Why are Beeswax Candles so Expensive?

At the end of a long day, lighting candles to illuminate your home begins an evening of relaxation. Wafting scents and flicking flames add a calming ambiance to your home. Take a deep breath and immerse yourself in the serenity created by your candles. 

Since beeswax candles are naturally produced, they can be more expensive than other candles. Natural beeswax cannot be mass-produced, so the supply is limited by how much bees make in their hives. The higher quality of beeswax makes it more expensive.

Although beeswax can be more expensive than other waxes, there are a number of attributes of candles to consider. Thinking about the total cost of burning candles will help you in your decision making before purchasing candle wax. Continue reading for thoughts on the total cost of candles. 

Candle Waxes

Not all candle waxes are the same. There are differences in how the waxes are made, their cost, and impact on the environment. Quality of waxes has varying meanings for people. The attributes of candles, how brightly they burn, the candle’s scent throw, environmental impact, etc. help define quality to each person.

The price of wax can be a key component when deciding which wax to purchase. When comparing prices of candle waxes by the pound, paraffin is usually the least expensive. Beeswax is typically the most expensive. It is often at least ten times more costly per pound than paraffin wax. 

Candle waxes are categorized as natural or synthetic. Plant-based or natural waxes, by the pound, will be more expensive than artificial waxes. Grouped under chemically produced waxes is paraffin. There are a variety of waxes available from natural resources. Most frequently used waxes include beeswax, soy wax, and palm wax. 

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Creating Beeswax

Why are Beeswax Candles so Expensive?

On average, for the bees to make a pound of wax, they have had to make between six and eight pounds of honey. To produce one pound of beeswax, it is estimated that bees travel to over thirty million flowers. In addition, while the bees are producing wax, they make less honey. Both of these steps in the hive are key contributors to why beeswax is an expensive wax by the pound. 

Inside the beehive, beeswax is used to form the honeycomb. This is an essential element of the hive. Bees in the hive work together to ensure the temperature is over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. At this temperature, the female worker bees can transform the sugar in the honey to beeswax. These bees have four pairs of wax glands that are located on the underside of their abdomens. Wax that is secreted from the glands is used in the formation of the honeycomb.

The female worker bees and other workers in the hive chew the wax that is released as scales. This process changes the scales into beeswax that can be molded to form the comb. 

In the beehive, the wax is a necessary element of the hive. Each sheet of the comb contains thousands of individual cells. These cells are needed to propagate the hive. Queen bees lay their eggs in the cells of the honeycomb. The fertilized eggs grow into larva, which is referred to as the brood. 

Nurse bees feed bee larva a secretion of nutrients. Once the brood is fully fed, worker bees cap the individual cells with wax. A couple of weeks later, adult bees chew through the caps on the cells. 

In addition to providing a development cell for the eggs, the honeycomb is used to store food, which is pollen and honey. The pollen and nectar are transformed into honey, which is then either consumed by the bees or stored in the combs. In addition, bees must save honey for the winter. On average, hives must store over sixty pounds of honey to survive winter. 

All of these steps in the process of making wax takes a lot of energy. Therefore, bees must eat a sufficient amount of food to be productive. With the complexity of the hive system and the honeycombs, beeswax is an expensive wax to be used in candle making. 

Other Candle Waxes

Paraffin Wax

On the other end of the cost spectrum from beeswax is paraffin. For many candle makers, paraffin is frequently selected as the wax to use in their creations. It is the least expensive and most readily available candle wax. As a by-product of the production that refines crude oil to make gasoline, paraffin is a chemically created wax. 

Though paraffin is the least expensive and most available wax, there is a growing segment of the candle making population who prefer not to use it. There are environmental concerns related to obtaining crude oil. Since paraffin is a petroleum-based product, many have health issues connected to burning paraffin candles. Carcinogens are emitted into the air when the candles are lit. Paraffin candles can also bring about asthma symptoms, headaches, and nausea. 

Not everyone has the same physical reaction to paraffin candles. They are the predominant type of candle made. There are benefits to using paraffin wax. If you are looking for a wax that you can be creative in your color selections, paraffin retains color well. Paraffin is also an excellent wax to choose for fragrances. Scent throw and holding a depth of scent are pluses to using paraffin wax. Also, paraffin wax can be used in numerous designs and shapes of candles.

Soy Wax

Another wax frequently used to make candles is soy wax. This was first explored as an alternative for beeswax because of the expense of beeswax. Many were seeking another natural choice to make candles; soy wax is a renewable resource. Its cost is more than paraffin, but it is less than beeswax. 

Palm Wax

Another option to consider when making candles is palm wax. The process to obtain the wax from the palm trees is more complex than with soy beans. Therefore, for pricing, palm wax is less than beeswax, but it costs more per pound than soy wax. Since palm wax is a very hard wax, it is often blended with soy wax to harden the soy wax. 

Benefits of Beeswax Candles

Why are Beeswax Candles so Expensive?

Beeswax is the most expensive wax per pound to use in making candles. However, when calculating the total cost to make a candle, beeswax might not be as costly as you thought. There are also benefits to using beeswax that do not come down to dollars and cents. 

With a natural honey scent, candles made from beeswax do not need fragrance added. Fragrances can be expensive. If you do choose to add fragrances to beeswax, you need to consider choosing scents that complement the honey aroma. Scented candles that have fragrance or essential oils added to them can bother people who are scent sensitive. So, in addition to saving money on fragrances, you have a free health benefit. 

Wax from the bees creates candles with extremely high melting points. Beeswax candles burn near 150 degrees Fahrenheit; paraffin candles burn at just under one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. This means a beeswax candle will last longer than one made from paraffin. If you have two candles of the same size, but one is made from paraffin and one from beeswax, the beeswax candle will burn for more hours. The extra time can be over sixty percent more hours.

The high melting point of beeswax has another benefit. Since they burn at such a high temperature, the flame on a beeswax candle casts a brighter light. The aura of the light is similar to natural sunlight.

As beeswax candles burn, they emit negative ions into the air. Negative ions attach to positive ions. Pollutants are positive ions. The negative ions from the beeswax candles remove the impurities and toxins in the air.

Tally your total costs to determine the benefits of beeswax candles. Look at more than the cost per pound to decide which wax is best for you.

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What are luxury candles

Luxury candles cost at least three to four times more than other candles. What often sets them apart from other candles is the difference in their fragrances and designs. 

What are fragrance oils? 

Fragrance oils contain a variety of aromatic elements. The raw materials used in the creation of fragrance oils can be natural or synthetic compounds. Depending upon the mix of materials, the cost of fragrance oils can vary dramatically. 

What is one of the most expensive fragrances? 

Rose oil is one of the most expensive fragrances used in luxury candles. One pound of rose petals can be more than $4000. The delicate nature of roses does not permit machine harvesting. Therefore, roses are gathered by hand, which is a time-consuming and difficult task. 

What is a perfumer?

A perfumer is a professional whose expertise is fragrances. Perfumers can compose incredible smells. The art of fragrances is their specialty. Signature fragrances can include over one hundred different smells. Perfumers for luxury candle brands develop scents that appeal to their clients’ olfactory senses. 

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