FAQ's- Common questions about our beeswax and candles

Do you ( i.e. the people at Happy Flame) actually make the candles and lanterns?

Yes. We make all our candles and lanterns by hand, no machines, with care and good intent. We do this to ensure every candle is the very best it can be... and so very special to use.

We are often asked whether we make the candles as there is so few people actually making the products they sell. “Hand made” does not necessarily mean the people that sell it actually make it. Whether they make it by machine or buy the candles (or beeswax) from overseas, there are very few actual true beeswax candle makers in Australia.

We are full time candles makers. We start with the raw beeswax and take it through the entire process of cleaning the beeswax and craft our candles and lanterns. Hand crafted by us, not machines.

Is your beeswax Australian certified organic?

Yes, we now have a range of candles that are made from certified organic beeswax .

We (Happy Flame) are a  Certified Organic Operation, certified by ACO who is known as the leading organic certification organisation in Australia so you can trust this beeswax is truly free from synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. This is locally source beeswax, not from overseas.

 

 

Is Happy Flame a certified organic business?

Yes! Very exciting to be a Certified Organic operation, (as they officially call us now :)

It has been a long journey but we have had our audit and everything checked to ensure that we meet the Australian organic standards. Are we the only ones? We think so, but waiting  on confirmation.

Isn't all beeswax "organic"?

There are two definitions to organic:

1. Living. live, biological, natural, "organic matter"

2. Farming method involving production without the use of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides

So, yes all beeswax is "organic" as it is a natural product. All our beeswax comes from beekeepers who look after their bees and do their best to make sure the bees do not fly to farms that have been sprayed with any chemicals and have access to a wide range of flowers to feed. This is good, Australian beeswax.

Certified organic beeswax goes one step further : it is free of synthetic agricultural chemicals including pesticides, fungicides and herbicides. So  the bees have not been exposed to flowers that have been sprayed with chemicals, their hives are chemical free and pests that effect the bees are treated naturally.

Our Certified organic beeswax gives you the peace of mind that when you burn one of our candles there will be no toxic fumes.

Don't bees fly up to 5 kilometres  How can you guarantee they don't visit farms that have been sprayed?

Yes, bees can actually fly up to 10 kilometres , sometimes a little more if there is a good source of nectar/ flowers.

To be certified organic the beekeeper needs to take the bees to areas where they can fly this distance and not make contact with farms.

To do this they travel huge distances to place their bees in the wide open cattle country in the west or in state forests and National Parks. This is hard work.

Why is Certified organic beeswax so hard to find?

Up to this point over 98% of all certified organic beeswax in Australia was purchased by large cosmetic companies at high prices. We now have access to a small supply as the beekeeper wants his beeswax to stay in Australia and create local products. We are very grateful for their support.

Is the aroma different to standard beeswax?

Yes. Certified organic beeswax has an amazing aroma. Some say it is a little sweeter some say it has more floral aromas. This is due to the flowers the bees have visited.  The result is a wonderful sweet honey aroma like no other.

Do you have more questions? Please don't hesitate to email or call us.

Where do you get your non-certified beeswax?

Our natural beeswax is sourced locally... that means around the Northern Rivers area, in NSW Australia: Byron Bay, Lismore, Ballina, Broadwater, Drake, Bentley, Casino, Tenterfield, and Lennox Head.

We  collect beeswax from the very cleanest areas of Australia… the Northern Rivers of NSW. Surrounded by rain forests and farms that fight to ensure the health of the land. You may remember the battle we had at Bentley (one of our areas where bees gather) to stop coal seam gas mining. This is a special part of the world that produces amazing food and the bees therefore visit the very best plants on the planet.

We do NOT use  beeswax from China or America, you would be amazed how many candle makers use beeswax from China.

 

Honey bee on a flower

Photo credit: Carolyn -https://www.facebook.com/cazdphotos

What are your wicks made of?

We only use cotton wicks. No metals or other substances in our wicks.

They are made for us, specifically for our candles. We are VERY fussy about our wicks to ensure they are natural.

Do you clean your beeswax in water that has chlorine?

No. Our beeswax is cleaned with rainwater, so chorine free.

Do you add oils to your candles?

No. We do not add ANY type of oil to our candles. Most candle makers do because it makes their candles burn hotter/easier... and in some cases is the only way they ensure their candles burn at all. 

It is important not to burn oils as they can create toxic smoke. Not good for your family or the planet. Oils used by other people making candles: canola, macadamia, and palm oil.

Do you add other waxes?

