Why are beeswax candles better?
As you might guess from the name, beeswax is produced by bees and more specifically, honeybees! Bees produce wax from wax glands in their abdomen. These scales of wax harden when they come into contact with the air and the bees then chew this wax and use it to build comb. Comb provides the storage space in a hive and holds honey, pollen and brood. Every year, as beekeepers extract honey, they end up with wax and this can be used to make candles.
There are many great things about beeswax candles but first and foremost, they are 100% natural and a renewable resource. Because beeswax is produced by the bees there are no chemicals to be found. It’s important when you’re buying beeswax candles to make sure they say ‘100% pure beeswax’ as sometimes candles will be marketed as beeswax but in fact only contain around 5%, the rest made up of paraffin.
So what else makes beeswax candles superior to fellow paraffin candles? Because they are a natural product, they are chemical free and non-toxic. Meanwhile paraffin candles often contain toxic chemicals such as synthetic fragrances and artificial dyes. By choosing beeswax candles, you are limiting your exposure to toxic compounds.
On top of this, beeswax candles actually improve the indoor air quality. These candles release negative ions. These negative ions have the effect of neutralising pollutants in air, most of which are high in positively charged particles, thus making them harmless. There are numerous reports that suggest that beeswax candles improve asthma and allergy symptoms.
Beeswax has the highest melting point of any wax meaning the candles burn for longer than paraffin. They are the tidier candle in that they don’t release any soot and they tend to drip less. They also emit a much more ambient light, making for a cosy atmosphere.
In terms of scent, I don’t find there is a strong smell from beeswax candles when they are burning. However they emit a lovely scent when you blow them out that is completely natural. Of course natural scents such as lavender can be added to beeswax candles - we do our own here.
The only drawback to beeswax candles is they are more expensive than paraffin candles. Paraffin candles are inexpensive to make and so can be mass produced. Beeswax is only made by honeybees and so the supply can be limited. On top of that, it takes a huge amount of energy for a bee to produce beeswax. For every 7-8 pounds of the honey bees produce, they will secrete just 1 pound of wax and they will do a lot of flying just to produce that honey! The beekeeper can only obtain a small amount of beeswax from each hive and so it is a valuable product.
So yes, beeswax candles will be pricier than others but given what’s been discussed above it is well worth looking at the value as well as the cost.
Want to help the dwindling bee population? Check out our charity RePollinate.