Wax extraction from honeycombs

For wax extraction, the empty combs are first put in water which is heated until the wax melts. The liquid is then poured through a piece of coarse cloth and while still hot this is twisted or squeezed until as much wax as possible is squeezed out into a clean metal pot. The wax then floats on the surface and when solidified the water can be poured off.

The process may need to be repeated until the wax is clean. The wax can then be melted down and poured into suitable containers with a wick held centrally to make candles.

Wax extraction in Kifua village
Separating wax from water; Diagram : Ntangu Targou
Candle made from a tomato paste tin with oil lamp wick and beeswax

Lessons learned from wax extraction:

  • Honey combs are boiled in water until wax melts
  • Excessive water in the solidified crude wax will be wringed out
  • Melting down crude wax will result in useable wax for candles a.s.o.