One of the great benefits of keeping honey bees is the potential of the many homemade uses you can find for the beeswax the bees produce to build their honeycombs.
There are dozens and dozens of uses for beeswax. I’ll include the following:
- Basic Information About Beeswax
- Great Uses for Beeswax Around the House and Garden
- Beeswax Is a Great Helper in the Kitchen
- Using Beeswax in Homemade Health and Beauty Products
- Beeswax Products You Can Make for Your Children
1. Basic Information About Beeswax
Only honey bees make beeswax. Honey bees make six-sided cells that are space-efficient and the best shape to accommodate a round, growing honey bee larva. To make comb, the bees remove the bits of wax called “wax scales” from the undersides of their abdomen and chew and mould them into place. The production of beeswax is stimulated when there is a great supply of flower nectar such as when clover is in bloom. Bees do not build comb before it is needed. Pollen is the adult honey bee’s source of protein and they collect it in great quantity. The gums and resins, which beekeepers call “propolis,” are used to varnish the inside of the bee’s nest.
Beeswax has been used since the beginning of civilisation. It has been found in the pharaohs’ tombs, in sunken Viking ships, and Roman ruins. Beeswax is virtually the duct tape of old, with thousands of uses and being virtually indispensable.
Pure beeswax is solid at room temperature. It will have a putty-like consistency around 25°C to 35°C, and will melt around 62°C to 64°C. It never goes bad, but does get a powder called bloom on it when stored at cooler temperatures. A hair drier will remove the bloom. You can wrap it in plastic to prevent dust, dirt and fuzz sticking to it.
2. Great Uses for Beeswax Around the House and Garden
There are many ways you can use beeswax around the house for maintenance and to enhance the environment. Here are a a few ideas that you could try;
Candles—homemade beeswax candles burn cleanly, and we can create pleasant odours from the beeswax mixed with our favourite essential oils. Here is a link to an easy recipe you can try.
Grafting wax—Gardeners have been using beeswax for grafting two plants together for hundreds of years. Beeswax is non-toxic, and does not deteriorate, lasting for the months necessary to allow the plants to grow together. You can find a simple formula for making grafting wax here.
Waxing thread—It is a big advantage to keep a small block of beeswax in your sewing box. If you wax the thread before you use it, not only is it easier to thread the needle, but it will also keep your thread from knotting up as you use it.
Lubricating furniture joints—Beeswax is a great lubricant for those squeaky furniture joints. It is great for helping your doors and window to move smoothly, and so much healthier for your environment that the chemical products available.
Preventing rust—Coat your hand tools, cast iron, and shovels with beeswax to keep them from rusting. You can even rub the beeswax on the handles of your tools to protect them against wear and tear.
Homemade furniture polish—Beeswax is a fantastic furniture polisher. Melt 1 TBSP. of grated beeswax with 3 TBSP. of coconut oil. When this cools and hardens, use a clean cloth to rub it onto your wood furniture. Buff with a soft clean cloth until all the residue is removed.
Granite polisher—Do you love your granite worktops but hate the dingy look they have after hard use? Polish them with molten beeswax, wiped on and allowed to dry, then wiped off with a suede cloth.
Grease-free baking pans—Keep a block of beeswax ready to use to rub over your baking pans and cake tins before using. Beeswax is completely edible, so this is perfectly safe. Over time you pans will take on a permanent coat of wax, eliminating the need to grease them every time.
Cleaning your iron—When your iron starts to get gummy or scorched, you can make a homemade iron cleaner with beeswax that is chemical-free, economical and sustainable. You will find a tutorial for making it here.
Barbecuing with beeswax—Coating your grill with beeswax before using it makes clean up a lot easier.
3. Using Beeswax in Homemade Health and Beauty Products
Beeswax locks in moisture, protects skin from environmental factors, and fosters skin cells. Because of its moisture locking properties, it is naturally nourishing and effectively softens skin.
There are many homemade health and beauty products you can make using beeswax. Here are a few of my favourite:
All-Purpose Salve—When you have little ones in the house, there seems to be an endless supply of knocks, scrapes and scratches. You can make this all-purpose salve to have on hand, using beeswax and your favourite essential oils with other ingredients. (Here)
Lavender Body Butter— Take the simplest of ingredients and then mix it up to create this luxurious, natural, and nourishing lotion. This Lavender Body Butter is simple to make, only using four ingredients including lavender essential oil. By adding beeswax to the recipe, you also have a healthy sunscreen lotion. (Here)
Lip Balm—Homemade lip balms are some of the easiest things to make using beeswax. Here is a simple recipe, using beeswax.
Homemade Moustache/beard Cream—Beeswax is a regular component of moustache creams. Facial hair for men is the trend right now, and you can make the men in your life some great moustache wax. You will find great information and three recipes here.
Homemade styling gel for trendy hairstyles—This all-natural styling gel can be used on those trendy men’s hairstyles that need some extra support. You can choose to make a heavy-hold gel or a medium-hold gel. All the instructions you need can be found here. You may even find a use for this with your own hair styles or those for your children.
4. Beeswax Products You Can Make for Your Children
Beeswax modelling clay—Making beeswax modelling clay with your young ones is a fantastic after school project. You can teach mathematics, colour theory, and discuss bees and the work they do as you work together and enjoy the warm honey scent of melted beeswax. You can find complete instructions here.
Homemade baby lotion—This is another great homemade product using beeswax for your little ones. It is so filled with healthy ingredients and has such a pleasant aroma. (Here)
Making Beeswax candles with your kids—Make a wonderful holiday tradition by making homemade beeswax candles as gifts for Christmas. The process is easy and fun for all, and your friends and family members will treasure the candles for a very long time. You can find complete instructions here.