Beeswax candles are centuries old and have a storied past. Cherished as the oldest form of existing candles, these have commanded premium prices. Much of this fame has to do with beeswax candle benefits, both legitimate and ascribed.
Apart from their historical value, the candles are believed to burn clean, produce a bright light, and even clean the surrounding air, amongst other proclaimed benefits.
Let’s take a closer look at these claims and see if they hold true. We’ll also consider the real and practical benefits of beeswax.
Top Beeswax Candles Benefits That Make Them Stand Apart
Whether it’s the online or offline media, you’ll often find claims on beeswax candle benefits. But going merely by subjective opinions or claims is not the attribute of a wise reader.
Therefore, we’ll discuss the popularly claimed benefits of beeswax candles with an objective approach.
To begin talking about beeswax candle benefits we take off by talking about its natural essence as the leading benefit.
1. Beeswax Is Naturally Produced By Honeybees
When looking for natural or organic candles, you’ll find a place reserved for beeswax candles. As the name implies, these candles are made from beeswax, which the bees produce by consuming honey.
Bees ingest roughly 6 to 8 pounds of honey to produce one pound of beeswax. As bees consume honey, a wax gland situated in their abdomen converts the sugar in honey into beeswax.
Bees use this wax to create in their hives to construct honeycombs in the beehive. It serves as a storehouse for bees to preserve their cargo which includes honey, nectar, and pollen. It’s also an important block for the construction of their nest and hive.
As it is produced, beeswax is white. It undergoes color transformations with time. And as bees keep adding pollen and more nectar to this white wax, it turns to a yellowish shade.
2. Beeswax Candles Burn Clean
Historically, when the world was struggling with a way to find a cleaner option to tallow candles, they hit upon creating beeswax candles. These burned very clean and were free from soot and smoke emissions when compared to tallow candles.
This gave beeswax the reputation of burning clean and their use by the aristocracy and in churches further pushed the angle of their use as premium candles. For common folk who were burning things like tallow or oil for light, beeswax certainly must have seemed like an amazing option.
Things have since changed and we have several methods and waxes for burning candles, most of which burn clean. However, beeswax candles have retained their claim and title of being “clean burning” candles.
Scientific evidence says there is some truth to this claim. Beeswax candles have been shown to emit fewer PM 2.5 particles as compared to other candles, and especially paraffin wax candles. For reference, PM 2.5 particles are considered the primary culprits for indoor air pollution and reduction in air quality.
However, beeswax candles tend to produce more PM 2.5 particles if they are blown out and the wick is smoldering. Although, this problem is easy to handle, especially if you put out candles the proper way.
Another study suggests that beeswax candles emit less soot and fewer VOCs (volatile organic compounds) when burnt, especially in comparison to paraffin wax candles.
Keep in mind, these studies aren’t saying that beeswax candles burn absolutely clean. They do emit some soot as well as VOCs when burnt. In a way, that’s just the nature of candles and the process of burning.
However, beeswax candles do burn (relatively) cleaner than other candles, especially paraffin candles. So there are tangible beeswax candle benefits in this sense, though they’re not absolute.
3. Beeswax Candles Come With A Longer Burn Time
Beeswax candles last longer than most candles. You get to enjoy their company for a considerably longer time. Beeswax candles usually have a melting point of around 149 degrees Fahrenheit (62-65 degrees Celsius). The higher energy requirements for the melting wax means the candles burn slower.
These also last longer as they are dripless. Unlike other candles like paraffin wax, you don’t see a chunk of beeswax flowing down the edges and piling up at the bottom of the surface. Thus, there is less clean up and it’s a sight to see your candle burning down neatly.
4. Burning Beeswax Candles Gives A Bright Flame
Another noteworthy beeswax candle benefit is that it has the brightest flame as compared to most other candles and especially paraffin wax candles. This effect is partially thanks to the high melting point of the wax and these candles.
When in full glow, these emit a bright warm golden light. It is somewhat similar to natural sunlight.
You can bask in its bright light when you wish to relax after a tiring day in your bedroom. Or create that perfect romantic mood with your partner.
Given the association of beeswax candles with the church and religious activities, many people also consider it to be a purifying flame.
