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The specialist international beekeeping organisation


To make a candle you need sufficient beeswax, a mould and a wick. In a developing country these are most likely to be made form available local materials. It is possible of course to purchase a wide range of candle mould but they are expensive and frequently do not last for very long. In country sources are always most likely to be sustainable.  A good mould might be a piece of plastic pipe, a hollow stalk from a large plant (such as a coco-yam) or a piece of bamboo. Depending on how easily obtainable these items are will depend on whether the mould is preserved after the wax moulding or destroyed to get the candle out. If the mould is a hollow tube it must have something that fits tightly to close one end.  The end closing must be absolutely tight or the hot wax will run out all over the place. A plastic bottle top or cork of the right size is good. Wicks can be made of jute string, lamp wick, string form bank bags or a variety of other suitable locally available materials. A double boiler for melting the wax can be made from a cooking pot and an old tin can. Once a producer becomes skilled very good candles can be produced using simple local materials.  


  1. Cut the wick to the size for the candle.
  2. The wick needs to be about two inches longer than the candle size (or 4 inches if the candles are to be made in pairs).
  3. They need a place to hang in between dips so the wax can set before the next layer is put on.
  4. The first dip needs to be dipped into the melted wax until all the air bubbles have risen to the surface.
  5. Lift out gently allowing all the surplus wax run back into the dipping tube.
  6. Hang it up to cool.
  7. Pull the wick straight before dipping again.
  8. Repeat the dipping to the same level to build up the wax on the candle.
  9. As the candle grows it should be rolled on a hard, flat surface to keep the candle straight.
  10. As the candle grows a drop shape will build up at the base of the candle.
  11. This should be trimmed off or it will prevent the candle being dipped to its full extent.
  12. Once the candles are at the required size trim the wick to size and if possible finish the bottom by running it across a hot, flat metal surface


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Bees for Development Trust is the working title of The Troy Trust, Registered Charity 1078803
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