We sell beeswax candles at the local farmer's market, we have five hives of our own, but they don't supply enough wax to keep the candles burning, so to speak. We have been buying beeswax from local beekeepers and vendors, but were curious to get some input from the BeeSource community on each of our wax dealings we've had.
First, we recently discovered that a local store, Lapp's Bee Supply, is or has been selling beeswax adulterated with Paraffin. We bought six blocks of wax from them, three dark and three light, and the light wax had an odd curvature to it. This lighter wax was also very brittle, broke on my knee, was not malleable like normal beeswax, and you could see that it had a very crystalline texture to it. Thankfully, they gave us a refund on all our wax and Dean's wife was very nice about it, but we still had to drive an hour back out to the store to return the blocks. We couldn't say whether they were totally aware of the paraffin, however, they did seem to notice some paraffin in their bin of wax blocks that they got from their supplier, - but - why did they buy these blocks if it was obvious? It is safe to say that we are not going back to Lapp's for beeswax, perhaps for anything else.
We just wanted to let everyone know about this as a warning if you know anyone that buys wax at Lapp's.
Next, I have a couple questions about people we are currently buying wax from. One beekeeper, when they remember to bring the wax for us as agreed upon, charges us $4/pound for cappings. These cappings still have honey residue on them, but there is a pile of bees in the bags of cappings, which means that we're paying for stuff in there that's not wax, and we have to process the wax into blocks ourselves. The last time we bought wax from this beekeeper, we only got 14 pounds of (beautiful & bright) cappings-wax from the '22 pounds' that we bought from them. They were willing to refund us for the difference that time, because there was a lot of gunk in it, even some leaves, wires, and mold.
The beekeeper does say that the wax is 'organic,' however, it does not seem to be a selling point for our customers. They seemed unwilling to pay us back for the difference in pounds of usable wax in the future.
The wax we have right now is cleaner, but it still has a pile of dead bees in it, so we're not sure how many pounds will be 'lost' due to that and the wax residue. Our question on this issue is, does $4/pound for cappings (+crap) that we have to process ourselves sound like too much to you folks?
Our second question has to do with the other beekeeper that we do business with. They are very dependable, and can have huge blocks of fragrant, dark old-comb wax for us within a couple weeks of ordering it from them. We seem to be able to convince our customers is better than the light cappings wax because of the aroma of darker wax that has been in the hive for longer. They sell it to us for $5 a pound, already filtered pretty well, and we've bought a lot of wax from them. We're thinking about asking them if we could get a lower price for ordering larger quantities of wax, which they might go for because they do sell wax to companies for toilet seals and such, and I bet they sell it for less than $5/pound to those outfits. What do you think would be a fair price to ask for, or do you think $5/pound is good considering that they are dependable and we don't have to process the wax ourselves?
Last edited by HarovonMogel; 11-14-2008 at 12:05 PM.
It's difficult to say. You have to take into consideration availability as well as price. I usually get 20lb blocks of filtered wax for under $4/lb, but if I had to pay for shipping, it would cost more. You can check out other sources but don't burn any bridges.
We sell filtered yellow 100% beeswax in various size blocks and we are right up the road from you in Owen. PM me for particulars.