Most of the candles you can buy are made from paraffin wax, soy wax or beeswax – or a blend of these waxes. I absolutely love pure beeswax candles and choose to use them in our home. These are the reasons why:
1. Beeswax Candles burn brighter
Beeswax candles burn up to 5 times brighter than paraffin candles. Medieval monks knew that they were superior to the tallow alternative and kept bees mainly for their beeswax – allowing them to work on their manuscripts in the dark!
2. Beeswax doesn’t cost the earth
Beeswax is a naturally occurring wax, produced by bees. It is possible to clean wax for candle-making using solar wax extractors. Paraffin wax is made from a refined form of petroleum, which takes a huge amount of energy to extract and process. Soy wax is made from soybeans. To make the wax the oil is first mechanically extracted from the beans. It then has to be refined and bleached before being distilled with hexane, bleached with chlorine, deodorized with boric acid and then hydrogenated. This all takes a great deal of energy. The WWF has produced an interesting report about the impacts of growing soy on an industrial scale – Check it out here
3. Beeswax has a wonderful natural scent
When beeswax candles are burning they release a gentle, natural honey scent. Other types of wax have very little natural scent, so need to have scents added to them. I often find these scents overwhelming and unpleasant.
4. Beeswax is naturally coloured
The colour of beeswax reflects the flowers that the bees were foraging on when they made the wax. The natural colour variation ranges from almost pure white to bright yellow to a golden brown. I enjoy this variation because it reinforces the fact that it is a natural product and doesn’t have dyes added to it to make it into a uniform product.
5. Beeswax candles burn slowly
Beeswax has a higher melting point than other candle-making waxes, which means that candles made from beeswax burn more slowly. I get more minutes of candlelight from a beeswax candle!
I acknowledge that beeswax candles are usually more expensive than the alternatives, I do think that they are worth the extra expense though.