Beeswax - Cera flava (Yellow) - Cera alba (White) - Bees Wax
European Union Approved Food Additive: E901 - Wax - Glazing Agent
Suitable for Vegetarians, Halal and Kosher.
CAS Number: 8012-89-3 / 8006-40-4
EINECS Number: 232-383-7
Beeswax is a natural wax secreted by honey bees of the genus Apis, which they use to build honeycomb cells to store honey and protect their young within the hive. Yellow Beeswax is extracted from the honeycomb by heating in water, but can be bleached to create white Beeswax. Purified white Beeswax is used in food, pharmaceuticals and cosmetics. Beeswax is produced worldwide, but major producers include India, Ethiopia, Argentina, Turkey and the Republic of Korea.
Beeswax is edible but is difficult for humans and other mammals to digest so has negligible nutritional value. It is insoluble in water and is resistant to hydrolysis and natural oxidisation so has good stability. It can be heated in water and reused, becoming pliable at a temperature of around 35-40 °C, before reaching its melting point at around 62-64 °C. However, Beeswax discolours if heated beyond 85°C and is flammable if exposed to a naked flame. Synthetic Beeswax is also available upon request.
Beeswax is used as a surface coating for fruit, reducing internal water loss and acting as a protective barrier against external moisture. It can also be used as a coating for cheese, helping to prevent mould growth by sealing out the air.
Beeswax is a food additive and is commonly used as a glazing agent for confectionery coatings. It is also an ingredient in chewing gum.
Beeswax is used to coat tablets and capsules. It is also an ingredient in surgical bone wax, used during surgery to control bleeding.
Beeswax is used in skin care products such as hand creams, ointments and moisturisers, lip balm and lip gloss, as well as eye liner, eye shadow and blush. It is also used in haircare products to increase shine.
Beeswax is a key constituent in the manufacture of high quality candles, particularly traditional church candles, due to its flammability.
Textile & Leather Industry
Beeswax is used in batik dying of fabrics and to strengthen and preserve sewing thread, cord, shoe laces, etc. It is also used in polish for shoes and other leather products.
Wood Treatment Industry
Beeswax is used as an air- and water-proof sealant and is a component of sealing wax and furniture and floor polishes. It can also be blended with pine rosin to form an adhesive.
Beeswax is used as a lubricant or a component in metal injection moulding. It is also used to insulate electronic components.
In the Art industry, Beeswax is used in drawing crayons and to make models for sculptures, decorations or jewellery, prior to being placed in a mould for lost-wax casting (cire perdu) in metal.
In the Beekeeping industry, Beeswax is used to make comb foundation, particularly where frame hives are used, and to attract swarms to empty hives.
Beeswax is also used in car polish and surfboard wax, and has traditionally been used to stamp university degrees and seal formal legal documents and Royal decrees.