Beeswax: A Unique Substance for Which There is No Substitute
Though often overshadowed by honey, beeswax is very important in its own right. In fact, it could be argued that historically, beeswax has even been more important than honey.
And though we aren’t quite as reliant upon beeswax as our ancestors were, it’s still used in hundreds of applications for which no other known material serves as effectively.
Have you wondered? Many people have through the ages.
But beeswax is a complex material, and it wasn’t until the 1960’s that scientists had the means to accurately analyze it and resolve all the questions about it’s composition.
As it turns out, beeswax is composed of hundreds of chemical components including hydrocarbons, diesters, triesters, acid polyesters, fatty acids – and even a bit of alcohol.
If you’re like me, knowing about all those ingredients isn’t really all that interesting. But what those ingredients combine to form – beeswax – is actually a rather fascinating substance.
Beeswax is derived from the blood of the bee, and secreted in flakes from glands on the abdomens of worker bees. Somehow, within the darkness of the hive, thousands of bees work together to form the snowy white flakes of wax into honeycomb. The comb is used for storing honey and pollen, and for raising brood.
The cells are constructed so that they tilt slightly upward from the base to the opening, preventing nectar and honey from flowing out of the cell.
And in the hexagonal geometry of the cells, nature has engineered the optimum compromise between strength and utilization of space. Though the walls of each cell are no thicker than 2 or 3 thousandths of an inch, the comb is able to hold 22 times its own weight!
In fact, the weight to strength ratio of honeycomb construction is so efficient that man has copied it in thousands of engineering applications.
The list goes on and on and on!
We rely upon them for so much.
If the honey bee ever disappears from the earth, humankind will be in a world of hurt. Let’s each do what we can to assure that never happens!
If you’re looking to buy beeswax – whether for candle making, making homemade cream, or any other purpose – there are a few things you should know to make sure you get the quality you need.
Pure beeswax candles are the best candles you can buy - in my opinion, anyway! They're the best-scented candles, and they emit the best light - a cheery, steady, sunny glow, free from the constant flickering of other types of candles.
Beeswax candle making? There’s nothing to it! Beeswax makes the very best candles, and there’s a very easy way to make beeswax candles. And making candles from beeswax is a great project for kids.
Beeswax lip balm has been around for a loooooong time. That’s because beeswax is among the most important of lip balm ingredients. Even some of the most popular brands such as ChapStick and Blistex still use beeswax as one of their lip balm ingredients in at least some of their products.
Beeswax Wood Finish
Beeswax wood finish and beeswax furniture polish has become more popular in recent years. People are searching for a natural alternative to modern wood finishing products containing chemicals such as toluene.
Beeswax crayons offer a more natural alternative to traditional paraffin-based crayons. Crayons made with beeswax are long lasting, and the natural transparency of the beeswax reveals vibrant colors.
Have you considered making homemade soap with beeswax? If you’ve looked at a package of soap lately and read the ingredients in soap, you just might be inspired to make your own.
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