top of page

How Beeswax is Made

Beeswax, a remarkable substance produced by honeybees, has captivated humans for centuries with its diverse and practical uses. But have you ever wondered how this natural marvel is created by these tiny, industrious insects? In this blog post, we'll explore the fascinating process of how beeswax is made by honeybees and its vital role in their hive.

Honeybee Society: The Key Players

To understand how beeswax is produced, it's essential to know the honeybee society's hierarchy and roles. Honeybee colonies consist of three main castes: the queen bee, the worker bees, and the male bees (drones). The worker bees play a crucial role in beeswax production.

Glandular Magic: The Worker Bees' Role

Worker bees possess special glands on the underside of their abdomen that secrete tiny flakes of wax, which are translucent at first. These glands, known as wax glands, become active when the worker bee is between 12 to 20 days old. Beeswax is essentially a natural secretion derived from these wax glands.

Collecting Raw Material: Nectar and Pollen

The worker bees collect nectar from flowers and convert it into honey. Pollen is gathered and mixed with the nectar, forming a substance called bee bread, which is their primary source of protein. This combination of honey and bee bread provides the energy necessary for bees to produce beeswax.

The Alchemy of Digestion

Once the worker bees have collected enough nectar and pollen, they consume it and begin a complex digestion process. Their stomachs are equipped with enzymes that break down the sugars in the nectar and protein in the pollen. This process transforms the ingested nectar and pollen into wax scales.

Building the Hive

The worker bees then regurgitate these wax scales, which are initially white, and begin to mold them into the iconic hexagonal honeycomb structure. The heat generated by the bees' bodies softens the wax, making it pliable and easy to work with. By secreting beeswax and forming it into the honeycomb structure, they create the hive's cells, which serve as storage for honey and pollen and as the nursery for their young.

Storehouse of Goodness

In the bee colony, beeswax serves as a multi-purpose storage unit. It not only houses the stored honey and pollen but also serves as the cradle for the bee larvae, providing protection and insulation. The bees use beeswax to construct and repair their hive, making it a vital resource for hive maintenance.

Harvesting Beeswax: A Delicate Process

For those who want to harvest beeswax, it's essential to do so with care. The Royal Honey Company collects excess beeswax during honey extraction. The wax cappings used to seal honeycombs are removed and can be melted down and purified to yield clean, golden beeswax. This harvested beeswax is used in various products like candles, skincare items, and more.

Check out our new shop arrival of 100% Beeswax Taper Candles! Experience all the benefits of burning beeswax and ponder the miracle of its creation!

Recent Posts

See All

Winterizing Bees

With a Washington winter in full swing and the agriculture season slowing down, we bet you're wondering where all the Royal Honey beehives are! This blog post will highlight what we do to keep our bee


bottom of page