Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
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    Graham, Washington
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    9

    Default Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    I just got some beeswax pellets through the mail. On opening the bag the instead of the sweet beeswax smell I expected the beeswax had a weird odor to it. The best I can describe it is after tones of stale smoke. I thought perhaps I had gotten an off batch. I then went to a company that sells essential oils and other cosmetic supplies. I opened up a small container of beeswax pellets only to discover the same stale smoke odor to it. Does anyone have any explanations? I certainly don't want to use these in cosmetics, and frankly don't think these would be pleasant as candles.

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Location
    lafargeville ny usa
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    2,275

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    could be the aroma of dead bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2014
    Location
    Lake Worth, Florida, USA
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    235

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    I find that rendered fresh honeycomb smells good and is a beautiful creamy color while old comb, especially brood comb smells not so good and is shades of amber in color. The stuff (slum gum?) left after rendering always smells nasty, slightly burnt. I use a Sanford & Son solar wax melter and I figure the cocoons get scorched, thus the stink.
    South Florida, 9 hives, TF, foundation free, slatted racks, bottom entrances, zone 10b

  5. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Algoma District Northern Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    4,746

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    Some people scrape off drone comb from frame bottoms as well as a fair bit of propolis. They chuck it into a plastic pail to keep bees off of it and the brood inside gets awefully putrid. Lots of stuff you scrape is a mix of propolis and wax and it wont have the nice aroma of uncontaminated light colored wax. My guess is your pelleted wax is from non too select a source. Baloney is baloney no matter how thin you slice it!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2014
    Location
    Graham, Washington
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    Thank you everyone for your responses. It now makes much more sense. I'll be tossing it. Though it's a shame to waste it, a good lesson learned. We'll be using our own for cosmetics, or at least know and trust our sources. I tried to find where the beeswax originated and I was unable to find these on either of the packages.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arde, Ontario , Canada
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    Beeswax pellets quite often come from overseas where nasty chemicals are present in the hives, overheated poor quality beeswax can also produce bad smelling pellets.
    Rendering beeswax gently with rain water with apple cider vinegar will produce nice smelling beeswax , the key is to not heat above 165 F . Solar wax melters can be too
    hot if the sun is strong mid summer. Lots of good info at www.happyhoneybee.ca

    Beeswax will also absorb odours if exposed for extended periods , beeswax pellets often are sold by companies that sell soap making supplies , if the beeswax pellets are
    sitting beside something that has a lot of VOC's then the beeswax will absorb that odour.

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Fort Gay, WV, USA
    Posts
    2,064

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Frankiebee View Post
    I just got some beeswax pellets through the mail. On opening the bag the instead of the sweet beeswax smell I expected the beeswax had a weird odor to it. The best I can describe it is after tones of stale smoke. I thought perhaps I had gotten an off batch. I then went to a company that sells essential oils and other cosmetic supplies. I opened up a small container of beeswax pellets only to discover the same stale smoke odor to it. Does anyone have any explanations? I certainly don't want to use these in cosmetics, and frankly don't think these would be pleasant as candles.
    Possibly from directly overheated wax.
    Thomas Bartram

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Arde, Ontario , Canada
    Posts
    27

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Candleman View Post
    Beeswax pellets quite often come from overseas where nasty chemicals are present in the hives, overheated poor quality beeswax can also produce bad smelling pellets.
    Rendering beeswax gently with rain water with apple cider vinegar will produce nice smelling beeswax , the key is to not heat above 165 F . Solar wax melters can be too
    hot if the sun is strong mid summer. Lots of good info at www.happyhoneybee.ca

    Beeswax will also absorb odours if exposed for extended periods , beeswax pellets often are sold by companies that sell soap making supplies , if the beeswax pellets are
    sitting beside something that has a lot of VOC's then the beeswax will absorb that odour.
    Asian honeybees produce a wax called Ghedda which is different from the beeswax produced by European honeybees

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,770

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    >The best I can describe it is after tones of stale smoke.

    My guess is it's PDB you are smelling... but maybe it's just stale smoke...
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Somerville Ma
    Posts
    21

    Default Re: Why do these beeswax pellets smell bad?

    This is a really old thread but this is because some places still do a chemical bleaching process to lighten dark wax. I bought some dirt cheap "organic" beeswax off amazon and was shocked at how toxic it smelled. When I buy, I now buy form https://www.ebeehoney.com/beeswax_1lb.html and its almost the same price.

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