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I recently have come into thousands of pounds of Beeswax. I would like to sell it to people who make products like candles, lotions, and lip balms. What type of information do these consumers want about the product? I am in the process of turning the wax into sheets and 1 pound bars and I can triple filter the wax. Outside of this, what type of questions should I be prepared to answer?
 

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The source would be of interest. US? Africa? China? The age would be of interest. Pre-Varroa (before mid 1980s)?

Reasons:
African wax generally has no chemcials for Varroa in it.
Pre-Varroa would have no Acaracides (the main poisons of concern).
A lack of these chemicals would make it more valuable.

China (probably more chemicals and likely to be adulterated with paraffin since their beekeepers often use foundation with paraffin in it). This would mean it would need more validation that it was pure beeswax and probably need to be tested for acaracides.
 

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Does treated mean with chemicals such as pesticides? Are there other things that they can treat it with that I need to inquire about? I know they do not use pesticides but I don't if I should be asking other questions to correctly answer the "treated" question.

What are color variations? All of this beeswax is from the last few months and the sheets are all light/golden color. Some streaks of a bit darker color but all pretty much the same. Are there different types of colors?

Thank you so much for your time in helping me learn this process.
 

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Thanks bushfarms for your help. I need a bit of clarification as I've only been in this for about 24 hours. This product is within the last few months and I assume that means it is fresh. It's from here in North America so is this still a problem? The source produces certified honey so wouldn't that mean that it doesn't have poisons in the process? Wouldn't the Paraffin or Acaracides affect the Honey?
 

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Does treated mean with chemicals such as pesticides? Are there other things that they can treat it with that I need to inquire about? I know they do not use pesticides but I don't if I should be asking other questions to correctly answer the "treated" question.

What are color variations? All of this beeswax is from the last few months and the sheets are all light/golden color. Some streaks of a bit darker color but all pretty much the same. Are there different types of colors?

Thank you so much for your time in helping me learn this process.
I was referring to varroa mite treatments/chemical residue. Variations of color happens depending on the color of the wax melted. For instance, brood comb wax is a lot darker then freshly drawn melted wax.
 

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>Does treated mean with chemicals such as pesticides?

The hive, the wax is indirectly affected because several of the acaracides are lipophilic, meaning they "love fat" and beeswax is fat, so they accumulate in the wax.

>Are there other things that they can treat it with that I need to inquire about?

There is also PDB (Para Dichloro Benzene) which is also lipophilic, but also pretty volatile, so it will evaporate out over time.

> I know they do not use pesticides but I don't if I should be asking other questions to correctly answer the "treated" question.

We are talking about what they use to treat for mites. Typical chemicals are Fluvalinate, Cumaphos and Amitraz that will build up in the wax. Generally the entire world wax supply is contaminated with these except in places where they can't afford the chemicals or from treatment free beekeepers.

>What are color variations?

Beeswax runs from White, to Yellow, to Brown. White or yellow is worth more than brown.

>All of this beeswax is from the last few months and the sheets are all light/golden color.

Sheets? Is this foundation?

>Some streaks of a bit darker color but all pretty much the same. Are there different types of colors?

A continuum from white to brown with yellow in the middle.

>Thanks bushfarms for your help. I need a bit of clarification as I've only been in this for about 24 hours. This product is within the last few months and I assume that means it is fresh.

Beeswax will keep forever. It would be worth more if it was 30 years old...

>It's from here in North America so is this still a problem?

It's not a problem. Most of the beeswax supply here is. It would be worth more if it was not.

>The source produces certified honey so wouldn't that mean that it doesn't have poisons in the process?

Not at all. It is most likely they are using poisons.

>Wouldn't the Paraffin or Acaracides affect the Honey?

Paraffin affects the beeswax. It also affects the acceptance of foundation for bees, yet China sells a lot of foundation that has paraffin in it. All the US foundation is pure beeswax.

Yes the Acaracides do affect the honey. No one wants to admit it...

If you suspect it might have paraffin in it, you can test it. Here's an excerpt from The Australasian Bee Manual by Isaac Hopkins:

"ADULTERATED BEESWAX, AND HOW TO DETECT IT.

"With the growing scarcity of beeswax during the past twenty years and the consequent increase in price, came the opportunity for the adulterator. At first the adulteration was carried on in a very clumsy style and easily detected, tallow and resin being chiefly used. But of late years the fraudulent imitation of the pure article has been so cleverly made that except by experts or by direct tests it could not be detected.

"The usual adulterants nowadays, and which are so difficult to detect by the uninitiated, are the ordinary commercial paraffins and ceresins, and for these the simplest way of detecting them is by the alcohol test. Too much reliance, however, must not be placed in it as it is quite possible that something else might be added to make the test unreliable.

"Into a clear glass bottle pour a little clean water, then drop in a small piece of beeswax of known purity; the wax being lighter than the water, will float. Now pour in gradually pure alcohol till the wax slowly sinks to and touches the bottom, but no more. Then drop in a piece of the suspected article: if it does not sink slowly like the wax there will be every reason for believing it to be adulterated. When there is more than 5 per cent, of either of the two adulterants present the stuff will float, while the pure beeswax lies at the bottom of the liquid. "
 

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I make both soap AND candles from beeswax. And, I need different things for both.

Candles : I use mostly yellow, and some white. I want clean wax with all the muck scraped off. The blocks have to be able to fit in a speckle ware canning kettle -- my beeswax melter. So bigger chunks do not matter.

Soap : Beeswax for soaps and cosmetics is a whole 'nuther animal. I prefer white, or very light yellow. I save my own cappings wax exclusively for lip balms, since my hives are untreated. Beyond that, I use the "pastilles", little beeswax drops. The reason is, cosmetics and soap making is precise chemistry. I need to be able to measure very accurately in grams or ounces, and fractions thereof. Chipping off bits is irritating, wasteful, and annoying. Beeswax *will* work for lotions, etc., but it really doesn't emulsify nearly as well as some of the commercial products out there. Ointments are fine. Lip balms are fine, in small percentages.

I use 2% net weight of oils as beeswax in my soaps, though I have a recipe that uses 8% -- a figure that is "astronomical" in most soap making circles. One problem with beeswax in soap making is its high melting point of 140 F. Most of the other oils melt at 95-120 F. So you melt your wax, let it cool a bit, then add to other melted oils. Most soapers mix lye solution and oils at 95-110 F. If you get too cool on that, beeswax will re-solidify. If you soap too warm, the raw soap mixture can overheat, create volcanoes, and do other unpleasant things, especially if you have any milks or honey in the recipe. So it's a tricky balance.

I would not consider blocks of wax over 2 oz for my soap making needs, nor would I consider blocks under 1 pound for my candle pouring needs. Picky, picky, picky! :D

Summer
 

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I paint with beeswax, an ancient technique called encaustic painting.

I use beeswax that's physically filtered, not bleached. It needs to be white for my purposes, not yellowish. Currently, I use the prill form of wax but can use small chunks. I melt beeswax and damar resin (a hardener) in fixed amounts, so the wax needs to be in a form I can measure.
 
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