Beeswax has a long and fascinating history, and it has been used for a wide range of purposes throughout human history. This versatile substance is produced by honey bees and has many unique properties that make it valuable for a variety of applications. In this blog post, we will explore the history of beeswax and some of its most common uses, including candle making.
Four beeswax sons of Horus. (1069-945 BCE) Photo: Cleveland Museum of Art
The earliest known uses of beeswax date back to ancient Egypt, where it was used in the production of cosmetics, balms, and ointments. It was also used to make mummies and as a form of currency. In ancient Rome, beeswax was used for a variety of purposes, including making candles, waterproofing objects, and as a base for medicinal ointments.
Beeswax middle age seal - 1153AC
During the Middle Ages, beeswax candles became an important part of daily life. They were used for a variety of purposes, including lighting homes, churches, and public buildings. In fact, the use of beeswax candles was so widespread during this time that they became a valuable commodity and were even taxed by the government.
As time passed, beeswax continued to be used for a wide range of purposes. In the 19th century, it was used in the production of soap and other personal care products. In the 20th century, beeswax candles became increasingly popular for their natural, honey-like scent and for their long-burning properties. Today, beeswax candles are still widely used for a variety of purposes, including providing light and ambiance, aromatherapy, and even as a natural insect repellent.
Candle making process, 19th century illustration
In addition to candle making, beeswax is also used in the production of a variety of other products. It is a common ingredient in lip balms, lotions, and other personal care products. It is also used in the production of furniture polish, shoe polish, and other household products.
In conclusion, beeswax has a rich and fascinating history, and it has been used for a wide range of purposes throughout human history. From its earliest uses in ancient Egypt and Rome to its modern-day applications, beeswax has proved to be a valuable and versatile substance with many unique properties. Today, it continues to be widely used for a variety of purposes, including candle making and the production of personal care and household products.