For my second blog, I thought I'd explain the reason why we use beeswax in so many of our products.
When we started our plastic-free journey, particularly the soap making section, I was keen to use the most natural and local ingredients as possible. After some research into what makes a good bar of soap (namely a hard bar that lasts a long time, with plenty of bubbles) it led me down the beeswax and honey route. This fit in perfectly with the natural and local sentiment, so I contacted a local beekeeper and it all went from there.
The majority of our wax comes from Mersea, our lovely little island where we live. Occasionally we have to head across the Strood (the causeway which floods twice a day if there's a high tide!) to local villages including Fingringhoe and Gt Wigborough, but this is only if my Mersea bee keeper can't keep up with my extortionate beeswax habit!
It's estimated that one out of every three bites of food is made possible because of bees and their ability to pollinate crops.
Beeswax is produced by honey bees. They have glands on their abdomen that produce the wax, which they then discard in the hive. To start with, it is clear, and only changes to it's beautiful yellow form once it has been in contact with the pollen collected by the bees. The bees use the wax to build honeycomb cells, which they use to house their young, and store their honey. They seal each section of the honeycomb to prevent water getting in. This is very important, as water can lead to the honey going off. Beeswax is usually collected at the same time as the honey. If removed correctly, no harm comes to the bees. The beeswax is cleaned by simply boiling and filtering to remove any impurities.