5. Beeswax Candles Are Naturally Scented
If you are fond of natural milder aromas, then beeswax candles make a suitable choice for you. Beeswax candles, unlike a few scented candles that emit an overpowering scent throw, make a soft choice. This characteristic of beeswax candles makes them an ideal choice for people who are sensitive to intense aromas.
When you light them these fill your space with a sweet honey-scented aroma.
6. Apiculture Benefits The Farming Communities
Agriculture is the chief source of income for the farming community. The small farmers, especially, are dependent upon the crop output and the profit it generates. However, sometimes due to any unforeseen reason, they suffer losses that lead to a difficult situation.
Most of the farmers, therefore, rely on an alternate farming business that helps them to sustain themselves during an unpredictable loss. And apiculture or beekeeping is one of them. Farmers harvest honey and beeswax which yield a good amount of income to them when sold to vendors.
This alternate income besides crop production balances their losses or maximizes their profit. And by using beeswax candles we are somewhere contributing towards their growth.
Bonus: Do Beeswax Candles Clean The Air?
A popular notion or claim attached to beeswax candles is that these emit negative ions. These are said to attract and neutralize dust, air particles, odor, and even mold. Thus purifying indoor air quality.
But do these actually make your space cleaner and healthier? A lot of brands sell beeswax candles by making this a selling point of their product.
As discussed earlier, there is clear evidence, both scientific and traditional, that says beeswax candles burn cleaner than other options. However, there is no clear evidence to suggest that beeswax candles emit any type of purifying ions.
Even those who make such claims do not clearly define how it works. They point out that beeswax produces ions and that air ionizers are used for cleaning air and getting rid of problems like viruses and mold. However, how these two parts correlate is often skipped in such claims.
To be clear, both these claims are separately true. However, there is no clear correlation between them. Sure, burning beeswax candles emits ions. That is true for all flames though, and paraffin wax candles are likely to emit more ions, since candle ions are associated with soot. Thus more soot equals more ions.
Though as we know, higher soot is undesirable and one of the best beeswax candle benefits is that it doesn’t produce soot! The whole ionizing thing is unrelated to clean burning properties of beeswax candles.
To sum up, no, beeswax candles don’t have any marked effect on improving air quality through the production of ions. They do burn relatively clean, which is a great quality.
While claims like these will continue to be made, there is no clear scientific evidence to support them.
Beeswax Production And Its Use In Candle Making
Harvesting Beeswax From Beehives
Once the beekeepers feel it’s the optimum time to harvest honey from beehives, they slice off the layer of beeswax with a hot knife. The optimum time here refers to when about 80 to 90 percent of the honeycombs are capped with beeswax. This time is usually around late summer.
The layer of beeswax over honeycombs has traces of honey, pollen, and resins. Therefore, this mixture is filtered till the beeswax is completely separated. Beeswax must be clarified to burn clean and bright. This gives the sought-after honey scent.
What Do Beeswax Candles Smell like?
Beeswax candles, once filtered, give a mild honey-like aroma. You may find it very earthy. However, beeswax when unfiltered is characterized by its unique and varied scent smell. Usually, it is a blend of nectar, pollen, and resins.
Bees forage on any flower that is in full bloom and nearby. Therefore, the smell and taste of honey and beeswax differ slightly from region to region. If a beehive is close to a field of roses its beeswax will give a scent of roses. And the other will give a sunflower scent when close to a field of sunflowers.
You may smell berries if the bees feed more on a field of berries nearby. All this results in a varied taste of honey and beeswax scent. But once beekeepers filter it by boiling and straining it, you get a scent close to honey. And nothing beats that.
This incredible smelling quality of beeswax candles has won the hearts of generations for centuries. During the middle ages in Europe, the pleasant-smelling beeswax candles secured a superior place in churches.
Why Beeswax Candles In Church: Why Were These Called Church Candles?
Beeswax candles have a rich historical background. During the middle ages, these candles had a special place in European churches’ rituals and prayer services.
The clergy used beeswax candles in a church. Lighting beeswax candles in the church served a purpose. When lit, these emitted a sweet honey scent that turned the whole church environment almost divine. Beeswax candles also have a bright flame, which added to the ambiance and character of the service.
