All about Beeswax

Beeswax Candles
David E. MacFawn and Sally Adams

 

The next time you purchase candles, consider purchasing 100% Pure Beeswax Candles. Consider the natural inviting aroma of natural beeswax, without artificial scents added. Consider that 100% beeswax candles are virtually dripless and soot free, unlike paraffin or soy candles. Consider that beeswax candles burn several times longer than paraffin candles, with a warmer and fuller flame. Consider your health and burn the best candles on the planet, 100% Beeswax Candles.

Until the 1800’s, candles were used for lighting rooms, homes and meeting houses. Most worship buildings used beeswax for lighting to help keep their church cleaner, since it is normally, soot free and dripless. Plus the purity of a 100% beeswax candle supported the deep rooted theme of keeping a pure heart. Often, in olden times, beeswax was used in poorer homes for only special occasions, while, burning tallow candles for everyday use. In today’s home, we can burn beeswax candles every day and are no longer limited to only special occasions, (although, they do make those special occasion even more special!). The white rounded flame, the wonderful warm glow, and soft natural scent is unique to beeswax candles and cannot be duplicated by other waxes.

Where does beeswax come from?

Beeswax is produced by honey bees that are 12 to 18 days old. The wax is secreted from 8 wax glands, on the bee’s abdomen, in the form of a scale. It takes approximately 800,000 scales to make one pound of beeswax! In the beehive, the worker bees form the wax scales into thousands of hexagonal shaped cells, which we call honey comb. The comb is used by the honey bees to store honey & pollen and as a place for the Queen to lay her eggs. The comb is a classic example, used in architecture and engineering, as one of the strongest shapes to use as structure. Of course, we use the comb melted and filtered to make the finest candles.

Candle Color and Fragrance

The ‘natural’ color of beeswax ranges from nearly white to brown; this is a good proving point that your candle is indeed 100% pure beeswax. The beeswax scale when first secreted is tasteless, odorless, and mostly colorless. Beeswax obtains its light to golden yellow color due to propolis and pollen collected from flowers by the honey bees. The unique natural fragrance of beeswax is obtained from propolis, and pollen and honey stored in the honeycomb. Hence, the color and fragrance of 100% beeswax will vary from region to region.

Over time, beeswax will develop bloom which is a whitish coating, (just like good chocolate!) This is the result of oils rising to the beeswax surface. Rubbing the candle with a soft cloth or warming with a hair dryer will remove candle bloom. Once removed, bloom may again reappear on pure beeswax. Bloom has no effect on how your beeswax candle will burn. Beeswax has a melting point between 144 and 147 degrees Fahrenheit, depending on the natural content of beeswax. Beeswax has about the highest melting point of any waxes which results in beeswax candles burning 2-5 time longer than paraffin candles.

Burning Beeswax Candles

Traditional beeswax candles are made by dipping a wick in a vat of beeswax, producing a taper candle. More modern methods use heated beeswax poured into metal, silicone or polyurethane molds, which produce a free standing candle. To burn beeswax candles, trim wick to 1/4″ before each use and if it is over 2inches in diameter, burn for 4 hours, which spreads the melt pool and keeps the candle from burning straight down the center. Keep burning candles away from drafts for a safer, longer burn time. Burn candles only in a fireproof container. Room temperature will also affect how long a 100% pure beeswax candle will burn.

Never leave a burning candle unattended.

Look for 100% cotton wick; we advise against using lead or metal wicks in the candles.

The Fine Print

In the United States, the term “pure” on a label suggests it only needs 51% of the ingredient to be called ‘pure’. Some companies sell both ‘pure’ beeswax candles and ‘pure’ soy candles, which may contain a combination of 51% beeswax and 49% paraffin, or 51% soy and 49% paraffin. Paraffin is typically cheaper, and unfortunately releases small amounts of carcinogens and toxins into the air. At MamaBeehive Honey Farm you never have to wonder what is in the other 49%.

Many soy and paraffin candles contain unwanted dyes and fragrances, which when burned release toxins into the air. Pure 100% natural beeswax candles do not contain the unwanted dyes and fragrances. Pollen, propolis, and the pollen content of 100% natural beeswax produce a natural sweet fragrance. No one has cost effectively produced soy candles that are self-standing. Due to the soft and oily nature of so this wax, self-standing soy candles typically only contain a small percentage of soy.

Again

Consider purchasing 100% beeswax candles the next time you purchase candles. Consider the extra value beeswax has over paraffin or soy candles. Consider your health, beeswax candles are virtually soot free, dripless and typically burn several times longer. Consider 100% beeswax candles and enliven your living space with the exquisite natural beeswax scent and that warm beeswax glow. Handsome light to golden yellow beeswax color blends well with most decors with a natural elegance.

Authors

Sally Adams ( mamabeehive@yahoo.com ; http://www.mamabeehive.com ) Owner of MamaBeehive Honey Farm, The Bee Ladies Honey Bee Education Program, SC Master Beekeeper, 2013 SC Beekeeper of the Year. You can find natural beehive & botanical products made by the bees and the beekeeper and further information on honey bee education at mamabeehive.com

David E. MacFawn ( dmacfawn@aol.com ) is a master craftsman beekeeper living in the Columbia, SC area, co-founded the SC Master Beekeeping Program, 1996 SC Beekeeper of the Year. He sells beeswax candles and is a beekeeping consultant. David has kept bees over 50 years.

Christine I Barth, Beeswax Candle Works, Inc., www.BeeswaxCandleWorks.com