Tuesday | March 3, 2015

Bee farmers increase focus on wax

Published:Saturday | July 7, 2012

Christopher Serju, Gleaner Writer

MORANT BAY, St Thomas:THE ESTABLISHMENT of a wax apiary dedicated to the primary production of beeswax is among the projects to be undertaken by the St Thomas Bee Farmers' Association, whose president, Delroy 'Oronde' McNish, explained that the growing demand for this product is unmet.

"There is a very serious shortage of wax in the industry worldwide. Right now, wax is being sold in Jamaica from anywhere between $800 and $1,000 a pound, and a lot of the wax we produce in Jamaica as beekeepers, we use it back in the industry. We use it to make wax foundation, a thin piece of wax put on the frame, and has the imprint of the cell that the bees use to make comb."

The veteran beekeeper said while there is a great commercial demand for the use of beeswax in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, Jamaica is just getting into this aspect of honey value-added operation.