These became so popular that at one point these were addressed as church candles.
So far people relied upon using tallow candles or other candles made from animal fat. As compared to beeswax candles, tallow candles were very cheap but delivered a very malodorous smell and smoke. However, it became an easily accessible and cheap medium for light. For the church, only beeswax candles best complemented the purpose.
Are Beeswax Candles Safe: Is Beeswax Safe For Candles?
The straight answer is yes. Pure beeswax candles, unlike most candles, are devoid of added dyes, colors, and synthetic fragrances that make them quite safe.
When compared with paraffin wax, these do not undergo a lot of chemical processing and filtration which makes them a healthier option. Beeswax is simply boiled until it separates from debris. This is followed by straining it through a strainer or a cheesecloth and getting molten beeswax.
These are natural candles that make a good choice for those who are sensitive to scents.
Are Beeswax Candles Pet-Safe: Are They Safe To Use Around Dogs And Cats?
We love bringing our favorite invigorating scents home. Or the scents loved by our dear ones. But there is another family member who may not find these scented candles as welcoming. I am talking about pets.
Scented candles contain essential oils and artificial scents that may not be liked by your pets. You may find certain smells pleasant but your pets may find them too overpowering. They may feel uncomfortable in its aroma or find it difficult to breathe. This results in signs like coughing, sneezing, or itching. Or drifting away from the room.
Dogs and cats have a highly developed sense of smell than humans. Therefore, the impact of inhaling strong scents is more on them. When your dog behaves strangely with scented candles around or leaves the room, it is indicative of it being uncomfortable.
Beeswax candles are helpful in such situations. These are naturally scented and give a mild honey scent that won’t interfere with the health of your pets.
A word of caution! Remember to keep a burning beeswax candle away from the reach of your pets. In case your pet ingests a beeswax candle, immediately visit a veterinarian.
Are Beeswax Candles Bad For Bees: A Close Look On Beeswax Harvesting
The next million dollar question that comes into our discussion is are beeswax candles bad for bees? Well, it all comes down to the honey-harvesting practices of beekeeping. Whether done ethically or unethically.
Historically, humans have destroyed bee hives to get hold of honey and beeswax. In many parts of the world, this practice continues, especially with beehives found in the wild. Of course, this process is detrimental to the health and well-being of the bees, especially since the world is seeing an unprecedented colony collapse of bees.
However, things are looking up, at least in the commercial beekeeping industry. Most beekeepers are careful not to damage the hive when harvesting honey or wax. They harvest beeswax at the time while they extract honey. They begin pulling beehive frames that are full of honey and completely capped with beeswax.
While leaving the rest inside the compartments. This makes a way to accommodate the bees and shelter them.
A beekeeper who is sensitive to the existence of bees will make sure none of the bees are hurt or killed while uncapping the beeswax from hives. Ethical bee harvesting calls for being gentle towards these tiny creatures.
Using smoke to alarm bees to leave combs is useful to extract honey or beeswax. But using a lot of it is bad for the health of bees. Plus can affect the taste of honey too.
Bees are an asset to the environment as these contribute towards cross-pollination. It is a behavioral trait of bees to get attracted to the blooming flowers that are full of nectar and bright colors. While sucking the nectar bees perform an essential role of cross- pollination.
When you see fields of blooming flowers and crops, you must thank bees for their hard work. Bees are one of the key pollinators that are essential to harvest crops for mankind and animals. Thus maintaining the ecosystem. Without them, the plants we are dependent upon would die off.
Ethical beekeepers and harvesting means that beeswax production doesn’t tax the environment, which means beeswax candles aren’t bad for the environment. Thus, it’s important to encourage healthy and ethical practices to underline the importance of bees and their critical role in maintaining our ecosystem.
Beeswax Candles Have A Lot To Offer You!
Beeswax candles have stood the test of time. Buying beeswax candles is worth an investment.
All good things come with a price. Though these are priced dearer, think of the beeswax candle benefits you can avail of by using them. These candles are wonderful and create a bright light, aroma, and contribute to the overall ambiance.