Beeswax: from candles to cosmetics

Beeswax is produced by the "wax glands" of the bees, which develop between the second and third week of life and produce wax until the bee dies. The wax is then almost white, resembling fine flakes, then it is kneaded by the mandibles of the bee and mixed with its saliva. The result is a greasy paste that is used by the workers to make the cells in the hive. Wax is a fatty and compact substance, of lipidic nature, made up of 3/4 of fatty acid esters and alcohol, 1/4 of hydrocarbons, as well as some other substances (vitamin A, pigments...). It is a stable compound which keeps very well, even if it is preferable to melt it in order to sterilize it. It is then poured and kept in a hermetic container.

Related articles [View] - Apitherapy : all the benefits of the products of the hive - Therapeutic properties of honey: antiseptic, healing and anti-inflammatory - Pollen: properties, benefits and uses - The life of the bees, the queen and the hive - Bee venom: virtues of a poison - Propolis: properties, benefits and uses - Royal Jelly: properties, benefits and uses

Manufacturing and harvesting

Within the hive, wax can come from two places: the opercules that close the cells, or the old frames already in use. Distinguish then different uses depending on the origin, because the wax of the opercules is very pure while the wax of the old frames contains many impurities. Thus, in the first case, the wax from the opercules is purified in order to be used in apitherapy or in cosmetics, while the wax from the old frames will be used in industry, to make candles for example.

Moreover, beeswax is a product used since the dawn of time, whether in candles for lighting, to seal letters, or to mold sculptures. In addition, white wax (from the opercules) was used in ancient times to make dermatological preparations, such as poultices to be applied to burns or infected wounds. Today, white wax or yellow wax is still widely used in cosmetics. It is chosen as excipient and protective agent in the constitution of ointments, milks, mascara, lipsticks, anti-aging creams... Wax is a stable and flexible material that is an ideal support for mixing organic products. Moreover, it also has by itself a revitalizing effect that restores radiance, suppleness and tone to your skin!

Another original use of beeswax mixing candle and health: the use within the ear candles known as Hopi Indians (which means "peaceful people"). These are candles formed from a long hollow cone of beeswax that can be up to 30 cm long, which are used to treat earwax plugs. This is because the heat from the burning wax (at the base) spreads to the eardrums, which softens the various impurities present and allows them to be eliminated, as this also causes a vacuum in the ear. Thus, the earwax deposits are sucked outwards and are collected in the beeswax cone. Thanks to its candles which contribute to the deep cleaning of the ear and the elimination of the earwax plugs, the buzzing is over! (bee buzzing... do you have it?)

Other chapters in the guide
The apitherapy products guide Honey, therapeutic benefits Royal jelly, properties and composition Propolis, complete guide Pollen, properties and composition Bee venom, therapeutic benefits Beeswax, uses Life of the bees, the queen and the hive