Tidewater Beekeepers Association

Bee Products & Crafts

Quick & Interesting Beeswax Facts

For those who are not familiar with it, here are a few facts.

  • Beeswax is a beautiful, honey-scented natural material.
  • Beeswax is produced by bees (secreted from abdominal glands) to build combs. Comb is built for bees to store (pollen, nectar, and honey), lay their eggs, and raise the young bees.
  • Beeswax taken straight from the hive contains all sorts of dirt and debris. This is normal and is filtered out during the rendering process by beeswax producers.
  • Beeswax never goes bad and can be heated and reheated repeatedly.
  • In storage, beeswax may develop a powdery-white coating called bloom. It is harmless and not mildew and can be easily removed.
  • Beeswax works nicely for candles because it is flammable. I found contradictory information online but the melting point seems to be around 64°C (147°F) and the Flash_point is approximately 204°C (400°F). For home use this means you need to monitor the temperature when melting beeswax to ensure you stay within safe temperature ranges.
  • An approximate chemical formula for beeswax is C15H31COOC30H61.[7] Its main components are palmitatepalmitoleate, and oleate esters of long-chain (30–32 carbons) aliphaticalcohols, with the ratio of triacontanyl palmitate CH3(CH2)29O-CO-(CH2)14CH3 to cerotic acid[8] CH3(CH2)24COOH, the two principal components, being 6:1. Beeswax can be classified generally into European and Oriental types. The saponification value is lower (3–5) for European beeswax, and higher (8–9) for Oriental types.

    Beeswax has a relatively low melting point range of 62 °C to 64 °C (144 °F to 147 °F). If beeswax is heated above 85 °C (185 °F) discoloration occurs. The flash point of beeswax is 204.4 °C (400 °F).[9] Density at 15 °C is 958 kg/m³ to 970 kg/m³.

    When natural beeswax is cold it is brittle, at room temperature it is tenacious, its fracture is dry and granular, it also softens at human body temperature. The specific gravity at 15 °C (59 °F) is from 0.958 to 0.975, that of melted wax at 98 to 99 °C (208.4 to 210.2 °F) compared with water at 15.5 °C (59.9 °F) is 0.822.[10]

Easy Wax Rendering

Women's Stockings/Pantyhose are great inexpensive filter http://montanahomesteader.com/render-beeswax-honeycomb/

© Tidewater Beekeepers Association
Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software