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The specialist international beekeeping organisation

Harvesting beeswax

Harvesting beeswax is an integral part of the honey extraction process. Honey cannot be extracted with a harvest of honey being collected as well. This will to some extent depend on the type of bee hive being used. Fixed comb and top bar hives produce a lot more beeswax than moveable frame hives because the whole comb is harvested in order to harvest the honey. With frame hives, the honey extraction process preserves most of the honeycomb but there will still be a great many wax cappings to process into blocks of beeswax. With whole combs harvested from fixed combs and top bar harvesting the cleanest and most efficient way to extract the honey is by cutting the honeycomb up into very small pieces in a large bucket. This is then strained through a clean mesh cloth into a second bucket. The consequence of this is that the honey will drain in the bucket while the wax will remain in the cloth. This is the wax that the beekeeper now needs to clean and transform into clean wax or sale.

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  • Put them in a suitable cloth or polypropylene sack and tie with string.
  • Hang the bag from the top of the container.
  • A suitable container is placed on the surface of the water underneath the bag containing the wax.
  • The water below boils and melts the wax which is caught in the container.
  • The water must be topped up as it evaporates.
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