Honey bees produce beeswax in large quantities. They use it to make combs in which they raise their brood as well as for storage of honey and pollen. The bees also cap cells of honey with fresh wax for preservation and storage.
Our beeswax comes in two grades. We call our premium beeswax “Grade A.” Our Grade A wax comes exclusively from cappings wax. Cappings wax is fresh new wax that the bees make to preserve honey when it has been cured and is ready for long-term storage. This wax is usually lighter than our other wax.
Our other wax is what we call “Grade B” … which covers everything else. This is also beeswax that is made by the bees, but it has been used for a while. We rotate wax frames from the bee hives after several years to keep the bees healthy. Scrap comb that the bees make in empty spaces also gets saved for wax.
Both grades of wax are clean and safe to use for any application. The Grade A wax will be slightly lighter in color, and will have the most pleasing natural wax aroma. We recommend using “Grade A” wax for food-related or cosmetic applications.
How We Process Beeswax
In both cases, we process the wax by hand, in small batches to clean it of debris and impurities. We are very careful not to mix cappings wax with other wax, so “Grade A” wax is always the nicest.
First we melt the wax, either using a solar melter, or in a warm water bath through a fabric filter. When this solidifies, we have wax that is relatively clean, although there will be some residual debris within. This is rendered wax.
We then melt the wax in a double-boiler to a liquid state. This wax is slowly poured into a settling form and allowed to solidify. The solid impurities will settle to the bottom of the bar and the wax will float on any residual liquid impurities like honey. Once it has cooled, we scrape off all the wax with contaminants from the bottom of the bar.
We repeat the cycle of melting / cooling / scraping several times, until the end product is visibly clean. When we are satisfied with the wax, we pour it into forms to make 1 ounce blocks.
We do not use any chemicals nor do we pressure-filter the wax. All wax we process is sourced from our own hives, or those of other local beekeepers with whom we are familiar.
“Grade A” (cappings) wax : $ 2.50 / 1-ounce block; $18.00 for 8 ounces; $30.00 for 1 pound
“Grade B” wax: $2.00 / 1-ounce block; $15.00 for 8 ounces; $27.00 for 1 pound
Uses for Beeswax
This is not an exhaustive list. We will add more as we find them.
You can find recipes and guides for using beeswax on the Internet and in books.
- An ingredient for Cosmetics, such as lip balm, body scrubs, face cream, etc.
- Home made soaps
- Beeswax candles
- Non-plastic food wrappings
- Waxing squeaky furniture
- Wood preservative, such as for wooden cutting boards
- Chewing gum