Neil Bertram, owner of Bertram Honey Ltd., was ready to move past the mess and expense of current technologies for beeswax extraction.
With market demand for beeswax not only from the beekeeping industry, but also for the chewing gum, cosmetics, food production, and pharmaceutical industries, Bertram wanted to optimize the amount of beeswax he could get from his hive frames.
Bertram and other beekeepers usually extract beeswax by boiling hive frames, squeezing out the wax, and trucking it to rendering facilities. The Alberta beekeeper came up with an idea for his own solution. He built a steam beeswax extractor but needed to refine his design and get help with commercialization. He approached Applied Research and Innovation Services (ARIS) at SAIT Polytechnic to refine the design, fabricate, and validate his product.
A second-generation beekeeper, Bertram worked with ARIS’s new Culinary and Urban Agriculture researchers to develop the prototype of a cost-effective, compact, and durable extractor that uses steam to melt beeswax from hive frames. The end product will be replicable for commercialization and will be used to increase business for Bertram Honey Ltd.
“With this technology ready for market, I hope to introduce it to the beekeeping industry,” says Bertram. “It would be ideal for mid-sized beekeepers to do their own onsite beeswax extraction.”