Bee Good to Yourself, Honey

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You all know the benefits of eating locally grown honey. It’s good for you. It is also one of the few tried-and-true naturals that, if consumed on a regular basis, actually helps combat a lot of common allergies. I have eaten honey for many years, and I use it in the all-natural skin products I make. But did you know that beeswax is just as powerful? 

I do not use the beeswax at Hobby Lobby, nor do I order my beeswax online. I buy mine from a local beekeeper. Why? Buying beeswax locally ensures that you are only getting real beeswax with no additives; that’s an important factor if you are using it to make products for the skin and body.

True beeswax smells like honey, and it never ruins or expires. Accept no substitute. Period. I purchase mine from a young man and his father at the Tupelo Flea Market. Their beeswax is the best I have used, as it has been filtered and the smell is heavenly. 

A year or so ago, I had an order for some of my natural Neosporin (aka Boo-Boo Cream), and I ran out of beeswax. I did not know how to contact my usual fellows, so I scoured the Internet searching for a local beekeeper. I called four or five beekeepers listed on Google, and finally found a young man who had some blocks of wax he agreed to sell. I met him at Fair Park that afternoon, and it was there I discovered that all beeswax is not alike. Yes. He had wax from his hives, but he failed to tell me on the phone (and I had stupidly failed to ask) it had not been filtered. Why is that important? Let’s just say that there were so many pieces and parts of the actual bees in it, I ended up throwing all of it away; all fifty pounds! So, make SURE you ask for and buy FILTERED beeswax! 

Filtered, natural beeswax makes perfectly poured candles that are both smokeless and have an increased burn time. Beeswax candles have been proven to help facilitate the elimination of airborne pollution, such as bacteria, dust, and allergens. They are also believed to promote overall physical and mental well-being by providing you with more energy and reducing stress. 

Back when I was making candles, I never added essential oils, because the beeswax had a tendency to strongly enhance the fragrances. (They were so strong, in fact, you didn’t even have to light them in order for their scent to fill up a room; it was awful!) So, take my advice if you decide to make beeswax candles; leave out the essential oils and just breathe in the fresh, sweet smell of honey that the wax offers. 

Native American used beeswax for a multitude of things. I once read that the Indians would melt beeswax and pour it directly onto their cuts and scratches. It did not specify how deep the wounds were, or what they had been scratched by. I do remember thinking to myself that pouring anything hot into a fresh wound must have been excruciating. 

One afternoon while I was slicing and dicing vegetables, the knife slipped and made a rather deep cut on my thumb. I could not get the cut to close, even with the aid of butterfly bandages, so I went back to my Native roots. I quickly popped a little beeswax into the microwave and then stuck my thumb into the melted wax. Yes, it hurt like the devil for a moment, but by the time the wax had dried, I noticed the bleeding had stopped and the pain subsided. Within two days, the cut had closed up completely. I would never suggest anyone try this, but for me, that time, it worked. And for the record, I will say this: ANY deep cut or wound should be treated by a physician! BEE smart!

Other, not so drastic uses of beeswax are plentiful on Google, but here are a few just in case your Internet happens to be down. Rubbing the metal portion of your tools with plain beeswax will keep them from rusting. You can also rub it onto the tool’s wooden handles to prevent splitting and cracking. I have tried this and yes, it does work, but make sure your tools are clean before rubbing on the wax!! 

Got a pair of canvas shoes that you want to wear this season and next? No problem. First, clean the shoes to remove any dirt. Next, rub some beeswax directly on the shoes with a cloth and then use a blow-dryer to melt it. Rub away any excess wax with a towel and admire your handiwork. I have not personally tried this, but I do wish I had when I went through my ‘Bob’s Shoes’ phase a few years back! If you decide you want to try this, I would do a ‘test’ patch on the shoes before waxing the entire thing! 

If you have a sticky furniture drawer or a finicky zipper, rub on a little beeswax. You will see, and feel, a dramatic difference!

I made wonderful wooden furniture polish bars a few years back by melting beeswax and olive oil together and pouring them into heart-shaped, silicone molds. They were beautiful and made my furniture looked new and refreshed!

If you are sewing by hand and your needle is having a tough time going through the fabric, poke the needle in a block of beeswax a few times, and ta-da! No more snagging and dragging!

Beeswax is a staple when making homemade salves, lotion bars, and lip balms. The color is rich and the anti-inflammatory properties found in the wax helps heal and nourish your skin.

As I stated, these are merely a few of the hundreds of uses of all-natural beeswax. I leave you with a few important things to remember when using beeswax: 

It is highly flammable! Be sure, if you are melting it in a pan on top of the stove, in lieu of the microwave, to heat it SLOWLY. Never leave the pot unattended, and keep children away from heated or melted beeswax; it is a burn hazard. I made such a mess on my stove while melting it, I finally purchased a cheap, electric hot plate to use especially for this purpose. This greatly reduced my clean up time. 

Lastly, if you are allergic to bees, do NOT use local, all-natural beeswax. Even if it has been filtered, you will still find tiny particles of the actual bees in the wax. Those little black dots in the wax represent a small portion of the millions of bees who risked their life, so that we might enjoy the fruits of their labor. Give thanks.

Bee safe.

Bee happy.

*Many of the recipes I listed can be found on the Internet. You can take any basic recipe and tweak it to your liking.

Wanda Anderson Pearson
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Wanda Anderson Pearson is a Native Texan who married a Native Itawambian, and has been a resident of Mississippi for the past 35 years. While most of those years were spent teaching in Mississippi public schools, she now enjoys the holding the title of ‘Retired Teacher.’ She is a Christian and attends First United Methodist Church in Tupelo. She enjoys writing articles for her Two Old Crows Facebook page, songwriting, attempting to play the ukulele, shopping for the proverbial bargain, spending time with her two grandchildren, trying (while failing miserably) to tame her Pit Bull/Boxer mix, Zoe-the-Wonder-Dog, traveling, and dining at local Mom-and-Pop eateries. (Who are we trying to kid? She enjoys eating everywhere!) When she is not doing one of the above-mentioned activities, she can be found cleaning out perpetually cluttered closets, or Photoshopping her face into the many family photos she has taken for the past 35 years.

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