The Magic of Bees
By Kate Belew
Bees and their craft are celebrated. Beeswax is a sort of gold. Not only in color, but also in its properties, and how it’s made. These time-honored traditions have deep roots in folktales and magic.
Beeswax is a wonderful option for candles because beeswax has a beneficial impact on the air in a space. Beeswax releases negative ions as it burns. Airborne pollen, dust, and other pollutants carry a positive ionic charge. These are negated by the negative ions released by beeswax and fall to the ground. It's similar to a water filter.
Because of this, beeswax is a kind of magic or a kind of alchemy. The wax itself is made from nectar that has been transformed. Female worker bees make the beeswax as they build the honeycomb. Forager bees bring the nectar back to the hive where they pass the nectar between bees. This reduces the water content. And voila! Beeswax. The British Bee Keepers Association estimates that bees need to visit 30 million flowers to produce a pound of beeswax.
Bees are potent symbols in folklore and magic. Bees symbolize hard work; messengers between worlds, and in some tales symbolize life’s sweetness. One tale says that bees were created when the Egyptian God Ra cried and his tears were transformed into bees. Legend also says that the Oracle of Delphi claimed that the bees built the temple itself. Some stories claim that if you need to reach someone in the afterlife, a bee might be just the message carrier to do so. Bees contain multitudes, not only do they create natural sweetness, but they sting those that do them wrong.
In the traditional custom of Telling the Bees, bees are honored by their neighboring humans. This folktale originates in European countries. In this lore, family members would tell the bees about important household events like marriages, deaths, births, and other salient occurrences. If the bees were not informed about happenings, then it was said that there would be some sort of punishment. The bees may stop producing honey, or leave the land altogether.
As you light your beeswax candles, make sure to give thanks to the bees that carefully assisted in crafting them. Call in sweetness, reciprocity for all the hard work that has been completed, or to send a message between worlds.
Shop our beeswax and candle collection here.