Art, Plants and Animals

Beeswax candles

Beeswax is a substance secreted by the wax glands of honey bees. It is used by the bees to build combs with honey and larvae, as well as to form the outer cover for their nest. Beeswax is also a popular raw material in the cosmetics and pharmaceutical industries. Additionally, it has antibacterial and antifungal properties, which makes it an effective ingredient in many skin care products. Moreover, it is a natural emulsifier, which means it can mix oils and water in cosmetics and pharmaceutical formulations. It is also rich in vitamin A which helps regenerate the skin. Last but not least, beeswax has a low melting point, which makes it easy to use in the production of cosmetics and ointments.

Above all, beeswax is also used to make natural candles. These candles are more environmentally and health-friendly than ones made of paraffin wax, which is a product of oil refining. These candles are fully biodegradable. They burn longer and slower than ones made of paraffin, without imitating any toxic substances.

We suggest making natural candles together with children. Materials needed for making these candles can be purchased from beekeepers.

A natural candle can be made by heating the wax in a water bath and pouring it into silicone moulds. Another way to make a candle is to roll a comb foundation. The comb foundation is a sheet of wax with the bottoms of the bee cells embossed on both sides.

Time: 20 minutes

Purpose: Consolidation of knowledge about beeswax; practising the children’s manual skills.


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Materials needed

  • comb foundation
  • cotton wick


  1. Cut the knot to the height of the candle.
  2. Cut the appropriate length of the wick in a way so that it protrudes slightly above the candle.
  3. Put the wick to the narrower edge of the candle and roll up the knot to the very end.
  4. Optionally, decorate the finished candle with a ribbon. However, remember to remove the ribbon before using the candle.

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This post was created as part of a project co-financed by Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt in cooperation with Naturschutzzentrum Oberlausitzer Bergland.