Matakana honey tasting shed and education centre owner Grass Esposti got bored during the rainy days of lockdown and started to wonder what she might do with beeswax – other than making traditional candles.
She eventually hit on the idea of making Christmas decorations using silicone moulds – normally used for making bars of soap or cookies.
Grass, who owns Beetopia on Omaha Flats Road, says beeswax ornaments are more sustainable than plastic, smell lovely and will last a long time.
However, she says making them is a finickity process.
After collecting the wax from one of her beehives, Grass melts it by leaving it outside in the sun, then cleans it by straining through a muslin cloth.
To get really clean wax, she melts and strains the wax a second time.
The wax is heated again in a saucepan, placed inside another saucepan filled with water, over a hot stove. It is then poured into the moulds and left to harden for 24 hours.
Grass’s decorations include pinecones, Christmas trees, flowers, hearts and baubles and their prices range from $3 to $20.
“I know kids like to buy little things like that so I made the smaller ones affordable,” she says.
The decorations are also recyclable. Grass says once someone tires of them, they can be melted down again and made into furniture polish or shoe polish.
Grass says the only downside to the venture is that she used some of her daughter’s moulds and they are no longer suitable for making cookies.
She says her daughter was not entirely pleased.