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BEESWAX

What is beeswax?

Beeswax is a natural, biodegradable wax produced by honey bees to form the 'comb' - the structure of their nest in which their honey and brood is stored. It is made by worker bees through the consumption of honey produced from the foraged flower nectar and is collected by the bee as a flake on the underside of it's abdomen. It is estimated that for every 75 kilograms of honey, only one kilogram of wax is produced.

Beeswax is usually harvested by beekeepers together with honey and is separated in the process of honey extraction. It takes an unfathomable amount of work from bees to create even one kilogram of wax and is becoming a highly valued resource, as it was in ancient times.

Beeswax is an incredibly versatile resource and is prized for useful qualities. It has been used in countless ways for thousands of years. Beeswax is impervious to moisture so has been used as a sealant for water carriers, food storage, tombs, even in the mummifying process in ancient Egypt and as a conditioner for wood and steel. Mixed with resin in has been used as a binder for tribal weapons. It is known as a 'barrier' in skin care products having a long lasting, protective and nourishing effect. It can be used to thicken products, allow for a longer shelf life and is highly valued in candle making for it's slow burning, honey scent and ionizing (allergy relieving) properties. Beeswax has even been used as an ingredient in food plus many many more weird and wonderful ways.

Bees making honey beeswax comb 

Why choose beeswax?

We are constantly uncovering reasons as to why using this fantastic natural resource is much more beneficial compared to the alternative waxes and ingredients used in products to get the same effect.

Let''s explore the many reasons why using beeswax is preferable and good for the environment and your health!

 

1. Support the bee population

2. Good for the environment
- Renewable, biodegradable and 100% natural

3. Emits negative ions 
- Purifying, cleansing and improving the air quality and invigorating the body

4. Hypo-allergenic
- Beneficial to those with environmental allergies, sensitivities and asthma

5. Substantially longer burn time for candles and scent melts

6. Emits the same light spectrum as the sun

7. Smells delightful!

 

Read on to explore the details of these benefits.

beeswax blocks beeswax essentials

1. Support the bee population

Beeswax generally costs between $18 to $35 per kilogram from a beekeeper. As people are realising it's value and preference in skin care products, the demand has raised the price substantially from around $7 per kilogram 10 years ago and is still on it's way up. This has been a massive benefit to beekeepers who have been previously struggling from selling only honey. Beekeeping had 'gone out of style' a while back because of the hard labor involved. However, as you can imagine with the cost benefits of now being able to sell wax as well as honey, it is becoming an attractive and sustaining career.

The price increase of beeswax sustains and secures the beekeeping industry, encouraging more people to become beekeepers which in turn expands the bee population. The more bees, the more security from pests and diseases, the more chance of survival.

Supporting businesses who provide beeswax based products, or making beeswax products yourself will uphold the demand from beekeepers therefore the price of wax, which down the line, upholds the bee population. In addition, it is healthier for a bee hive to create fresh comb once in a while, to keep the hive clean. So removing the comb wax is beneficial to the health of the hive, avoiding the harboring of pests and diseases. 

Keeping the bees from their threatening extinction is vital to the health of the environment and ourselves. Many of our food crops and native plants depend on pollination by bees. Loosing bees could cause extinction of these plants resulting in enormous environmental changes and constrict the range of healthy foods available. It is literally impossible to determine how our world would be without bees. 

 bee on borage flower Beeswax Essentials

2. Good for the environment
- Renewable, biodegradable and 100% natural

Being made naturally by bees, beeswax is a renewable resource needing no chemicals to process. Bee hives do not require cleared farm land, they are integrated into forests and farming systems to pollinate crops and collect nectar. There are other natural plant based waxes available such as soy, however, the production of soy must be mono-cultured therefore needing to be sprayed with insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, resulting in poisonous residues in the wax product. 

Even though it may take a while, beeswax is entirely biodegradable and will not harm the environment as a waste. If beeswax is stored away from organic matter and insects, it will last indefinitely. It will never 'spoil' so is used in some products for a longer shelf life.

  Melted beeswax reflection Beeswax Essentials

3. Emits negative ions 
- Purifying, cleansing and improving the air quality and invigorating the body

Beeswax candles are a natural ionizer! Unlike paraffin (a petroleum-based wax) and soy candles, beeswax candles have a completely clean, non-toxic burn and produce negative ions while burning. The negative ions released from burning beeswax negate the positive charge of air contaminants, and the neutralized ions are sucked back into the burning candle or fall to the ground.

Positively charged ions do not have a positive effect on our physical and mental health. They are associated with an increase in allergies, infections, lethargy, depression, anxiety, suicide, and more.

Negatively charged ions have a positive effect. They elevate our mood by increasing serotonin levels, they help stabilize blood pressure, increase the body’s alkalinity, strengthen bones, heighten immunity, accelerate physical recovery, they purify and clean the air, and more.

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 Beeswax tealight candles Beeswax Essentials

4. Hypo-allergenic
-Beneficial to those with environmental allergies, sensitivities and asthma

Alternative candle waxes have a plastic/petrol like smell while burning and usually have artificial dyes and synthetic fragrance additives which produce toxins when burned. This can agitate allergies and be of detriment to those who have environmental sensitivities. As explained above, unlike other candle waxes, beeswax candles are completely non-toxic, non-allergenic, non-carcinogenic and all natural. The negative ions produced cleanse the air contaminants, relieving allergy symptoms.

A study in asthmatic children found that exposure to positively ionized air brought on asthma attacks in response to exercise, while negatively ionized air greatly decreased the asthmatic response in these same children.

 Bee covered in pollen on sunflower Beeswax Essentials

5. Longer burn time for candles and scent melts

Beeswax has a noticeably longer burn time compared to other waxes (2 - 5 times longer).This is because it's melting point is much higher (in fact the highest among all known waxes). Having a higher melt point also means it solidifies quicker so results in your candles having less dripping effect. This also conserves the wax to be utilised by the candle for a longer burn. The burn time of beeswax candles offsets the cost compared to others made from paraffin or soy, along with the many other benefits.

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6. Emits the same light spectrum as the sun

Beeswax candles emit a naturally bright light of the same light spectrum as the sun (Green rhino spectrum, Solar spectrum). You will notice the warmth of the glow compared to alternatives. 

 Bees on bush basil Beeswax Essentials

7. Smells delightful!

Beeswax has a wonderful honey scent which becomes more apparent when the wax is melted but is noticeable even when it is solid. 

Nadia loves beeswax and it smells like honey YUM Beeswax Essentials

Thanks for reading! I would love to hear your ideas and suggestions on uses for beeswax. Send me an email! nadia@beeswaxessentials.com.au 

If you are interested in purchasing some beeswax based products or pure beeswax for your own DIY projects, head to the Product page.

 

 Bee pollinating flower hexagon photo

 

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