Beeswax is made by bees, from honey.
Bees consume honey and as they digest it, the honey is converted into wax through a series of glands on the bee’s abdomen.
After the bees secrete the wax through the pores of their abdomen, it collects in flakes on their bodies. Bees will chew the wax, or more often, an obliging neighbour/worker bee will chew the wax flakes off another bee. The bees chew mixing enzymes from their saliva and softening the wax flakes until it is pliable.
A bee produces the most wax when it is 10-20 days old. After this age, a bee’s wax production begins to decline.
The usual lifespan of a worker bee is around 6 – 7 weeks.
How much Honey does a Bee have to eat to make Beeswax?
Bees must eat around 2.7 – 3.6 kilos of honey to produce around 453 grams of wax.
To make enough wax for one of my Buzzing Bee Pillars (255g) it would take over half of the wax production from one bee.
To make my 5” tall plain poured pillar (500g) would take two bees to produce enough wax.
Pretty amazing for such a little insect!