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.
We’ve been making these for a a few years for our own use and for gifting. After much prodding from a friend we finally took the plunge and made a huge batch of beeswax wraps to sell.
They are the sustainable alternative to using plastic food wrap or plastic bags. We make them with organic cotton, beeswax from our own hives, pine tree resin and jojoba oil. The brilliant thing about them is that they can be used again and again, and when they finally collapse (we have some that are two years old and still going strong) they can be chopped up and composted – they also make terrific fire starters.
We use ours mainly for wrapping up after school snacks and sandwiches in lunch boxes. You just fold the wrap around the food and use the warmth of your hands to set the shape.
They are also great for covering bowls.
We’ve even made some huge ones suitable for wrapping a large loaf of bread.
When you’ve finished using one, you just rinse it with cool water (hot water would melt the beeswax) and some washing up soap, leave to dry overnight then it is ready to go again the next morning.
As well as making the most delicious honey our bees make beautiful wax.
Beeswax is a fascinating substance – it has been prized for centuries for numerous uses. In medieval times bees were kept by monasteries primarily for their wax – candles made from beeswax give a steady, consistent, bright light, far superior to the tallow alternative. Good illumination would have been essential for writing and studying manuscripts.
Nowadays beeswax candles are the most natural available. They burn very cleanly without any mucky petroleum soot. As beeswax is relatively expensive it is often mixed with other waxes to save money.
All of our candles are handmade from 100% pure beeswax which has been collected from our own hives. We never mix our beeswax with any other type of wax or with beeswax from other sources.
We have now stocked our website shop with the new candles below, we still have our usual candles too!