It is a well known fact that honey bees make honey. Did you know that there are other commodities produced by the very useful honey bee that can be utilized in many different ways? The goods produced by honey bees that people can use are called products of the hive. Let's look at another product of the hive, beeswax, and what people do with it.
A worker bee produces beeswax from her wax glands, located on the underside of her abdomen, the third segment of the body. The bee will then chew the wax, to make it moldable, and form it in the hexagons seen on a honeycomb.
Did you know that a hive of bees has to eat eight pounds of honey to have enough energy to produce one pound of beeswax?
|Worker bee producing beeswax from her wax glands.|
People use beeswax in many different ways, from candles to furniture polish. Beeswax is also a common ingredient found in beauty products, such as lip balm or soap. Beeswax is used along with rosin to treat string instruments to be able to play.
Encaustic painting is the art form in which artists use colored beeswax on canvas or board to create beautiful works of art.
|Encaustic art titled "The Iris" by American Beekeeping Federation member George Hansen|
Some people use beeswax as a chewing gum, others coat cloth with the wax and make a sustainable plastic wrap alternative.
How do you use beeswax? Below is a link by Good Housekeeping to make your own beeswax wraps.
Consider this for an eco-friendly and cost saving substitute for plastic wrap!