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Beeswax Information

Beeswax Candles and their Benefits : Natural Air Purifiers and More

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 and produce a multi-level vibration that calms the inner senses while it sweetens the room with the pure scent of honey.

When beeswax candles burn, they clean the air like a great, natural, air purifier. Just like lightening, beeswax produces negative ions when burned. These negative ions attach to positive ions (like dust, pollen, mould, odour, toxins) floating in the air and in this process cleans the air. The ions in the air can affect our mood, energy and health. Beeswax candle fuel is the only fuel that actually produces negative ions, which not only helps remove pollution from the air but increases the ratio of negative ions to positive ions, the ideal and necessary criteria for clean air.

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.

Paraffin candles put out soot and smoke when you burn them (I thought all candles did that) along with toxins and carcinogens. Since burning petrochemical paraffin smells bad, synthetic fragrance oils are added, many of which are irritating and even toxic themselves when they’re burned. Breathing what paraffin candles give off has been compared to breathing diesel fumes.

And, to make matters worse, the soot, smoke, and chemical residue from “regular” candles can stick to walls, ceilings, and ventilation ducts and gets re-circulated whenever the heating/cooling system is in action, exposing you to these pollutants even when the paraffin candles aren’t burning.

Here’s the catch: to get any of these claimed benefits, the candle has to be 100 percent beeswax. And, remember, a candle only needs to contain 51 percent beeswax to be labeled as a beeswax candle. The rest can be paraffin (or anything else burnable).

Beeswax candles can seem to be on the expensive side–at least in comparison to “regular” paraffin candles. But beeswax actually burns slower, so you’ll get more for your money than if you opted for the cheaper 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.

Wax should only be melted in stainless steel, plastic, or tin plated containers. Iron rust and containers of galvanized iron, brass or copper all impart a color to beeswax and aluminum is said to make the wax dull and mud colored. The next time you see a very orange wax in may have been melted in a copper pan.

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 and 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.