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Minding Our Beeswax

by Burt’s Bees | 3 min read

Without Beeswax, there’d be no Burt’s Bees. The Beeswax from Burt’s beekeeping gig is what led to the very first Burt’s Bees products, and it’s at the heart of some of our favorites to this day.

What’s Beeswax?

Beeswax is a natural emulsifier, which helps cosmetics, lotions and balms to bind. (If you love the smooth texture of our classic Beeswax Lip Balm, this is why!) It’s also an occlusive, which means it prevents moisture from leaving your skin to help keep skin hydrated.

Beeswax adds a light natural scent and color to products. It can have a soft or brittle texture and can vary in color depending on the color of the pollen that was harvested by the bees that created the wax. It’s complex stuff, too—there are roughly 300 chemical compounds found in Beeswax, including alkanes, acids and esters.

See how Beeswax is harvested by our community partners in Tanzania.

Bees Make it Happen

For Beeswax, we have bees to thank—their wax-creating glands allow them to build the hexagonal honeycomb walls of their hives. The honeycomb is melted down after the honey inside is collected, and what’s left is Beeswax that’s ready for use. It can take as much as ten pounds of honey to produce one pound of Beeswax. (No wonder bees are always busy!)

Since the onset of Colony Collapse Disorder in 2007, we have supported human and bee health through research, education and conservation projects. Recently we’ve focused on establishing pollinator habitats, which provide bees with a much-needed nutritious feast to help them stay healthy in the face of numerous threats, including monocrop agriculture, land-use changes (think more cement and grass, and fewer flowers), climate change and pests. Through the Burt’s Bees Foundation and RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International) we have planted over 5000 acres of pollinator forage (that’s more than 15 billion seeds!) to create habitats which help support thousands more acres of nearby farmland with pollination services and pest reduction.

Support the Bees

Everyone can do their part to help bees thrive. Here’s how you can help support them and their habitats!

Plant Wildflowers

The simplest, most effective (and prettiest) way to help bees is to create pollinator habitats in your community. Even a 12-inch square space filled with native wildflowers is enough to create a thriving bee habitat. Talk to your local nursery about securing some native, healthy wildflower seeds to start your own habitat.

Buy Organic Food

When you’re able, seek out local and organic foods instead of their commercial counterparts. Bees need clean, healthy food and so do we. But organic agriculture still only accounts for 1% of all agriculture in the US. If we all buy more organic foods, farmers can grow more and offer better prices. It’s supply-and-demand in action.

Eat Honey

Be sweet to your local honey makers! Beekeepers do just that—help keep bees around. Chances are, when you visit a local farmers' market you'll find them, with the best local honey on offer. The more you support them by buying their honey instead of commercial honey, the more they can support your local pollinator community.

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