Beeswax Information

Beeswax and It's Benefits

Beeswax is a gift to you from nature. It is the purest and most natural of all waxes. Beeswax candles offer a golden flame, the longest, cleanest burn of any candle.

When beeswax candles made with a cotton wick burn - they burn cleaner than paraffin or soy candles as beeswax candles produce no soot. It is also reported in a number of places that burning beeswax candles produces negative ions, though we have been unable to find any scientific studies on this aspect of beeswax candles. 

For each pound of beeswax provided by a honey bee, the bee visits over 30 million flowers and they will eat 10 pounds of honey. They secrete the beeswax from their abdomens, and then use the wax to construct a honeycomb. Us Beekeepers recover the wax from the comb by heating it in water where the melted wax rises to the surface and can be removed.

Hundreds of years ago, most candles were made of beeswax. But over the centuries, beeswax candles were gradually replaced by tallow (animal fat) candles, and then in the last century by paraffin candles, which are probably the kind you have in your home right now. It sounds innocent enough, but paraffin is made from the sludge at the bottom of barrels of crude oil, which is then treated and bleached with benzene and other chemical solvents to “clean it up” for use in candles.

Beeswax is produced by bees in the form of tiny scales which are "sweated" from the segments on the underside of the abdomen. To stimulate the production of beeswax the bees gorge themselves with honey or sugar syrup and huddle together to raise the temperature of the cluster. To produce one pound of wax requires the bees to consume about ten pounds of honey.

IMPORTANT: When melting beeswax always use a water bath by placing the container of wax - probably a small saucepan - inside a larger pan of water. Never place a pan of wax directly on a hot plate or gas ring. Beeswax can easily become damaged by localized overheating and if it ignites can burn more ferociously than any chip pan fire. Beeswax does not boil - it just gets hotter and hotter until it ignites. 

The uses for beeswax are many but these days the most common are for better quality candles, soap, skin care products, hair care, fly fishing, the coatings of sweets and pills, furniture polish, batik art, putting on drawer runners to make them slide smoothly, in quilting and heavy sewing as it's put on the thread to ease its passing through tough materials. We also have industrial companies buying beeswax to help lubricate their machines.