The Benefits of Beeswax
The Benefits of Beeswax
Bees are marvellous little creatures. Not only do they collect nectar to make honey, they also produce a natural wax, called beeswax. This beneficial beeswax is used by bees to build honeycomb cells, by other animals, and humans as a food source, and in households and businesses around the world.
What is beeswax
Beeswax (cera alba), produced by worker honey bees of the genus Apis, has been used since prehistory as wrapping material, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, in lost wax casting of metals and glass, as a polish for wood and leather, for making candles, as an ingredient in cosmetics and as an artistic medium in encaustic painting.
Worker honeybees develop a special wax-producing gland in their abdomen when they are between 12 and 20 days old. This gland converts sugar into a waxy substance from the sugar and also deposits substance flakes on the abdomen. The process of how bees make wax is complex and depends on many factors. The new wax is initially glass-clear and colourless, becoming opaque after chewing and being contaminated with pollen by the hive worker bees, becoming progressively yellower or browner by incorporation of pollen oils and propolis.
The benefits of beeswax
Beeswax was among the first plastics to be used, alongside other natural polymers such as gutta-percha, horn, tortoiseshell, and shellac. For thousands of years, beeswax has had a wide variety of applications; it has been found in the tombs of Egypt, in wrecked Viking ships, and in Roman ruins. Beeswax never goes bad and can be heated and reused.
Beeswax is used in many ways: as a component in shoe polish and furniture polish; as an organic surfboard wax; in modelling waxes; in Cutler's resin; by percussionists to make a surface on tambourines for thumb rolls; in surgical bone wax; in egg decoration; in sealing formal document and invitation envelopes. Nowadays, beeswax is most widely used in natural cosmetics, for making candles and food wraps.
Candle-making has long involved the use of beeswax, which burns readily and cleanly, and have a naturally sweet, mild fragrance. Beeswax candles are superior to other wax candles, because they burn brighter and ‘cleaner’ without emitting toxins, thus purifying the indoor air.
All our 100% Pure Beeswax Candles are produced by the very same bees who make our raw honey, are made without any artificial additives and are hand-rolled. We are helping our beekeeper partners to operate a more sustainable apiary and reduce our carbon footprint by not making unnecessary journeys.
Beeswax has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties like honey, which makes them ideal for use with food. Beeswax assists with moulding and locking in food flavours. In food preparation, it has been used as a coating for cheese; by sealing out the air, protection is given against spoilage (mould growth). Similarly, to cut down on plastic and food waste beeswax can be used to wrap sandwiches, bread, fruits and vegetables, to cover containers – instead of cling film – and even to cover open bottles. Beeswax wraps are breathable and keep your food fresher for longer.
Our Natural Beeswax Wraps are 100% Natural & Zero Waste Products made sustainably to be kind to our planet. Even the plastic packaging of our wraps is plant-based and compostable; it can go into your compost bin to naturally break down. The Beeswax Wraps can be washed and reused for up to 1 year and are easy to clean: simply wash with cool soapy water and hang to dry. To refresh them every few month, lay them on baking paper in 100C/225F oven for no more than 2 minutes. Once cooled down they are ready to use again.