Who knew bees and beeswax played such a dynamic role in history and folklore? Over the centuries, these winged creatures have provided us with more than just honey, bee stings and a buzz. No wonder they say, “As busy as a bee!”
According to legend, the corpse of Alexander the Great was embalmed in an clay pot of honey— a common preservative back in the day—and put to rest in a glass sarcophagus. Entombing the deceased in honey (particularly the aristocracy) was once the norm in Middle-Eastern regions.
As well, Virgil, Sophocles, and Plato exalted the bee in their writings and oratory. Legend tells us that if an infant’s lips encountered a bee, he or she would grow into a momentous lecturer, poet, minstrel or philosopher. Perhaps this explains why bees are synonymous with “the birds of the muses.”
In another direction, bee shamans who follow “The Path of Pollen” are sages who delve into the esoteric teachings of healing, mystical energies of beeswax, honey, and bee pollen. Interestingly, the Hebrew word for bee is devar, which also means “word.” Thus, we may infer that bees are the messengers of the Celestial word.
Today, and throughout history, beeswax has proven itself a versatile and beneficial natural resource. Some of its functions include:
- a key sealing wax element
- In early dental procedures (fillings)
- Used to reinforce sewing thread
- Instrumental in creating the Hemp Wick—a natural alternative to butane lighters.
Various Ways to Dip Your Wick
Since time immemorial, wicks have played an integral role in providing humans with light. Wicks are our friends.
In Egyptian hieroglyphics, the letter H, as in “hemp,” (from which organic wicks are crafted and then dipped in beeswax), symbolizes an etching of a wick.
Eventually, the Romans created the wick candle. Roman candle making, not unlike that of the ancient Egyptians, consisted of dipping a wick in tallow derived from sheep or cow suet.
In contrast, the Vikings would stuff a wick in a vessel of oil, torch it, and call it good.
It was not until the middle ages that the history of beeswax takes an innovative turn. Candles made of beeswax prove to be of superior quality when compared with tallow candles, as they burned clean, and free of odor and smoke. In fact, a flickering beeswax candle produces negative ions, which serves to cleanse the air by increasing the relative amount of negative ions to positive ions— the idyllic environment for purified air. In other words, beeswax candles remove dust, pollen, toxins and odors from the air via static electricity.
The wick is the heart and soul of a candle. It’s what makes a candle, a candle. Similarly, a wick, before it takes a dip in wax, is nothing more than a segment of string.
Separately, a wick and a hunk of wax are inert; but together, they illuminate the world.