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Products You Can Get From Bees

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There are different by-products that farmers can get from bees. These include the following:

Propolis

This is the sticky black and brown resinous material that bees collect from living plants. It has a lot of medicinal elements, including treating ulcers, viral and bacterial infections.

Beeswax

Beeswax is the second highest valuable bee product after honey. It has got various uses, including making candles and bases for shoe polish and cosmetics. From every 20kg of honey harvested, a farmer retrieves around 500 grammes of beeswax.

Cosmetics companies buy it.

Extraction of beeswax by Ocloo’s method

This method now widely used in Africa, including Uganda, is commended for its simplicity, cheapness and efficiency. The method employs the sun’s heat to melt the combs.

Equipment

  • A large container
  • A sheet of nylon mosquito mesh
  • A strong nylon cord and a needle
  • A plastic or polyethylene cover

Procedure:

1. Fasten the mosquito mesh over the container with the nylon cord.

2. Place honeycombs on the wire mesh so that honey can trickle into the container.

3. Cover the honeycombs and container with plastic and secure it fast to the container with another cord.

4. Leave the honey and container in the sun. Both honey and wax will seep down into the container. The wax will harden above the honey and can be removed when the honey cools down to be decanted and bottled.

Moulding beeswax

Beeswax collected should be moulded in the following manner:

Use a container with a rounded bottom and a mouth wider than the bottom with a very smooth inner surface. Many plastic containers are suitable.

Place a small quantity of water (about a tablespoonful) in a cooking pot and put on the fire.

Do not melt beeswax in a dry container. It should not be exposed to fire because it burns easily and can be damaged by too much heat. Melt beeswax and all bee combs outdoors.

Add all the beeswax and watch carefully as wax melts. Remove it from the fire immediately after the last lump of wax has melted.

Pour melted beeswax into the mould and place in a cool, dry place to cool.

Remove the cakes of beeswax next morning.

The dark material collected at the bottom can be removed with a knife and can be sold to a shoemaker. The clean raw beeswax is ready for the market.

Pollen

During their hundreds of visits to flowers, bees collect a lot of pollen. They then keep this in the hives as part of their food. It can be harvested from the hives and then processed for human usage.

It contains high protein levels, it is a proven anti-biotic, anti-dioxidant etc. Other products include bee jelly, bee venom and honey wine.

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