Homemade Fire Starters

Pine cone fire-starter with beeswax close up

The quest for fire began in the time of the caveman.

My quest for fire began in my first year of beekeeping.

In Boy Scouts, you learn how to make a fire with 2 items, or something like that. Unfortunately for me, I didn’t go to Boy Scouts, and consequently, I am lousy at starting fires. Well, I may be ok at starting them, but I can’t seem to make fires that last a long time.

It always amazed me how my beekeeping mentor Dale could get a fire started that could last all day inside of a few minutes and I, on the other hand, fuss way too much over getting everything in just right the right order for making long-lasting smoke.

honey bee smoker on grass with smoke coming out of the top

I have to admit, I still struggle with this today.

When we were researching what to do with beeswax, I learned about these wonderful pine cone DIY fire starters. These homemade fire starters were positioned as holiday gifts, complete with colored wax and sparkles. Here, I am suggesting a far more utilitarian use for these cute little pine cones and that is as homemade fire starters for your favorite beekeeper to use in his/her smoker.

The best place to start in making homemade fire-starters is in gathering your supplies, here’s a list:

  • Pine Cones
  • Beeswax
  • Old burlap bag
  • Candlewick material or natural fiber twine
  • Old muffin tin
  • Brown paper (to protect whatever surface you are working on)
  • Double boiler

This project took us about 30-45 minutes to complete and we really had fun.

Make Homemade Fire Starters for your favorite beekeeper

As you experiment with this project you will find ways to do these fire-starters that may suit you better than our technique here. However you do it, they work great in your firepit and your beekeeper’s smoker. No need to use chemical fluids, or to scrounge around for tiny twigs when you have these on hand!

We actually had a lot of fun doing this and cleanup was a breeze. If you have any tips or additions that you’d like to add to this project, please feel free to share in the comments.

If you decide to try this amazing recipe, be sure to take a photo and share them with us using #waxingkararecipes on Instagram. We love seeing your photos!

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Pine cone fire-starter with beeswax close up

Pine Cone Fire-Starter

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Ingredients

  • 1-2 cups beeswax
  • 2 feet natural fiber string
  • 12 pine cones
  • 1 roll burlap

Instructions

  • Melt wax in a double boiler (make one if needed, as we did)
  • Dip burlap into wax and set in place in a muffin tin to form nest for pinecone.
  • Wrap pinecones with wick or natural string to make dipping easy
  • Dip the first pine cone into the wax using string or tongs.
  • Coat the pine cone thoroughly, repeat every few minutes or so as the wax sets up.
  • Hold the cone over the melted wax until it stops dripping.
  • Place it onto the muffin tin with burlap, allow to set up.
  • Repeat with the remaining pine cones.
  • NOTE: If you have trouble getting them out of the muffin tin, put the tin into the freezer, and they will pop out. Once the wax has hardened, your pine cone fire-starters are ready for use.

About the Author

kara

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learned and continues to learn about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more.

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