If you’re looking to buy beeswax – whether for candle making, making homemade lip balm, or any other purpose – there are a few things you should know to make sure you get the quality you need.
And if you’re wondering where you can purchase beeswax, well…that’s easy. Nowadays, you can buy all the beeswax you need with just a few clicks of your mouse.
You'll find a few recommended sources of beeswax below.
What You Should Know About Beeswax Coloring
Beeswax is secreted by worker bees from glands on the underside of their abdomens. When first produced, the flakes of beeswax are a snowy, almost translucent white. But the beeswax doesn’t stay that pristine for long.
Once the wax is formed into honeycomb, it quickly becomes stained to a yellowish hue from pollen and the resins of propolis. The older a comb is, the darker it becomes.
And comb that is used for raising brood becomes even darker. Over years of use, brood comb will become nearly black.
So the age of the comb and how it was used in the hive will impact the color of the rendered beeswax.
The very best quality of beeswax comes from the cappings that are cut off of combs of honey during the extraction process. This wax is usually not very old, and so it is not as stained.
In fact, capping wax can be very light in color if it’s removed from the hive shortly after the bees have sealed the comb.
Take a look at the photo of comb honey from one of my hives. I took pains to remove it from the hive as soon as it was sealed, before thousands of bee feet walked over it. (Ain’t it purtee?!)
The cappings aren’t quite as pristine as they appear. A slight pocket of air trapped under the cappings makes them appear whiter than they really are.
Even if nothing but very fresh cappings like those shown in the photo are rendered down, the resulting wax would still have a slight yellowish tinge.
So if you’re shopping for beeswax, know that if it’s pure, untreated wax, it will NOT be snowy white. If you see blocks of beeswax that are white, you can be sure that it’s been treated in some way. Possibly treated with a chemical such as bleach, possibly pressure filtered. There’s nothing wrong with using that kind of beeswax if it suits your purposes. But it’s not likely to have the sweet, delicate aroma of natural beeswax.
Beeswax taken from older combs will be very dark in color, even after impurities are strained out during the rendering process.
Where To Buy Beeswax
Beeswax is most often sold in the form of beeswax blocks, beeswax pellets and beeswax sheets.
If you’re looking to buy beeswax blocks, try to find a local beekeeper to buy from. Not many small-scale beekeepers produce wax in the form of pellets or sheets. But your local beekeepers can be a great source of beautiful, fresh, golden beeswax blocks. And you’ll also be supporting your local beekeeping industry (which, of course, supports your local bees!).
To try to find a beekeeper in your area, you can go to Google and type in ‘yourstate beekeeper association.’ If you live in Texas, for example, you’d do a search on “Texas Beekeeper Association.” Most states have beekeepers associations you can contact to try to find a local beekeeper. Some associations even have a listing of beekeepers available on their website.
Where To Buy Beeswax Online
If you don’t have a local source available, you can easily and conveniently buy beeswax online from several retailers. Here are a couple that you might want to check out:
And if you need a LOT of beeswax, you can get a very nice per-pound price break on large orders of beeswax pastilles (pellets).
One More Tip…
Though it is a natural substance, it is possible for beeswax to be tainted with impurities such as pesticide residues. The bees can encounter pesticides while foraging, of course. But pesticides are also sometimes introduced into the hive intentionally by beekeepers to combat pests such as Varroa mites that can decimate a hive. (Though when hives are treated according to guidelines, there should be no pesticides in the hive during honey harvest.)
It’s just something to be aware of – particularly if you plan on using the wax in a way in which it will contact food or be absorbed into the skin (such as making a lotion or balm). If it’s a concern to you, you'll want to buy organic or even pharmaceutical grade beeswax.