Everyon has questions about Beeswax Candles - On this page we try to answer some of the most popular ones.
BeesWax Candle Questions
Vineyard & Winemaking FAQ's
Honey & Beekeeping FAQ's
Where does the beeswax come from?
Our beeswax is from our own Michigan honeybees and other local beekeepers. The honeybees make the wax from the nectar of clovers, thistles and other wildflowers native to our area. The wax is not filtered, only lightly strained.
How do you make your beeswax candles?
We make all of our beeswax candles by hand. No mass production at all. We melt wax in a 55 gallon barrel and the hand-dipped candles are dipped, and the pillars, figurines, votives and tealites are poured from this wax.
Do you filter your beeswax?
A more natural, unfiltered wax is preferred for our handmade candles at Honeyflow Farm. We use only "straining" (with cheesecloth type material) and "settling" (the wax debris either floats or settles to the bottom of the tank) procedures to clean the wax, leaving clean, raw beeswax for your candles. This procedure will not affect the beeswax smell, color, or texture.
Other candle shops that use automated machinery and are mass producing candles require highly filtered wax that removes many things in the wax - some unwanted - some wanted.
We prefer our more simple and natural procedure.
Did you know?
Ancient Egyptians recognized the value of beeswax as a preservative, and early Romans fashioned coins from beeswax to pay their taxes. Invention of the candle dates back to about 400 B.C., but the idea to use beeswax to form candles didn't emerge until the Middle Ages.
What causes a candle to smoke, and what can I do to correct it?
Is candle soot harmful?
A well-made candle will create virtually no smoke when burning properly. However, if the wick becomes too long, or an air current disturbs the flame's teardrop shape, small amounts of unburned carbon particles (soot) will escape from the flame as a visible wisp of smoke. Any candle will soot if the flame is disturbed.
To avoid this, always trim the wick to ¼ inch before every use and be sure to place candles away from drafts, vents or air currents. If a candle continually flickers or smokes, it is not burning properly and should be extinguished. Allow the candle to cool, trim the wick, make sure the area is draft free, then re-light.
Is candle soot harmful?
No. The minuscule amount of soot produced by a candle is the natural byproduct of incomplete combustion. Candle soot is composed primarily of elemental carbon particles, and is similar to the soot given off by kitchen toasters and cooking oils. These everyday household sources of soot are not considered a health concern, and are chemically different from the soot formed by the burning of diesel fuel, coal, gasoline, etc.
What are "Rolled Candles"?
Rolled candles are made from sheets of wax, either beeswax or parraffin. Sometimes the sheets are embossed with the hexagonal cells that honeybees create. I have seen some candleshops that make pillars with a completely smooth sheet of wax.
Rolled candles usually burn quite quickly due to the amount of air that is in the spaces in the candle.
I have seen some that are very decorative.
I prefer not to make them since they do not usually need a lot a skill to produce the candles. I gave a beekeeping/honey/candle demonstration one time to my daughters grade school class and had the children rolling candles to take home to their parents.
What's the white cloudy film on my beeswax candle?
This white film, called bloom, is normal and occurs to all pure beeswax. This is caused because some of the components of the beeswax migrate to the surface. Bloom can be easily removed by wiping the candle with a soft cloth, applying gentle heat with a hair dryer, or placing the candle in warm sunlight. Even though the bloom is easily removable, many people actually desire this effect as it tends to give the beeswax candle a unique and rustic look and feel.
What is the normal color of beeswax?
All of our candles are made with pure beeswax which is usually a golden yellow color with sometimes a golden brown tint. Highly refined, bleached beeswax may sometimes be white (or very light in color) but the beeswax that is used by most beekeepers who produce candles has a golden color from slight amounts of pollen & propolis (a substance produce by the honeybees to glue their beehives together) that is in the wax.
We do not "filter" our beeswax and use only "raw" beeswax. We clean our beeswax with a combination of "straining" (through a cheesecloth type material) and "settling" where dirt will settle to the bottom of the tank. We believe this makes a nicer candle than filtered and highly refined wax.
Why does my beeswax candle sometimes seem hard to light?
In order for a candle to work properly it needs to pass melted wax through the wick. Beeswax melts at a higher temperature and requires thicker wicks, therefore it is necessary to hold the lighter next to the wick for a longer time than other candles.
Do you add chemicals to your beeswax candles?
We add no chemicals to our beeswax. All of our wax is 100% natural and we do not filter the wax.. The beeswax is not bleached or filled with any additives.
