Beeswax itself is not inherently cruel. It is a natural substance produced by honeybees to build their honeycombs and store honey.
Bees need to consume a substantial amount of honey to produce beeswax. The process of beeswax production involves the transformation of honey into wax through the bees’ body processes. In fact, to create one pound (approximately 0.45 kilograms) of beeswax, honeybees consume an estimated 6 to 8 pounds (approximately 2.7 to 3.6 kilograms) of honey.
The ethical concerns arise primarily when it comes to commercial beekeeping practices. Large-scale, industrial beekeeping operations, often associated with monoculture agriculture, can be harmful to bees. These practices can involve overworking and stressing the bees, exposing them to harmful pesticides, and interfering with their natural behavior and life cycles. In some cases, bees may be subjected to practices that prioritize maximizing honey production and economic gains over the well-being of the bees.
Bees from factory bee farms may be subjected to long-distance transportation for crop pollination, which can be stressful for the bees and may result in the loss of bees during transport.
PETAs View on Beeswax
PETA will not approve beeswax as cruelty-free, according to the PETA website “It is not unusual for farmers at larger bee farms to cut off the queen bee’s wings so that she cannot leave the colony or to have her artificially inseminated on a bee-sized version of the factory-farm “rape rack.” When the beekeeper wants to move a queen to a new colony, she is carried with “bodyguard” bees, all of whom—if they survive transport—will be killed by the bees in the new colony. Large commercial bee farms may also replace the honey—which bees produce and need to get through the winter—with a cheap sugar substitute that lacks the nutrition of honey.” So, we as an ethical candle supplier don’t use beeswax in any of our products.
However, If you choose beeswax in your candles or other products, it is essential to support ethical and sustainable beekeeping practices. This involves ensuring beekeepers prioritize the bees’ health and welfare, avoid harmful pesticides, provide adequate nutrition, and refrain from practices that exploit or harm the bee colonies. Supporting local and small-scale beekeepers who use sustainable practices can be a way to encourage responsible sourcing of beeswax.