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The Buzz on Beeswax

Beeswax has many uses, but how does it get from our hives to your home?

The hexagon is an amazing shape. In fact it's the perfect shape. It's the perfect shape for bees. Bees produce scales of wax from their abdomens. They pass the wax along from one bee to another. They chew the wax. They shape it. They mold it. They build with it. They create perfect waxy hexagons with it. The hexagons are what bees use for storage and they fill both sides of every frame in the hive.

The hexagon is the perfect shape. It's the shape with the least amount of wasted space. It's the most efficient shape for storage. Hexagons are the most structurally sound shape too. Hexagons are the strongest shape. They are the shape that bees have come to use. The waxy hexagons throughout the hive are referred to as cells by beekeepers. Everything in the hive is stored inside cells. The queen lays her eggs cells. The eggs hatch inside the cells. The hive is stored inside the cells. The queen lays her egg cells. The eggs hatch inside the cells. The larva grows bigger and bigger inside the cells. The cells get capped over and the larvae pupates into an adult bee. It all happens inside the cells. Adult bees hatch from the cells. They hatch by chewing their way out of the cells. It's amazing thing to see. The frames of cells with the eggs and the babies in them are referred to as the "brood chamber" by beekeepers. The wax from those cells is for the bees. Beekeepers don't harvest that wax. The bees will reuse it and, over time, eventually they will abandon it.

Guess where the bees keep their honey. Inside of cells. But different cells. These cells are not in the brood chamber. The brood chamber is down below. The honey cells are up top. The boxes that have frames of cells filled with honey are referred to as "honey supers." The bees collect flower nectar. They'll bring it back to the hive and pass it off from one bee to another. They''ll mix their own enzymes in it and deposit it into the cells. They'll evaporate the moisture from it and when it's ripe they'll seal it up with a wax cap. To get the honey out, those wax caps must be removed. Removing them is pretty easy. All it takes is a serrated knife, a little knowhow and a steady hand. When we cut the caps off the cells to get to the honey, we refer to them as "cappings." There's still lots of honey in those cappings. So we let them drain and drip. Once we've gotten all the honey that we can from them, we put the cappings outside and we let the bees finish them off. They'll get the rest. They'll take every speck of honey that's on those cappings. You wouldn't believe it. And once the bees are finished with them, we collect them. We put them in a big box with a glass lid.

That big box with the glass lid is our solar wax melter. Pop built it. He's a pretty handy guy to have around. It's super simple, but it's super cool. The sun does the work. The sun shines through the glass. It heats up the inside of the box. The heat from the sun melts the cappings. The wax starts to flow. It flows and flows. It flows through a filter. All of the impurities get strained out. The filtered wax flows into Mom's old bread pans. We use her bread pans for molds. She doesn't mind. Most of her baking days are behind her. Those bread pans are perfect. The wax cools there. And once it hardens, it has been formed into a beautiful yellow solid block of beeswax. Now that the wax has been rendered, it's ready to be used.

Beeswax can be used for many things. You can polish your furniture with it. You can make your own surf wax with it. You can use it to wax up the end of didgeridoo. But one of its most common uses it to make candles with it. That's one thing we do with it. Beeswax candles are beautiful. The light they cast is golden and soft. The smell they give odd as they're burning is wonderful. And if you don't dye them, and we don't, their natural color is a beautiful stunning yellow. You wouldn't believe how yellow. It's gorgeous.

Have you used our candles? We Bee Brothers candles would be great for your next dinner party. They make a very thoughtful gift. They are 100% natural and they're made from the wax from our bees. The bees do the hard part. We've got it pretty easy. We recommend you try them out. The bees will thank you for it.

If you want to, why not shoot us an email?

That's probably the best way for us to arrange getting them to you until our online store opens!

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