I was out cleaning up after our latest “hive dive” into our two hives making sure everything was on track for a July 1 harvest the other day and decided to leave out a queen excluder (seen above) to scrape beeswax out of later. Not two hours had passed before I noticed scout bees had already found it and were doing some harvesting of their own. This shows once again how resourceful, efficient and thrifty bees are. Once again I am convinced that if bees ran the world there would be no landfills, air pollution or waste of any kind.
Bees also understand what an amazingly flexible and beneficial product beeswax is, I watched them gather the wax and load it into the pollen baskets in their hind legs to bring it back to the hive. The wax is formed into scales by eight wax-producing glands in the abdominal segments of the workers which discard it in the hive. The hive workers collect and use it to form cells for honey storage and larval and pupal protection. The wax also works as a sort of HEPA filter as the air that passes through it is cleansed for the good of a healthy hive.
But there are a ton of uses us humans should learn about the material that has been used for centuries for everything from plastic, as a lubricant and waterproofing agent, a polish, an ingredient for cosmetics and edible ingredient for cooking.
This year I am planning to use the beeswax I harvest from my hives into candles. Like the ones I made last year.
I encourage you to reach out to local beekeepers for pure beeswax or buy some from Amazon this summer and embrace your creative side by making beeswax candles like we showed you in a previous post or check out our hivecraft post where we taught you how to make lip balm and lotion bars.