We do not use any toxic zinc or lead core wicks - only cotton core.
Related story: Wicks in the Candle Industry
10 reasons to choose beeswax instead of paraffin!
- Beeswax candles burn cleaner than paraffin candles, producing very little soot.
- Beeswax candles burn a lot longer than paraffin candles.
- Beeswax candles contain none of the harmful chemicals sometimes found in paraffin candles.
- Our beeswax taper candles are virtually dripless in normal draft free conditions.
- The light emitted by a beeswax candle is much stronger and brighter than that of a paraffin candle.
- Beeswax candles have a natural aroma and honey scent, no additives needed.
- Beeswax is a renewable resource!
- Beeswax candles can be burned around those with allergies or who are sensitive to strong chemical scents.
- Natural beeswax candles support our beekeepers; our candles are created out of beeswax made in the USA.
- Beeswax candles do not expire. Beeswax has been found in the pyramids virtually unchanged after 1000s of years.
Why do cracks sometimes form on the top of my candles after burning?
Burning the candle for extended periods of time results in a large pool of melted wax. As beeswax cools, it shrinks slightly which can sometimes cause cracking.
Many times cracks can occur in the wax pool in apothecary & glass candles. Since beeswax is a harder wax and burns at a higher temperature it will tend to shrink and also pull away from the glass container. Most of the cheaper, softer waxes made from petroleum will not do this.
How wide are your tapers and do they vary in size?
We guarantee that ALL OF OUR TAPERS WILL VARY IN SIZE because they are all hand made. The diameter of our 9.5 & 12 inch tapers are usually between 3/4 and 7/8 inch (we try to keep them just under 7/8 inch). The diameter increases with every dip by about 1/8 inch and it is impossible to have every one the same. Many times the candles on each frame will vary in size.
We have also changed the size of our 6 inch tapers from 5/8 inch to almost 3/4 inch. These are now much closer to our full size 9 & 12 inch.
Our Scented Hexagonal Tapers are made with molds and will not vary in size as much.
How are your candles "finished"?
Our candles are shipped to you with 3 different finishes.
Natural or bloom finish has nothing extra done to it. It may have a "bloom" on it or the bloom may develop later. Our Hand Dipped Tapers, votives and tealites are shipped with "natural" or "bloom". It is also an "option" with most decorative pillars.
Candle Luster means that we have lightly sprayed the candle with a "craft spray", this will keep the candle shiny and retard bloom. This is how we usually ship our decorative or figurine candles.
Sometimes we finish our pillars with a light rubbing with silicone that makes them nice and rich looking. We just spray it on a rag and use it like any other polish. Some pillars are better looking with it and some do not need it. Our candles are all hand made and each one is unique. They will still have bloom eventually grow on them.
Do you produce all your own beeswax?
The honeybee only produces a small amount of wax for every pound of honey they collect - that is why it is more expensive than other waxes. Remember that the wax comes from the actual flowers that are blooming.
To make all the candles we sell we would need a lot more beeswax than our own honeybees could possibly produce.
We purchase the rest of the wax from local beekeepers in Michigan.
Do you use Fragrance Oils or Essential Oils? What is the difference?
Both! We use cinnamon & bayberry Fragrance Oils for some scented candles & votives and Essential Oils in or new line of votives. Essential Oils are considered more natural.
Is there pollen in the beeswax? Will it clog the wick? Is this what makes the wax yellow?
Pollen is the protein part of the honeybee diet and is water soluble and I do not think it would dissolve in beeswax. What I think you are hearing about is Propolis. The bees make propolis from the resins in trees and use it to glue the hive together. They fill cracks and holes with it. Propolis will dissolve in beeswax and that is what gives it the yellow color.
Sometimes small particles of dirt will be in the wax and that can clog the wick and cause the flame to sputter. Some candle makers will filter their wax. We prefer a more natural method of cleaning the wax where we let the hot wax "settle" in our wax tanks - the dirt will settle to the bottom and the wax above will be very clean.
What kind of molds do you use for your candles?
- Some candles like our hand dipped tapers do not have molds, but the rest our candles are made from many styles of them.
- Almost all of our pillars are made from antique style tin molds. This allows us to make larger, more unique and different sizes of pillars.
- Our 10 inch hex tapers, some figurines and plastic tea lites use a rubber mold. These are easy to use but the molds are more expensive.
- Other figurines and special shapped candles are made from plastic, 2 piece molds.