CATCH THE BUZZ- Bermuda Beeswax in Space

Flight of the Bermuda Beeswax

Owain Johnston-Barnes

Dr. Danielle Wood and Bermuda beeswax

It’s not polluted, it is stable and it burns well – and it turns out that Bermuda beeswax could be the perfect fuel for satellites.

Scientists with MIT’s Space Enabled research group have been given a batch of the beeswax after being approached by the group’s leader, Dr. Danielle Wood.

Dr. Wood approached the Ministry of Home Affairs last year to see if she could get a quantity of Bermuda beeswax to use in her work.

Apparently, Bermuda beeswax is stable so doesn’t combust easily, but it is also a hydrocarbon so it burns well, providing just enough energy to reposition a small satellite.

Bermuda is also a low-pollution environment, comparatively speaking, and the group wants to see how differently sourced beeswax works in practical terms when burned.

Home Affairs Minister, Walter Roban, a beekeeper himself, said: “We at the Ministry of Home Affairs are extremely proud of the work undertaken by Dr. Wood and the entire programme at MIT.

“This initiative has put Bermuda’s beeswax on the map. We look forward to seeing the flight on May 20, where Bermuda’s beeswax will be burned.

“I want to especially thank the Beekeeping Association who contributed the consignment of beeswax, Tommy Sinclair, Principal Agriculture Officer with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, who was instrumental in getting the beeswax on its way to MIT, Lewell Woolridge Jr, and Albert Swan.

“The Ministry of Home Affairs is grateful for all of their contributions and hard work toward making this project a success.”

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