that though.. c

  11. This is so cool! Now I want to get into bee-raising. Bee-farming. Bee-keeping! There we go, I knew the right term would come to me. Gorgeous picture of your cow! I’m excited for calf photos, I can just imagine how adorable they’ll be…

    • She will have a gorgeous calf I am sure and bee keeping is such a good thing to do, you can do it just about anywhere, i have even seen beehives on rooftops in the city! c

  12. I have never had a view of that process–so thank you. A far better use for your stockings than a night in heels 🙂

  13. WOW! You captured such a beautiful photographs dear Cecilia, especially the second one fascinated me. This process seems so complicated to me… Well done, you are amazing lady, but but Daisy is the best one, She seems so lovely. Thank you, with my love, nia

    • yes celia, dreadful confession, it was a stocking, (one of those ones that are meant to stay up by themselves and NEVER DO!) but probably nylon masquerading as silk, however best we don’t tell John.. c

  14. Excellent lesson! And upon reading the title of your post, my immediate thought was “Try to put them on.” One should always spoil cows, especially pregnant cows, and especailly especially Daisy the pregnant cow.

    • Stockings are a trial Kay, I always get them caught underneath a table top when i cross my legs, snag, oops.. c

  15. There is an Avian company in a neighboring town, BetterBee; I have often wanted stop in…now I think I will! Although, I am a little fearful of bees.


    • If you can manage a big old Llama you have nothing to fear from bees. the premise is the same- calm, firm, smooth confident movements. And if the bee wants to smell you let her, just like a Llama.. !

  16. Fantastic post and I think using your stockings for this is far more ingteresting than pole dancing in them….not that I have a pole or anything, although I suppose my runner bean supports could be used at a push, Anyway, I digress…yay for honey and beeswax!!

  17. I’m with all of the others who are fascinated with your explanation of this process and delighted you share such things with those many of us who would never otherwise have a clue what it entails. You never cease to astound me, woman!

    Does Miss Daisy get any lip balm? She is so pretty, after all. 🙂

  18. I’m learning so much from you and your posts 🙂 this is awesome! still, i am not going anywhere near a bee hive though! Daisy sure looks like she approves 😀

  19. What an absolute treat it is to visit your blog. Fab post. As always so interesting.
    Regards Florence x

  20. What an entertaining writer you are. That was fascinating. I don’t keep bees so I had no knowledge of what you just did. Your honey looks wonderful.

    • The honey is such a bonus, bees are a mystery really, and it is pretty special having a real life mystery living on my own land!.. c

  21. Ok, now I’m a full fledged believer that you can be totally sustaining! You are really going to be dangerous when you start getting your own milk. Giving you sad puppy eyes for some honey. giggle t

  22. I’m so amazed that you do all these things! My grandfather kept bees on his farm and mom talks about how good the honey was. They lived through the depression – had coupons for certain items (sugar, coffee, gas). Everything on their small farm was used. Perhaps it would be better if all of us went back to those days – when everything was used and nothing wasted.

    • I agree Phyllis, in fact that is our mantra. I know that the old days were crueler and worse than we can imagine but I would like to take the lessons they learnt then and use them now.. c

  23. Cecilia, Daisy is looking just adorable! I guess it’s that healthy glow that they say comes with pregnancy! And speaking of that, we are now thinking of getting a Daisy Jr. next spring. We’d love to get a ‘Pregnant Daisy Jr.” so we’ll be looking around for a Jersey cow. Our goats won’t be giving milk until 2013, as they are still babies now. Any hints on buying milk cows?
    Also, I loved this post on rendering honey from the beeswax and making things with it! I am presently reading ‘Beekeeping for Dummies’ in preparation for starting our hives in the spring. It says I should be ordering our bees and queen now, but I’m afraid to do it yet. The Beekeepers Meetings begin in January, and I want to ask people who know way more than I do about so many things. Hopefully I’ll be able to buy the hives and even the bees locally. I’ll keep you posted!

    • It would be great if you can get the bees locally, January is not too late for ordering surely. And all I know for sure about buying a cow is to buy her from a farm where you can go and look at the whole herd. Find someone who knows cows to go with you. In calf is good, and Jerseys are the sweetest little things, they are small and have wonderful creamy milk.. . There are blood tests to ensure they are actually in calf. Do NOT buy from a sale barn. I asked at my local vets office and got a list of names of the Good Guys when I was looking for Queenie. My BIL has Jerseys but that is a long drive.. Also for a home milk cow you will need a cow that has been handled a lot, that is why I bought Daisy as a baby. Pretty exciting stuff! c

  24. Again, not to sound like a stalker, but can I come live with you!? 😉 I’m happy that I can finally take a little breather from all of the house “stuff” and catch up on my blog reading. I so look forward to yours, Cecelia!

  25. You are too much! Wow. I suspect you’ve got enough for a good, practical handbook on living sustainably, including the most beautiful photographs!

      • You know, I was in radio for 9 years and interviewed people all that time. I still have many of my publisher contacts. But they are publicists, not agents. Good luck! And don’t forget Amazon’s self publishing tools – many burgeoning authors self publish and then sell on Amazon, then work on getting a publishing house to pick them up and distribute their books (or republish under the publisher’s auspices).

        Had dinner with a former agent a week or more ago, dear woman from the east coast. She said publishers are only interested in finalized manuscripts anymore – they don’t even bother with unedited/unfinished works. Hope this helps.

        • It does help Bela, I guess the agents get you TO the door of the publishers. There are so many good writers out there.The Amazon thing is interesting. But I would not think of self publishing unless I had worked with someone in the business i.e an agent, editors, etc. A good one just knows so much that I do not. I could not bear putting up an inferior product. Having a script writing background helps.

          However if they want a finished manuscript then that is what I shall work on producing… AM working on producing. Thank you Bela.


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