Some people believe that bees where first kept for the beeswax rather than the honey. I’m not sure I agree, but for centuries ceremonial beeswax candles have been much prized. Even today there isn’t a better material for making candles.
Beeswax candles burn efficiently with little or no smoke. The smell of the burning wax is very pleasant. So much better than oily tallow, or the modern petroleum based candles. There’s something very special about handling a very high quality candle. My favourite are the candles made in the shape of a straw bee skep with tiny bees on the outside. If you rub them with a soft cloth they take on a beautiful shine.
You’ll not only see giant candles on the altars of huge churches and cathedrals around the world. But there are candles available in every shape, size and design you can imagine. They can be made by pouring melted wax into special decorative molds. Or a long tapered candle can be formed by repeatedly dipping a wick into molten wax.
An easier method is to buy sheets of wax called ‘foundation’ which are used by beekeepers to give the bees a foundation on which to build their combs. This is simply rolled with a wick inside to make very attractive cylindrical candles. The foundation is available in many different colours for just this purpose.
Candle-making is an excellent work at home crafts business being a great source of part or full-time income, the possibilities are endless.
But there’s so many more uses. The best furniture polish is beeswax with turpentine, and perhaps something sweet smelling like lavender oil.
I even use my wax to make a type of lip balm which I use for my mustache. Mustache wax seems a little difficult to obtain in stores.