Where Does Beeswax Come From?

Where Does Beeswax Come From?

Curious about beeswax? Let’s dive into its origins. Bees make beeswax by secreting it from special glands on their abdomen, then manipulating it with their saliva to build the hexagonal honeycomb inside beehives. Prepare to be surprised as we uncover fascinating facts and explore its incredible uses. When winter hits and your lips suffer, beeswax comes to the rescue! Discover how it seals and protects, even in the driest conditions. Join us on this exciting journey into the magic of beeswax!

The Importance of Natural Beeswax

Beeswax plays a significant role in your life. No matter how much lip balm you use, it fails to protect your lips from winter’s harsh effects, resulting in dryness and fine lines. But don’t worry! Beeswax acts as a seal, guarding your lips against drying out from the air and other elements. Beeswax products are incredibly versatile, used in everything from candles to food-safe wraps.

Did you know that beeswax has multiple uses? It can be found in cosmetic products like body balm and body butter, as well as in candles, medicines, varnishes, electrical parts, and even as a cheese coating to prevent mold. Additionally, many natural car waxes contain beeswax. Beeswax candles are particularly beneficial due to their natural fragrance, longer burning time, and air-purifying properties. But where does beeswax come from?

Beeswax Origins: Wax Glands

At first glance, the beeswax seems horrible, secreted from the underside of an insect! However, if you take the time, it can become something useful like lip balm. And while lip balm definitely will not repair the world, it does solve chapped lips. You have to start somewhere.

Young honey bees produce wax using special wax-producing glands beneath their bodies. This liquid wax hardens when exposed to air. Female worker bees, which are young, secrete beeswax until they are around 17 days old. As they age, honey bees lose this ability when their eight wax producing glands become inactive. Beeswax serves as a vital byproduct for the hive, used to construct combs for storing honey and accommodating new bees.

Beeswax, made primarily of plant resins, is a safe and versatile natural material. It can be consumed, used for cosmetics, and has numerous industrial applications including candle making, encaustic painting, and food preservation. Worker bees produce wax scales, which are then used by other worker bees to build the hive. Beeswax holds the hive together.

Beeswax is the foundation of a hive, providing structure and living space for bees. Inside the hive, worker bees collaborate in various roles, creating a symbiotic flow of life. From comb construction to nectar and pollen collection, each bee contributes. Beeswax is also crucial for honey storage, as it seals the honeycombs to keep moisture and debris out. Let’s learn from honey bees to enhance cooperation and resilience.

In recent weeks, we did our annual filtering at the Honey House. Natural beeswax is truly a wonder of nature! It’s created by young honey bees and has so many versatile uses. From honey production to skincare products, candles, and even crafts, beeswax is remarkable. Surplus honey is stored in honeycombs and only collected to ensure the bees can thrive. By choosing beeswax over synthetic materials, we support the hardworking wax bees and help the environment. So next time you enjoy a scented candle or use a homemade balm, remember the incredible journey of beeswax. Do you use beeswax? Share your tips and tricks with us on Instagram! Let’s celebrate this amazing natural resource together!


Kara holding a hive frame in doorway of cabin

About the Author

Kara waxes about the bees, creates and tests recipes with her friend Joyce, and does her best to share what she’s learning about the bees, honey, ingredients we use and more. Read more about Kara