Monday, June 27, 2011

More on Wax

The bee's wax class convinced me that I am going to have to get bees at my future farm. Not only are they excellent pollinators that provide delicious honey but they also have a third commodity, wax! I was amazed to hear the plethora of Ol' Timey uses mentioned in that turn of the century book. Waterproofing, furniture finish, lip balm, salve, candles, strengthening and preserving sewing thread, sealing cheese, closing letters, creating molds, and making all manner of art are just a few of the uses mentioned in the book. It seems like the possibilities are endless for what bee's wax could replace in order to become less reliant on industry.

Bee's wax products also seem like a viable niche market to get into. If the products were high quality, unique, hand made items, they could probably do well at a farmer's market, craft fair, or specialty stores in both urban and rural areas. Some appealing packaging could help sales as well. The design would have to be something that invokes an Ol' Timey feel without looking obsolete. Selling salve, lip balm and candles alongside some raw honey could really show that you know your bees.

Bee's wax products could also help to value-add other farm products. Using bee's wax to seal cheese for example, as a finish on a homemade knife, or as a label on canned goods even. Again the possibilities are endless which is what makes bees so appealing. I have a new found respect for bees and all that they do. If only there was a way to harvest wax without running the risk of being stung that doesn't involve being covered head to toe. Actually, I wonder if ear wax would work for anything...

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