What is a Solar Wax Extractor

solar wax extractor
Our Wax Extractor

What is a solar wax extractor and why do you need one?

A solar wax extractor is a handy tool for any beekeeper, it speeds up the processing of bees wax that you have saved from your hive inspections and any extractions that you have completed.

They can be, as simple as a box with a plate of glass on top, or as elaborate as ones that enable you to have hang entire frames inside them.

We have also seen some made from old drink fridges in our journeys. Here is Peter Smiths solar wax extractor:-

Peters solar wax extractor

How does a Solar Wax Extractor work?

A Solar Wax Extractor uses the power of the sun and is very carbon neutral. The process is that the heat from the sun heats up the interior of the box and melts the wax. Most solar wax extractors have a container to collect the melted wax. We have found putting water inside the container, makes it much easier to remove the wax.

Solar Wax Extractor
Franklin Bee Clubs Solar Wax Extractor

To make a Solar Wax Extractor you create a box, insulating the box will help it to retain the heat. The wax is normally placed on a metal tray, which is on an angle. This allows the melted wax to flow, down to the container. The tray being metal makes it much easier to clean.

We have made a simple Solar Wax Extractor, which uses an old glass door from a 70’s wall cabinet.

We could make a more elaborate one, but this it works fine for us.

What to do next with the melted wax?

We wrote a blog post a few months back, that explains the next step with the wax you get from your Solar Wax Extractor. This article is called Minding your own beeswax.

How to make a simple Solar Wax Extractor

Here is a video from Janet Luke about how made a simple Solar Wax Extractor.

Would you like one?

Would you buy an extractor, if we started making them for sale in our shop? Please comment below or email us.

7 thoughts on “What is a Solar Wax Extractor

  1. Avatar photo
    Angus Cathcart says:

    Hi Gary,
    try lining the box with tin foil it will increase the heat faster. The best way to extract the wax is to have a little water in the bottom of your metal container ,the wax drops on to it and solidifies ,making it easy to extract .

    • Avatar photo
      Gary Fawcett says:

      Hi Angus,

      Thanks for the feedback and for reading our blog, yes I agree that’s a great idea putting water in the container. It makes it much easier to remove the wax.

      The tin foil is also a great Idea, we have painted the inside of our extractor with black paint. But must try the tin foil idea, I guess it must reflect the heat.


  2. Avatar photo
    Ivor Sperring says:

    We make extensive use of our homemade solar wax extractor, we have found that if we pack the wax into old tights it comes out without impurities. Be careful how and who you approach when asking if they will give you their used tights!

    • Avatar photo
      Gary Fawcett says:

      Thanks Ivor the feedback, yes good point about the tights 🙂

      We use the cloth that painters use to strain paint. It’s pure cotton and also makes great smoker lighters, when covered in old beeswax.

      See ya…Gary

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