How Beeswax Could Help War-Hit Families Save Food

by Ella

Beeswax could play a crucial role in preserving food in war zones like Ukraine, according to recent research.

Innovative Food Preservation Amid Conflict

UK scientists are collaborating with Ukrainian beekeepers to develop new beeswax wraps for preserving perishable foods. Amid ongoing Russian attacks targeting Ukraine’s energy infrastructure, blackouts have become common, particularly impacting refrigeration during the summer.


Ukraine’s Beekeeping Expertise

Ukraine is Europe’s largest honey producer, providing a rich resource for this innovative solution. Researchers based in Cardiff have been analyzing individual beehives in Ukraine to determine which can produce the best protective beeswax.


Natural Solutions for Food Preservation

Professor Les Baille from Cardiff University highlighted the urgency of finding preservation methods due to frequent power outages. The team has created various “recipes” mixing beeswax with other available items and antimicrobial plants like sage to make effective food wraps.


Practical and Potent Mixtures

The wraps, made by rubbing beeswax into cloth or paper combined with antimicrobial plants, can extend the life of food items for a few days, which is crucial when refrigeration is not available.


Collaborative Efforts and Testing

Cardiff University has been working with Ukrainian academics and beekeepers to test beehives across Ukraine. Finding the right beeswax with suitable properties could significantly extend food preservation, especially in areas without power.

Educational Outreach

Researchers at Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute are disseminating this knowledge across social media, hoping Ukrainians can implement these methods this summer, despite the heavy fighting in Kharkiv.

Historical Context and Broader Impact

This research draws on the ancient use of honey’s antibiotic properties, aiming to provide practical solutions for war-affected regions globally. The Ukrainian military has shown interest, highlighting the potential broader impact of this initiative.

Professor Baille and his team hope their efforts will make a meaningful difference for those in conflict zones, leveraging the natural benefits of beeswax to enhance food security.



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