The exact composition of beeswax varies based on the location of where the wax came from. There are 284 compounds in beeswax. If you want to know more about what makes up beeswax I suggest you go to the link here.
When the question is asked, “What is similar to beeswax?” I don’t imagine the question is about the compounds or the composition. Because we are candle makers I imagine it is more about what burns like beeswax, what smells like beeswax, and what is as safe as beeswax for candles. Honestly I don’t think there is anything similar to beeswax but let’s have a look at it. Beeswax is what is called a natural wax. So is soy wax and palm wax.
Soy wax can be made from organic soy beans but in reality the majority of soy grown in world is genetically modified. Soy wax is bleached and hydrogenated In the presence of heat using a nickel catalyst. It may have hardeners. Soy wax candles have a ‘cool’ flame, they create less heat and normally have a paler, smaller flame. It is considered non-toxic.
Palm wax is hydrogenated through a process of extreme fluctuations of temperature and pressure. The flame is closer to that of soy wax than beeswax. It is considered non-toxic. Both soy wax and palm wax can go rancid. I believe that is the reason most soy wax and palm wax candles are scented, because they will go rancid over time. I don't believe the scent always helps mask the rancid smell, even if it is scented with essential oils. Beware because soy and palm wax candles are often scented with synthetic fragrances.
Our beeswax is in its original state. It is filtered through a natural process to clean it and make a better candle wax material than it would be straight from the hive. It is not bleached. It is not toxic. It does not go rancid. It will last for centuries. It was about 4 years ago that it was discovered that a skull that originated from ancient Slovenia and was 6500 years old had a beeswax ’dental’ filling. You can read an article about that at Smithsonian.com . The flame from a beeswax candle is strong and generally described as golden or amber. It creates some heat when burning because beeswax has a high melting point. It can be used to heat a truck camper or small travel trailer on a cool summer evening.
In short I don’t believe there is anything else quite like beeswax. It will cost you more than soy wax or palm wax. I’ve always thought that a beeswax candle was an ‘affordable’ luxury, a nice way to indulge a friend or yourself. Honey Candles® beeswax candles are made in Canada by Canadian workers from 100% pure beeswax produced in Western Canada. You can’t get more Canadian than that.
To read more about natural waxes and their differences click on the link:
Photo by Marlie Marchewka