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Beeswax Candle Card - Why Beeswax - Candle Burning Tips - "Hugging Pillars"!

This our Beeswax Candle Card that is included with every candle you purchase.  Beeswax was one of the first ingredients used for making candles; recognized since ancient Roman times---and subsequently by many other civilizations--for its effective aromatic burning properties.

 

candle-cardWhy Beeswax?

Beeswax was one of the first ingredients used for making candles; recognized since ancient Roman times---and subsequently by many other civilizations--for its effective aromatic burning properties. (Beeswax burns very slowly and smells deliciously sweet.)

Other waxes were tried as an alternative to beeswax. Tallow, the fat rendered from cattle or sheep was messy, didn't burn long and had an offensive odor. Waxes from sperm whales & vegetables were tried and were somewhat better. In the mid 1800's paraffin, a by-product of crude oil was discovered. Most paraffin waxes burn at a lower temperature than beeswax and are used for most mass produced candles that are sold today.

Beeswax is made from the nectar of flowers! The honeybees produce beeswax from wax glands on the sides of their body and use it to create "cells" to store their honey in. Its color may vary from white to yellow or brown. It possesses a subtle aroma, the fragrance of honey ingrained with the other scents present in a bee hive. The demand for beeswax exceeds the supply in most years. For this reason, it is expensive. On the average, eight pounds of honey are consumed by the bees for each pound of wax made by the colony. A large amount of the available beeswax is used in cosmetics and in many waxes and polishes.

We use only beeswax on our farm to produce candles! Our candles are made from raw, unprocessed wax produced by Michigan beekeepers. The wax is cleaned by lightly straining it & letting it "settle" in a large tank where the heavier impurities settle to the bottom, this will ensure that the fragrance and quality of the wax will not be damaged by being over processed. We guarantee that our candles are handmade products and each one will be unique. In keeping with this natural theme we use large old fashioned "square braid" wicks in most of our candles, which makes the candles absorb the wax better, allowing them to burn brighter and drip less.

 

bloom on a pair of beeswax taper candles hugging large beeswax pillar candles hugging large beeswax pillar candles
 Bloom on 
Beeswax Tapers
 Hugging a 
Beeswax Pillar
  Hugging a Beeswax Pillar
(closeup)

What is the dusty substance on the surface of many beeswax candles?
The dusty looking substance on the surface of the candles  is called “bloom”. It is a naturally occuring substance on all beeswax candles after they have been aged for a period of time. It is desired by many people as it gives the candle a very “antique” look and only beeswax will develop it.  If desired, it may be rubbed off with a soft cloth or removed with the gentle use of a hair dryer.

Tips for Burning Beeswax Pillars Taper Candles and Other Large Candles - "Hugging" Pillars

The candlewick in a candle is constantly feeding fuel (the wax) to the flame and a pool of wax is created around it due to the heat. The size of this wax pool can vary due to wick size, ambient air temperature, thickness of candle, how long it has been burning and other variables.While a taper will rarely leak on the sides, pillar candles need more attention. Some will burn forever, some need to be "hugged" (folding some of the wax along the edge in closer to the wick), and some can only be burned for a few hours or they may leak over the side causing a mess and impairing the looks of a decorative candle.

Here is a good link to a hugging video...

 

All pillars (beeswax or paraffin) need to be carefully monitored during burning. Keep an eye on the circular pool of wax surrounding the flame. If the pool of wax becomes too large or too close to the edge, it may overflow the sides. Extinguish the candle before it overflows. We try different wicks in all of our candles to get the best results, but some candles may not be burned as long as others at one time. Cylindrical pillars or very large pillars such as our Large Ball, Cut Glass, or Large 2 Wick pillars may be burned for longer periods. We have burned these for 3-5 hours at a time.

Somewhat irregular in shape pillars such as our Hexagonal pillar (4 1/2 inch or 9 inch) or Heart Pillars should only be burned for 2-3 hours at a time.

Very irregular shaped pillars such as our Rose, Bethlehem, Angels should only be burned for 1 hour at a time. Some people do not burn the very decorative pillars at all (Baby Bear, Pilgrims, etc)

The thing to keep in mind for any pillar is to not let the pool of wax overflow the sides!

Pillars should be "hugged" as they are burned (see above). Any pillar will tend to burn down and create a deep cavity in the center of the pillar. When the pillar has burned for a while and the wax is softer, try gently folding in the sides toward the flame. This "hugging" will cause the wax on the sides of the pillar to be consumed. Do not do too much at once or the flame will be drowned out.

Keep the wick straight up. Sometimes we have found (recently when burning a Heart Pillar) that if the wick is sticking out at angle the pool of wax will be off-centered causing the candle to possibly leak. I just pushed the wick upright with a pencil.

Some decorative candles should only be burned for a short period of time since they are designed more for artistic reasons than to produce light for an extended period of time. Always use caution when burning candles to prevent fires!

All candles must have proper holders. Candles that are not held vertical and stable may burn on one side only or drip wax. All pillars should be in a container to prevent wax damage.

Ocasionally when extinguishing a candle, the wick will burn down slightly making it more difficult when you wish to re-light it. Scraping the wax slightly around the base of the wick (digging a small 1/4 inch hole) will make re-lighting the candle easier if there is a problem.

Relighting Pillars - Sometimes a pillar can be difficult to relight and it is helpfull to scrape out a small area around the wick (1/2 inch or so) before lighting.

Enjoy Your Candles!