Candle Making Part Two

Bees smell the beeswax, and there are always a few flying around.

An enamelled pitcher is used to transfer melted wax from the barrel to the dipping vat. The wax needs to be kept at a consistent level.

Excess wax drains back into the vat. There is smoke in the air from the fire beneath the dipping vat.

Frames of freshly dipped candles being allowed to cool between sessions.

Each frame holds about 100 candles, 50 on each side. There are 50 racks in all. In one afternoon, Bassem can make 5000 candles.

When the candles are ready, a serrated knife that has been heated in the fire quickly cuts off the candles at the base.

The double candles are gathered and lifted clear of the frame.

They are hung on a metal rod and left to cool.

When they have cooled, they are cut with shears on one side.

The excess wick is cut for the candles on the other side.

The finished candles are ready to be taken to the church. The last candle on each rack has a longer wick, where the end of the string was secured to the rack. This needs to be trimmed separately.

The dipping vat is drained at the end of the session, and the wax allowed to cool in a plastic tub. A palette knife is used to strip the wax off the metal frames, so that they are ready for the next session. New beeswax is added to the supply as it is needed.

3 comments to Candle Making Part Two

  • Paul O'Connor

    This is fantastic, thank you for sharing the beeswax candle making… how long will a candle burn for?
    Are beehives kept in the Monastery gardens?

    Very interesting

    Limerick City, Ireland….

    • Father Justin

      Beeswax candles burn much longer than paraffin candles. But how long depends on the thickness of the candle, and the thickness of the wick. We have beehives, but mostly to pollinate the fruit trees and olive trees, and for the honey. I feel sorry for the bees at Sinai. After the trees and flowers bloom in the springtime, there’s not much for them to eat.

  • Paul O'Connor

    Believe the beeswax produces very little (if any ) smoke, only the wick… have helped a local group set up beehives in Limerick city Ireland, to increase honeybee numbers in the wild. The group is called Limerick Urban Beekeeping society or LUBS for short…

    I Love Saint Catherine’s Monastery and have visited it three times in the past, an amazing part of world history to be cherished… would be very interested in visiting the beehives next time opportunity allows me to travel that way…

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