Why does the Color of Beeswax Vary so much?

Why does the Color of Beeswax Vary so much?

Jul 30, 2013 By Pat Cattermole

We are often asked about the color of our beeswax. Beeswax varies a great deal in color. Sometimes it is light amber. Sometimes it comes out more like butterscotch pudding.  Sometimes it can be a bright yellow. This is due in part to how much the wax has been filtered and just as important the type of flowers the bees have been foraging on. It stands to reason like honey, the wax would be lighter when the bees forage on clover than when they are on something like buckwheat or fireweed.

Beeswax is white when the bees make it. Here is a white comb of wax found in the transporting container when Martina, our beekeeper/employee received her bees. The busy little bees had a working holiday and made beeswax during their journey. It is next to a regular honeycomb to show the contrast in color when bees are out and about and foraging.  When the bees are free ranging they mix the white wax with propolis and pollen giving it the golden color. Propolis is mainly resins from the bark and leaf buds of specific trees. The resin is collected by the designated ‘propolis harvester’  honey bees in the colony and then mixed with a little wax, honey and enzymes. Bees use the propolis like putty to seal cracks and openings in their hive and to strengthen and repair honey combs.

When we receive wax from our beeswax sources it can be various colors as you can see from this large stack of beeswax blocks. It has been somewhat filtered and we filter it more, sometimes blending the waxes to make the color more consistent.  We pour in small batches and no two beeswax candle pours will be the same. Beeswax varies. Nature intended it to be that way. Look at the natural beeswax tealights in the top photo. There are four each from the last several pourings. You can see each set is slightly different. They are all natural beeswax. Like the natural wax this also affects how ‘white’ our Pearl colored beeswax is as well. Like many natural handmade products, although the quality may be consistent the color and honey scent may be somewhat different depending on the batch.

If you are interested in finding out about our whiter beeswax that we call Pearl please check out this blog. If there is anything I haven’t explained that you are curious about please ask!

Thank you to Alive for the booklet Natural Health Guides#28 Health and Healing with Bee Products by C. Leigh Broadhurst PhD where I found some of the information for this article.

Published By Pat Cattermole
I had the good fortune to be hired at Honey Candles in the fall of 2004. Experience managing a small rural printing business and 15 years as an elected public school trustee has been a benefit as Honey Candles moves through the need for flexibility and the demands of rapidly changing natural products marketing. I am the Sales Manager and most likely to be the one answering the phone when you call. Social Media and blogging for Honey Candles has been a recent addition to my list of skills.

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