• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Is Beeswax safe (given the pesticides, herbicides & toxins in it)?

 
Matt Powers
Posts: 343
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
After listening to Jacqueline Freeman & Paul talk about the toxins in Beeswax, my wife was devastated. As a cancer survivor she is quick to think a few steps ahead, so she immediately asked me: is it safe to be putting all over our bodies After researching a bit, I came to the conclusion that it may not be clean but it could be safer than all the alternatives... and that would account for why there are tests that say it is (despite the toxins). I'm just wondering if anyone has any idea to A. if beeswax is safe to use on the body & internally, B. what to do with beeswax if toxic & C. how to test beeswax levels of toxins.

We live in the foothills of Central Valley California. We breath in Fresno's air from a slightly mitigating distance (which means we are just outside the most polluted city air in America though Bakersfield & Fresno are neck & neck in many studies). This is likely a certainty to the air quality, and the main reason the valley has such high rates of asthma.
 
Patrick Mann
Posts: 302
Location: Seattle, WA, USA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
My understanding is that all the conventional bees wax is contaminated with insecticides. Even treatment-free bees wax may accumulate some contaminants from the environment, but nothing like wax from a hive that has been treated with miticides.
I make skin lotion from our treatment-free backyard hive and use it every day - it's wonderful stuff.
 
cc vasilj
Posts: 3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You are right to believe treatment free hives are still susceptible to contaminated comb. I am unaware of any studies on the physical impact of this comb being used in body products.
 
Michael Cox
Posts: 1570
Location: Kent, UK - Zone 8
45
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Some chemicals can indeed build up in beeswax, particularly in hives where foundation is used. The wax gets endlessly cycled from hive to foundation to hive.

I don't think this is likely to be a problem for use in human products, but bees are particularly sensitive to particular pesticides (neonicotinoids) which when present in wax may lead to problems. These tend to build up particularly in brood comb (dark wax which the bees reuse frequently) and foundation which is processed and returned to the hive. I've not heard of any evidence of chemical reach levels that could be harmful to humans - if they were at that level the bees would already be dead!

If you want cleaner wax you can use a form of foundation less beekeeping - eg top bar hives, or only use wax from uncapping honeycomb for human products. Honey cappings are basically single use wax from the bees point of view so shouldn't build up pesticides over the longer term. Beekeepers can cycle wax out of circulation by occassionally removing whole frames and letting the bees build their own wax - this is thought to have some benefits for bee health.
 
Matt Powers
Posts: 343
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Here is a study on miticides & pesticides:
http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0009754
 
Matt Powers
Posts: 343
33
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Michael Cox wrote:I've not heard of any evidence of chemical reach levels that could be harmful to humans - if they were at that level the bees would already be dead!

If you want cleaner wax you can use a form of foundation less beekeeping - eg top bar hives, or only use wax from uncapping honeycomb for human products. Honey cappings are basically single use wax from the bees point of view so shouldn't build up pesticides over the longer term. Beekeepers can cycle wax out of circulation by occassionally removing whole frames and letting the bees build their own wax - this is thought to have some benefits for bee health.


I really like the logic of the first sentence. Thank you!! That's the kind of thinking I needed to move forward especially the follow up on why people are saying No Wax Foundations.
 
Chris Badgett
pollinator
Posts: 289
Location: Whitefish, Montana
10
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Matt, you might reach out to Ross Conrad about your question about toxin concentration in bees wax / bee products.

We just created an Apitherapy course with him: http://organiclifeguru.com/course/apitherapy-health-and-healing-from-the-hive/

Here's the intro video:



He's an approachable guy and natural beekeeping expert with a keen interest in the healing aspects.
 
Dave Vrona
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Matt Powers wrote:
Michael Cox wrote:I've not heard of any evidence of chemical reach levels that could be harmful to humans - if they were at that level the bees would already be dead!

If you want cleaner wax you can use a form of foundation less beekeeping - eg top bar hives, or only use wax from uncapping honeycomb for human products. Honey cappings are basically single use wax from the bees point of view so shouldn't build up pesticides over the longer term. Beekeepers can cycle wax out of circulation by occassionally removing whole frames and letting the bees build their own wax - this is thought to have some benefits for bee health.


I really like the logic of the first sentence. Thank you!! That's the kind of thinking I needed to move forward especially the follow up on why people are saying No Wax Foundations.


Hmmm. I'm not sure about the logic. Granted, bees are tiny, but their genetic similarity to humans is probably somewhere around 50%. Some millipedes are immune to cyanide.....

I do like the idea about using only capping wax.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic