Wax is a bee product that is extracted by bee workers from their wax glands. With wax they build honeycombs. Initially, the wax is white, slowly turning to yellow. It changes color due to pollen and propolis content. When the beekeepers take away the honeycomb, they melt it, purify it and get pure wax. With this wax, we can make candles, new honeycombs or use it for cosmetics and other purposes.
Candles give us the light of life, fill us with feelings of warmth, domesticity and connect us with family and friends. We all enjoy candlelight, whether it is for a romantic atmosphere, for meditation or if you run out of electricity.
Today’s candles are made of paraffin; it is from the non-degradable waste product of the oil industry and is toxic when burned. They are perfumed with synthetic oils and colored with toxic dyes. Commercials and their beautiful packaging invites us to buy them and refresh our homes with them. When paraffin candles burn they soot stains on the walls of the apartment. If you burn them regularly they can cause serious harm to health as cigarette smoke does. Avoid if it is possible paraffin-based candles. These chemical ingredients can cause lung problems, increase allergic reactions and increase the chances of asthma. They can also cause eye irritation, headaches, dizziness, stuffy nose.
Some candles are made of such bad chemicals that the inhalation of some vapors of paraffin candles can be compared to the inhalation of diesel engine exhaust!
This is not surprising since paraffin wax is a by-product of petroleum products, which is, in fact, black and then bleached with chemical solvents and mixed with fragrances to prepare it for the use of beautiful candles. The problem is, however, when paraffin in the candle starts burning and spreading soot and lead, which is inhaled, causing many problems.
According to a study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, candle burning paraffin contaminates and releases cancerous substances such as benzene and toluene, which are also linked to cancer, asthma and birth defects.
The alternative to paraffin candles is beeswax candles or soy candles. Our ancestors know about the benefits of beeswax; they used it for candles, sealing, embalming and home remedies. Most of all, Greeks appreciated wax wraps as bandages. In the modern period, beeswax was given particular importance by the church, which had wax candles as a symbol of God’s presence in worship services. Today beeswax is considered to be excellent for usage in ointments, for baking and, it is indispensable in the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, and most often used by beekeepers to make honeycombs.
However, we must be careful when choosing wax products. Because not every beeswax is “natural” beeswax. Beeswax is forged by the addition of tallow, mineral waxes, stearin, paraffin, rosin, vegetable waxes, etc. Fake wax is difficult to prove without laboratory analysis, so it is best to contact a local beekeeper near you and find out the origin of the beeswax from first hand. It is also wise to find out before buying beeswax candles whether a beekeeper uses pesticides to eliminate diseases on bees. Or if you are buying online, try to find out if the seller has a product analysis or necessary certificate.
According to Stefan Bogdanov: “beeswax is an extremely complex material containing over 300 different substances. It consists of esters of higher fatty acids and alcohols. Apart from esters, beeswax contains small quantities of hydrocarbons, acids, and other substances. In addition, approx. 50 aroma components have been identified. The wax produced by different species of Apis mellifera contain the same components but in different proportions”(apimondia.com)
Do beeswax candles clean air?
The short answer is yes if you use pure beeswax. Let me explain why. There is a constant movement of positive and negative ions in the air. Negative ions are essential for the normal functioning of the human body. Oxygen, which is inhaled into the lungs, penetrates the lungs into the blood only because of its negative charge. However, the number of negative ions in the living quarters can become dangerously low. For the optimum climate, it is best to have as many negative ions as possible in the space where we spend more time. We all know how comfortable it is to breathe fresh air in the woods, mountains or nears the sea. The amount of negative ions is extremely high there. Negative ions are produced by a high impact or high voltage, which literally shoots a negative ion out of an atom. In nature, a large amount of negative ions is released during lightning strikes, as well as at waterfalls.
Beeswax candles emit negative ions into the room, which purify the air and invigorate the body and mind. We can also scent beeswax candles. They also release the odor of wax, honey, and propolis. These natural aerosols improve wellbeing in the home. We can conclude that beeswax candles clean air in our homes.
Formation of wax
Beeswax is formed in the wax glands that lie on the abdominal side of worker bees. A special precipitate is excreted through these openings, which solidify in the air into tiny wax plates weighing up to 0.25 mg. Bees build honeycombs with it. It takes 140 grams of wax per hour. about 4000 such tiles. Typically, the wax is yellow to yellowish-brown, which also depends in part on the amount of colored matter coming from the pollen grains. (wikipedia.org)
On the market beeswax is relatively expensive due to paraffin or soy wax, however, producers of beeswax candles can cheat and mix beeswax with other inexpensive ingredients. When we purchase beeswax candles we have to know the producer.
BEESWAX CANDLES VS PARAFFIN CANDLES VS SOY CANDLES
Many people prefer beeswax candles to paraffin candles. Paraffin candles are made from the non-degradable waste product of the oil industry and are toxic when burned. They are further perfumed with synthetic essential oils and colored with toxic dyes. All these products, when burned into the room, release toxic substances that we inhale. On the other hand, you can have candles made from natural vegetable derived, such as soy candles. I find it easier to present the differences between the candles in the table because it is much more transparent.
|Beeswax candles||Paraffin candles||Soy candles|
|They do not contain harmful chemicals in the basic composition. But it can contain residues of varroa mite treatment of the beekeepers are reckless.||Paraffin contains toxic bone chemicals such as benzene and toluene, some containing lead.||Soy wax is safe but we have to be careful about additional elements that might be added. Such as aroma oil or colorings.|
|They burn very clean, almost without soot||Although manufacturers add acids to prolong their burning time, they do not burn as long as beeswax candles. They can leave soot on our walls||soy wax burns without soot|
| They are not dripping||They are dripping||They are dripping|
|Beeswax melts at a higher temperature, therefore the candles burn brighter and also longer. Much like sunlight||Paraffin has a lower melting rate, therefore also emits less light when burned.||soy wax has a lower melting point than paraffin candles so it makes a cooler burning. And burn around 35% longer than paraffin candles.|
|Beeswax is hypoallergenic, so people with asthma and allergies can be around them.||Their artificial odor and burning of paraffin can cause respiratory problems in sensitive persons||If they are not scented or colored they burn clean|
|They are a renewable resource, they do not harm the environment||They are made from fossil fuel residues||The wax is made through several chemical processes|
|It is a 100% natural product. There is no need for any chemical process to get beeswax for candles||Paraffin wax is a by-product of the oil industry. It has to go through several chemical processes. When burned it releases chemicals and soot.||Soy candles go through several chemical treatments before they are ready for sale. In the process of making soy wax from soy oil, the oil is typically bleached and deodorized|
Candles made from soy wax may be a healthy alternative to paraffin candles. But when you compare all the pros and cons you see that they’re no match for beeswax candles.
In the production of beeswax, beekeepers do not harm bees or do damage to the colony. They melt old honeycomb and replace it with a new one. Some also feel a spiritual connection to beeswax candles, as bees have to put a lot of effort and time into producing wax. Beeswax candles play an important role as they naturalize impurities in the air. It produces negative ions when burned. They help clear the stench, mold, dust in the air. By buying beeswax candles, we help ourselves, the environment and the local community.