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Beeswax after honey harvesting

For any new Kenyan beekeeper, after the first harvest, the usual byproducts are honey extracted from honeycombs and most neglected residue that’s more often thrown away being bees wax

Wax can be collected from de-capped frames after using a centrifuge extractor or after pressing crushed combs from a honey press machine

decapping frames before honey centrifuge extraction

Collected bees wax can be profitable for any farmer from the additional revenue opportunity. Wax can be used for several commercial projects such as candle making.

Process of rendering bee wax at home using available home tools

Hot bath method

The hot-water bath process used popularly by beekeepers in the absence of extraction machines. This is the quickest method of obtaining the wax, but it can only be employed after the combs have been crushed and the honey removed.


Equipment:

  • a cooking pot
  • sackcloth or a sack (preferably jute)
  • string or twine (2-3 metres)
  • a stick
  • a large spoon or ladle
  • a mould for the wax (large sufuria)
    Procedure:
  1. Put water (amount depending on the quantity of bee combs) into the cooking pot and heat over a fire.
  2. Wash crushed bee combs to remove dirt and honey and place in the sack.
  3. Make a good package by tightening the string around the sack.
  4. By now the water should be quite warm. Put the package into the pot and use the stick to push it down to the bottom.
  5. When it reaches a temperature of about 59°C, the wax begins to melt and a waxy scum begins to form on top of the water.
  6. Use the stick to press the package. More wax will float to the top of the Water.
  7. Use the ladle to skim off the melted wax and pour it into a mould. Continue this process until wax no longer rises to the surface.
  8. Final product depending on the mould used would look like the below image. Incase of sediments the above steps can be redone to further purify the resulting wax block
    Note: Do not subject beeswax to high temperatures. Prevent the water from boiling by reducing heat.
rendered wax block

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