No. We do not add ANY other waxes to our candles. We use 100% pure beeswax for our candles and lanterns. Many candle makers do add other waxes as they are cheaper and can also make badly made candles burn.

It is Important not to have other waxes in the candles so that you know there are no chemicals in the candles... and you have the experience of the sweet honey aroma. Also, pure beeswax candles are natural ionizers so you have the health benefits of cleaner air.

Beware, there is no regulations on candles in Australia so some people say they have “Beeswax” candles but the candle only has 10% beeswax, the rest is usually toxic paraffin wax. This is why we say that we use ”100%” beeswax.

More information and research about other types of candles:

Article on cancer concerns for other candles here.

Why not use soy wax?  

Soy is not a natural wax. It is a heavy metal hydrogenated oil.

96% of soybeans grown globally are Monsanto genetically- modified soy beans. Pesticides and other chemicals are used in soybean farming.

Many soy candles add palm oil to make them firm. The fragrances used are mostly artificial, petrochemical- derived oils and therefore can cause toxic fumes.

The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) expresses our other concerns  best:

Soy plantations are causing a huge problem with deforestation. We should not  use Soy for candles to add to this problem. See their thoughts here:

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_forests/deforestation/forest_conversion_agriculture/soy_deforestation_social/

Why not use palm wax?

Sadly the increased use of Palm oils/products has caused a rush in plantations which has meant the massive destruction of forests. This in turn has effected so many animals, including the orangutans.  See here for WWF description of the problems faced:

http://wwf.panda.org/about_our_earth/about_forests/deforestation/forest_conversion_agriculture/orang_utans_palm_oil/


Do you use any chemicals when cleaning your beeswax?

No. We use only the cleanest rainwater water to clean our beeswax. No chemicals. Some people who make candles add chemicals to the water to clean their wax... it is quicker that way. We don’t, and never will. We take the time to clean it safely.

 

Why is Happy Flame beeswax yellow? 

We use local beeswax (not from overseas) and the colour of the wax is due to three reasons:

1. The colour is determined by what flowers the bees have visited (and the nectar and pollen they collect), what part of the hive the beeswax comes from and what has been filtered from the wax. So enjoy the colour, and enjoy the  natural honey aroma.The wax we choose and create our candles from is a brighter yellow than most candles you can purchase.

2. We do not filter out all the good things the bees put into the wax. The more you refine beeswax the less yellow it is. I am sure you have seen light brown  or off-white beeswax… this has been highly refined. Some candles even are treated with chemicals.

 3. Colour can also be varied by the honey extraction process and the heat that is used.

bee hives in the field

Do you have white beeswax?

Yes we do at times, but it is rare so always email us to check if there is any available.

Beware though, there are two types of "white" beeswax.

1. Natural: The bees gather the right balance of nectar/pollen to create natural, white wax. This is the type we use when available.

2. Chemical bleached... which is therefore full of chemicals and could be toxic when burnt so we will never use it


What  is the white “dust” on my candle? Bloom!

This is called “bloom” and yes it is safe and easy to solve..... just gently wipe it off with a soft cloth. “Bloom” is a natural process of beeswax, and actually shows that your beeswax candles are pure. 

How to get the longest candle burning times:

Keep your candles out of breezes to ensure they burn the longest times. (Also, they don’t drip or smoke when in a draft-free environment). Keep your candles up-right (standing at 90 degrees). This ensures the melted wax does not drip down the side.

The first time you light a  large candle  (Large honey comb candles and large solid candles “Spirit” ) , let it burn until there is a melted pool of wax all the way across the candle. This ensures that when you light it again, it will burn well, and for many hours longer. 

Do I need a container to burn beeswax candles?

We have three types of beeswax candles, rolled, poured (solid) pillar candles and solid small candles.

The small poured candles (ie tea lights, votives  and happy lights) are made to be burnt in a glass container (which we supply). The melted wax is held in the container for the longest burn time.

The larger poured candles, e.g. the Spirit of Byron candles, do not need a container, just place them on a plate. We make them so they burn from top to bottom, burning all the wax as it goes, without dripping (in a draft-free environment).

A rolled candle (they have the honeycomb pattern) also do not need a container. Burn them on a non-inflammable tray, such as  glass plate. They burn from top to bottom, burning all the wax as it goes. Beautiful to watch.

Hour many hours can I burn a Happy Flame candle?

You can burn our candles as long as you wish. That is, you can burn the entire candle in one sitting. No "maximum" burn times with our candles.

 

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