How Maine makers are using natural beeswax in products from crayons to beauty creams
For honey bees, wax is one of the building blocks of life — literally.
The bees produce and use the wax to build the combs in the hives in which they raise their brood, and store pollen and surplus honey to eat over the winter.
Humans have been using beeswax for centuries to make candles, wax tablets, lubricant, sealing wax and even as an ancient form of dental fillings. Beeswax and beeswax creations have been found in Egyptian tombs, wrecked viking ships and in Roman ruins. It never spoils, and can be reheated and reused.
“People do look for beeswax,” said Meghan Gavin, co-owner of the Maine Honey Exchange in Portland. “They are buying blocks of beeswax to make their own products, to use [as a lubricant] or drawer slides, or even as mustache wax.”
Holly Hardwick began creating beeswax products a few years ago after she was contacted by a local beekeeper asking if she could clean and melt his beeswax.