Dedicated to the education of the consumer about beeswax and beeswax candles.
Where Does Beeswax Come From ?
Beeswax is secreted from glands on the abdomen of my young sisters. When the
beeswax first is secreted it is a small translucent ( almost clear ) little scale.
We then chew it , along with a few other substances , to make an almost pure white
beeswax that is then shaped into comb. We build comb for two reasons - to
store honey and raise babies.
When the honeycomb is built , the cells are filled with nectar, and then fanned down
to reduce the moisture content to about 18% . Once this is achieved we then cap the cell
with a thin layer of beeswax to seal in the honey. When we come home , from collecting
nectar and pollen , we don't wipe our feet upon entering the hive so we track dirt and
pollen all over the hive. Sometimes this dirt and pollen will stick to the surface of
the honeycomb causing a slight discoloration .
When the broodcomb is built in the lower brood chambers , our Queen lays the eggs in the
cells and this is where my brothers and sisters are born and raised. This beeswax can appear
dark because of the casings and bee debris left behind. My young siblings don't wear diapers.
We do our best to clean the cells after the brood has left , but some bee debris is left behind.
In either case the beeswax with the dirt, pollen and bee debris is a nice yellow underneath,
if rendered with low heat and water the golden yellow beeswax will rise to the surface. If
rendered with high heat , the honey in the beeswax will " cook " and the dirt and bee debris
will bond to the beeswax resulting in dark beeswax.
When the beekeeper extracts the honey from the honeycomb , the caps are cut off and the honey
is spun out by centrifugal force. As the beekeeper uncaps the honeycomb , burr comb is scraped
off the frames and any broken foundation are added to the mix. This mix of beeswax is then
rendered . Quite often old brood comb from brood frames are also thrown in the melter. Due
to time and labour concerns , it is rare for a beekeeper to separate cappings beeswax from
the burr comb , broken foundation and brood comb during the extraction process . It might be
misleading for any beekeeper or candlemaker to claim 100% pure cappings beeswax .