Honeybees produce wax from glands in their abdomen, and their combs are a vitally important part of the colony’s life, being a place to live, communicate and raise their young as well as store their honey and pollen supplies. It takes a tremendous amount of energy and collective work to form the wax cells, and they are extremely economical with it! I take small quantities of honey from strong colonies at discrete intervals so that the bees are always guaranteed to have enough to live on, and once the honey has been extracted, I give the crushed comb back to the bees to clean up. This leaves me with clean, honey-free wax and means the bees have taken all they can from it to replenish their stores.
To render beeswax for our own purposes, I melt the spent combs in an old saucepan in rainwater, then pour through a double sieve in to a bucket. This leaves me with a disc of pure, raw wax.
I have been looking for a suitable way to use this precious resource to utilise its properties and promote sustainable living, rather than just making tea lights or furniture polish. I was fortunate to be put in touch with Rebecca Cordery, another local businesswoman who is now using my beeswax to produce reusable, plastic-free, food-safe, compostable wraps. Used instead of clingfilm, plastic bags or foil, these can be pressed lightly between your hands to warm, then moulded around the dish/bowl/sandwich/snack etc etc to form a breathable, waterproof wrap.
The wraps come in a protective cotton bag for storage, and full instructions for use. Other items such as little snack bags and sandwich wraps are also available. Please check out Rebecca’s Etsy shop and Facebook page for more details 🙂