Beeswax is a natural wax produced in the bee hive of honey bees. It is the worker bees, the females, that create this wax, to build honeycomb cells for three purposes; raising their young, storing honey, and pollen. It takes eight times the consumption in honey to create the wax. It is estimated that bees fly 150,000 miles to create one pound of bees wax.
It is the type of flowers gathered by the bees that determines the color of the wax, from a white to brown, most often a shade of yellow. The color of beeswax is at first white and then darkens with age and use. This is especially true if it is used to raise the young bees. The color has no significance as to the quality of the wax (other than its esthetic appeal). Formerly, bees wax was bleached using ozonisation, sulphuric acid, or hydrogen peroxide which resulted in the addition of chemicals into the wax. Bleaching has now been stopped by reputable candle manufacturers and other suppliers of this natural wax.
60% of total beeswax is used to make candles, cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. It is also used in polishing materials for shoes, furniture, models, pool table filler, and as a protective coating for aging cheese. Bees wax can be softened with vegetable oil to make it softer and more workable.
The most important aspect of bees wax, besides the naturalness, is that they burn brighter, longer, and cleaner than any other candle! The flame virtually emits the same light spectrum as the sun and in the process of burning, negative ions (which is a positive thing) are released to clean the air and invigorate the body. The negative ions is what the air smells like after a storm.
This 100% natural fuel created by bees is naturally scented by the honey and nectar of flowers packed into the honeycombs and gives off a subtle fragrance as it burns. If the bees wax has a medicinal smell, chances are that it has been chemically altered or bleached. Always check for 100% beeswax, for the legalities on labeling these candles states that a mere 55% content can be called ‘beeswax’, and for soy candles, a minimum amount of 20% soy wax can allow for those type of candles to be called ‘soy’.
Beeswax vs. Paraffin:
Beeswax is a 100% natural fuel created by bees;
– burns cleaner than any other,
– burns longer than others and do not drip,
– emits a bright light that has the same light spectrum as the sun,
– emits negative ions that actually clean the air and invigorate the body,
– are naturally scented by the honey and nectar of flowers packed into the honeycomb within the beehive.
– come from a renewable resource.
Paraffin candles come from a nonrenewable resource: petroleum, a.k.a. crude oil;
– give off many of the same toxic fumes as are found in auto exhaust,
– are relatively short burning and drip excessively,
– is a toxic byproduct of the oil industry.
– produce a disorganized light spectrum very similar to old-fashioned incandescent bulbs,
– produce toxic petrol-soot that eventually stains all interior surfaces,
– typically contain artificial fragrances and colors which also produce toxins and stains when burned.
The wick is just as important as the type of wax. When you burn a chemically processed or metallically reinforced wick, it can release large amounts of soot into the air you breathe, possibly causing harmful health side effects. The metals and chemicals in these wicks are bleach, petroleum products, lead and zinc, which are released into the air for you to inhale.
Also look for 100% unbleached cotton wicks. One way to test the wick is to drag it or rub it on a piece of white paper, any metals will leave a mark on the paper.
Bees Wax is often used in soap making as well. Put the wax in with the oils at the beginning as this natural wax has a high melting point and may not fully melt if added at trace. Usually this amazing wax is added to soap for the added hardness of the final bars. The scent of honey is an added bonus! Add only 1.5 percent of wax to your total of oils and fats. Too much wax could make a sticky and gummy bar.