School House


Q. What’s wrong with paraffin?

A. Paraffin wax candles make up 95% of the world's candle production. However, paraffin is a petroleum by-product that requires additional chemicals to harden and scent it. Paraffin releases toxins as it burns, evidenced by the black soot paraffin candles produce. Beeswax candles burn cleanly, with virtually no smoke or soot.


Q. What about aromatherapy candles that use pure essential oils?

A. Don't be misled by "aromatherapy" candles. Despite the fact that wonderful essential oils are used, paraffin wax is still the foundation.


Q. What is the melting point of beeswax?

A. About 150 degrees Fahrenheit.


Q. Why does beeswax smell like honey?

A. When beeswax is created by the honeybee, it is white and odorless. During storage in the honeycomb, the wax absorbs its fragrance and color from pollen, honey, and propolis (a brownish resinous material of waxy consistency collected by bees from the buds of trees and used as a cement). Each batch of wax collected has a unique honey-like fragrance and color.


Q. Why do some honeycomb sheet colors smell differently?

A. The type of plant from which the honeybee harvests pollen determines the fragrance of the beeswax. A lighter color of beeswax indicates the bees are collecting materials from blossoms. A darker shade of beeswax is produced when bees collect from plants such as eucalyptus and avocado.


Q. What is bloom?

A. Bloom is the dull "finish" or sometimes frosty-like "film" that appears on the surface of beeswax, usually when the wax is cold and exposed to air. Bloom is caused by the softer oils in the wax coming to the surface. It is not harmful and may be removed by blowing warm air from a hairdryer over the wax (not so close you melt the wax) or by buffing the candle with a nylon stocking (although this does not work well with hand-rolled honeycomb candles).


Q. What kind of caution do I need to use when burning the candles?

A. When using wooden candlestick holders please do not let the candle burn down to the wooden base. Also, beware of glass candleholders—they can crack and "explode" when the candle burns down to the glass cup. The standard warnings also apply: never leave a burning candle unattended, or alone with children.


Q. Do beeswax candles really burn longer?

A. Yes. Beeswax is a long-burning wax; however, a hand-rolled candle has less wax than a solid candle. Other factors that affect burn time are: the ambient temperature of the room the candle is burning in (colder air means longer burn time); for hand-rolled candles - how tightly the wax was rolled around the wick (it's important for the wick to have good contact with the wax; less air--tighter roll--the better); and drafts.