Beeswax is one of the most natural and clean waxes available on the market today. People have used beeswax for candle making, going back at least 5,000 years to the time of the ancient Egyptians. Even with all of the other alternative waxes we have today, beeswax is still extremely popular.
How is beeswax made? Beeswax is produced by honey bees in beehives. The bees produce wax through glands under their abdomen. When harvested, the wax and honey are separated and the wax is cleaned and then molten. It is then filtered and allowed to harden. However, it may be filtered multiple times.
Beeswax and Candle Making
Is beeswax good for candle making? Beeswax is great for making candles and is a much-loved type of wax for those that prefer a more natural approach. It can be a healthier and more pleasant option than using any form of paraffin wax, with the added benefits of a high melting point, molding opportunities, color, and aroma.
You can make and buy some beautiful pieces. Beeswax has also become a popular option for food wraps. However, there are ethical issues to consider where plant-based wax might be better.
What kind of candles can you make with beeswax wax? Beeswax is great for making taller tapered candles or pillar candles because of the properties of beeswax. A high melting point and a slow burn so tall decorative candles should last a long time and offer great value. There also shouldn’t be as much wax dripping down the side to spoil the look.
Don’t try using beeswax in smaller tealight or wax melts because you won’t get the effect you are after. You also shouldn’t use beeswax if you want to create scented candles because of the following point.
Once you learn how to melt beeswax into the right consistency and at the right temperature, you should be able to pour it in lots of different molds for some beautiful candles. The density and tone of the set wax make beeswax perfect for more sculptural forms.
There are lots of molds around that are bee-themed – from little hives to taller honeycomb-patterned pillar candles.
If you want to see what beeswax options are available in your area check out our candle making supplies page.
Beeswax and Fragrance Throw
Does beeswax have a good hot throw? No, beeswax does not have a good hot throw. If you are looking to make a natural candle with a strong hot throw for impactful scented candles, you need to add natural fragrance to a different wax. The scent of beeswax is much more subtle when burnt.
Does beeswax have a good cold throw? No, beeswax does not have a good cold throw. For that reason, beeswax is not often used for scented candles unless it is part of a blend. Mixing beeswax with another natural wax such as soy, or coconut might be a viable option. Beeswax alone is best used in decorative and pillar candles.
Cost of Beeswax For Candle Making
Is beeswax expensive? Beeswax is one of the most expensive waxes you can buy. That is because all beeswax is harvested from, and made by bees. Unlike soy wax that can come from fields of soybeans or coconut wax that can come from acres of coconut palms, beeswax has a scalability problem when it comes to production.
Pros and Cons of Beeswax Candles
What are the pros and cons of using beeswax in candles?
|Pros of Beeswax||Cons of Beeswax|
|Clean Burning||Not Vegan|
|Sustainable||Bad Scent Throw|
|Multiple Uses||Ethical Issues|
It is important to consider both the pros and cons of this product regarding both its use in candle making and its impact on the natural world.
It is seen as both an environmental and user-friendly alternative product, but it might not be the perfect option for your needs.
Beeswax Sustainability and Environmental Impacts
Is beeswax environmentally friendly? Beeswax is environmentally friendly when used in candles. Beeswax does not contain many of the same toxins that are in paraffin wax and it is naturally sourced and overall, it is one of the cleanest burning renewable waxes available. However, other questions remain.
This is an interesting question because there are different aspects to consider. As you will see below, some feel that there is a negative impact on the natural world because of the involvement of bees. However, there are benefits in the natural materials and the effect on the atmosphere of the home.
A good natural beeswax candle doesn’t contain the same chemicals and pollutants as something like paraffin. Instead, it ionizes particles from the burning candle help to purify the air and remove toxins and allergens. Also, if you can get wax or candles from a local source, there is a lower carbon footprint.
Beeswax, Veganism and Cruelty
Is beeswax vegan? Beeswax is not vegan in the strictest sense of the term. Some people that consider themselves vegan or that try to include more vegan items into their lives may disagree on the impact of beeswax. Most commonly, began products are those that do not use animal by-products.
For example, dairy products are avoided as they come directly from farmed animals. There is a disconnect at times with beeswax and honey, as these are created by animals in the hive, but not directly from the bee. It all comes down to issues of exploitation and the next point.
Is beeswax cruelty-free? Beeswax may not be considered a cruelty-free product by a lot of vegans because of the idea of exploitation. There isn’t the same direct contact between farmer and animal as with dairy or wool items, but we are still using a living creature to make something on our behalf.
We then take the efforts of the bees’ hard work for a profit. A well-managed hive with proper care for the bees and sympathetic practices helps. It may help anyone on the fence about beeswax to research the companies and their suppliers first.
The issue of beeswax as an animal product.
While there are some clear environmental benefits here when looking at beeswax’s effect on the atmosphere and other considerations, there is also a downside.
Not every one that craves natural candles will feel comfortable using beeswax due to ethical considerations.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Beeswax
Advantages of Beeswax
- Beeswax candles have a high melting point and can last a long time.
- You can shape the wax into fun shapes with a nice natural tone.
- They give off a pleasant aroma without the need for artificial fragrance.
- They don’t rely on dangerous chemicals and can instead help to purify the air.
Disadvantages of Beeswax
- The wax isn’t ideal for making all candle shapes or scented candles.
- There are ethical considerations as this is not a vegan product.
- The scent is subtle with a bad hot throw.
Frequently Asked Questions
Candelilla wax and paraffin wax can make great alternatives to beeswax. However, of the two only candelilla wax is all-natural and renewable. If your only objection to beeswax is that it isn’t vegan try both, but if you want an all-natural vegan alternative, go with candelilla wax.
Beeswax has a light, sweet, subtle, and natural fragrance that some people say is reminiscent of honey. However, that could simply be a psychological aspect of using beeswax for candle making. Pure beeswax is actually odorless. However, depending on how it is refined it can retain the odor and color of honey.
You can add a scent to beeswax candles. You can use fragrance oil or essential oil in beeswax candles. Add the oil to your melted wax at about 165°F, stir the wax and oil together thoroughly, yet be gentle while doing so to avoid creating air bubbles.
Soy is better for scented candles in containers and beeswax is better for pillar and votive candles. So the two are not really comparable. They have vastly different melting points which makes them both great at completely different things.
Yellow beeswax is most commonly used in candle making, so it is the best for making candles. However, white beeswax is popular in certain cosmetic products, and it is the best choice for those applications.
Beeswax can smell bad when you’ve received a batch of low quality, poorly packaged, or mislabeled wax. Beeswax should not smell bad if it is of high quality, and has been processed and packaged correctly. If you have a smelly batch of beeswax you may want to verify the origins of the wax.
Beeswax does not expire. However, if beeswax is not stored properly it can still experience issues that make it difficult to work with. One example is “bloom”. Bloom is an issue much similar to frosting in soy wax where the outside of the wax gains a whitish color. However, this fades away upon melting the wax.
In conclusion, beeswax is a great option if you want to make all-natural and sustainable candles. However, if you are a vegan and want to use only cruelty-free products then beeswax might not be for you. Wax is harvested from bees which can put stress on the hive. However, sustainable producers will always make sure to harvest in a responsible way.
If you decide to give beeswax a try, be sure to do your research and try to find local and sustainable producers. When it comes to beeswax, you want to try and avoid foreign imports.
The good news is that if you decide you do not want to use beeswax, there are some other great alternatives on the market. Some of the vegetable-based waxes can even be used as alternatives with the right blends and additives.