How Beeswax is Made, Harvested, and Refined

Beeswax is a valuable and versatile natural substance that has been used for centuries in various applications. From cosmetics and candles to pharmaceuticals and food, beeswax has a wide range of uses due to its unique properties. In this article, we will explore how beeswax is made, harvested, and refined.

The Production of Beeswax

Beeswax is produced by honeybees, which use it to build their honeycombs. The wax is secreted by worker bees from special glands on their abdomen. The bees then chew and shape the wax into hexagonal cells that form the structure of the honeycomb.

Harvesting Beeswax

To harvest beeswax, beekeepers remove the honeycomb frames from the beehives and use a heated knife or scraper to remove the wax caps from the cells. The frames are then placed in a centrifuge, which spins the honey out of the cells and leaves the wax intact.

Refining Beeswax

Raw beeswax is usually dark and contains impurities, such as bits of pollen and debris. To refine the beeswax, it is melted and strained through cheesecloth or a fine mesh filter to remove the impurities. This process is repeated several times until the wax is free of debris and has a consistent color and texture.

Uses of Beeswax

Beeswax has a wide range of uses, from cosmetics and candles to woodworking and even art. Here are some of the most common applications of beeswax:

  1. Candles: Beeswax candles are a popular choice due to their natural properties, long burn time, and pleasant honey aroma.
  2. Cosmetics: Beeswax is commonly used in lip balms, lotions, and other beauty products due to its moisturizing and protective properties.
  3. Woodworking: Beeswax can be used as a natural wood finish or as a lubricant for saw blades and other tools.
  4. Food: Beeswax is used as a natural coating for cheese and as a glaze for fruits and vegetables.
  5. Pharmaceuticals: Beeswax is used as an emulsifier and thickener in ointments and other topical medications.


Beeswax is a remarkable natural substance that has been used for centuries in a variety of applications. It is produced by honeybees and harvested by beekeepers, who refine it to remove impurities and make it suitable for various uses. From candles and cosmetics to woodworking and food, beeswax has many applications and is valued for its unique properties.