What is Certified Organic Beeswax?
Have you read our previous blog on organic and our journey to using certified organic beeswax? We discussed organic as a good way to describe "chemical free" and why Certified Organic is something worth looking at.
Honeybees are amazing little workers. The girls (worker bees) can fly up to 5 kilometers to gather nectar to create the honey they need to feed their hive. This allows them collect from a wide range of trees and flowering plants to give Australian honey the wonderful favour the world loves (it is much sought after).
Of course it can be a problem for our beekeepers, who want to ensure their bees are safe from chemicals. Our beekeepers move their bees to suit not only the seasons (what trees are flowering) but also to ensure they are not feeding on crops that have been sprayed with chemicals. In our area, this means many hours of travel to ensure the bees are fed but also safe. See the map below to show how far a beekeeper can travel to ensure bees have enough flowers to feed:
So, what about Certified Organic beekeepers? How are they different to our guys who are so careful with their bees?
To be certified Organic as a beekeeper there is a long list of challenges you need to confront. These are just some:
1. You need to ensure that the bees can not feed on any crops that may have been sprayed with chemicals. This means farms need to be at least 5 kilometers away. There can be NO doubt, the bees must not be able to reach crops of any type.
2. No chemicals used in bee hives. That means there are no chemicals to clean or to paint the hives or in the hives to control beetles.
3. No chemicals used in sheds where the bees and honey is stored/housed.
4. Depending on the organization certifying the beekeepers, there are a range of other requirements including bee welfare. We won't list these here.
I must say, these are huge requirements anywhere in the world, but in Australia, with so much farm land that cannot be monitored, there are some big challenges here.
So it is possible to have certified beeswax? Well, the good news is yes. We have just been introduced to a Certified Organic Beekeeper in our area. A wonderful family who are very proud of their honey and beeswax.
They have been generous with their time are happy to work together. As they say, they would prefer to have their beeswax stay in Australia and create the best candles.
We are now the proud owners of our first batch of Certified beeswax. It is a beautiful yellow/orange colour, unlike anything we have seen in our area.
We now have to work with the wax, as every batch is different. Do we need to clean it more (or less?). Is it rich with pollen? What is the aroma like?
We look forward to showing you the results of our new certified organic beeswax candles. Very exciting.