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Can You Eat Beeswax & Honeycomb? (Benefits, Uses & Risks)

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Yes, you can eat beeswax, as long as it’s food-grade. Many people eat beeswax, as it contains a variety of nutrients and has multiple health benefits.

Beeswax can be used for numerous things.

It’s used as a food wrapping to preserve the freshness of some foods, it can be used in cosmetics or for waterproofing.

But can you eat it, and should you?

In this article, we’ll explain some of the benefits and risks of eating beeswax and give you some ideas of how you can eat it.

What Is Beeswax & Honeycomb?

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by bees. Bees secrete this waxy substance from specialized wax-glands on their abdomens. They primarily use it to build honeycomb.

Honeycomb is the term used for the hexagonal cells that bees build to store honey and brood.

When bees secrete beeswax, it’s formed as flakes on eight wax mirrors on their abdomens. Bees will then take it off and chew it to transform it from scale wax to honeycomb wax. [1]

Beeswax has many commercial applications. It is a component of many types of candles. It is also used in lip balm, skin care products, furniture polish, soap-making, as well as sealing paint or varnish. [2]

Honey jar and honeycomb, vintage wooden kitchen table background

Can You Eat Beeswax?

Can beeswax be eaten? The answer is yes, it can. 

Food-grade beeswax is edible and offers multiple health benefits. Beeswax itself is rich in vitamin A, and the raw honey in the honeycomb is beneficial with a lot of nutritional value.

Honeycomb and beeswax contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, C, D, and E [3] [4]. It has anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, making it a good addition to your diet if you are looking for ways to boost your immune system.

Beeswax has a complex mixture with more than 300 components of hydrocarbons, esters of fatty acids and fatty alcohols, diesters, and exogenous substances. [5]

harvested honey on honeycomb

Can You Eat Honeycomb?

Yes, you can eat honeycomb. The nutritional value of honeycomb provides a small amount of protein, vitamins, and minerals. The high sugar content of honeycomb can also cause tooth decay if eaten in large quantities.    

Nutrients in Honeycomb & Beeswax

Both honeycomb and beeswax are excellent sources of nutrients that are beneficial to our health. Honeycomb is a source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, and niacin. It also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

Beeswax is a source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin and vision. It also contains small amounts of other vitamins and minerals.

How to Eat Beeswax & Honeycomb

Beeswax and honeycomb can be eaten as they are, or they can be made into cakes and bread. They can also be used as a topping on yogurt.

Beeswax and honeycomb are high in nutrients and antioxidants [6]. They are also a good source of energy. They are also high in vitamin C, minerals, proteins, and amino acids.

Eating beeswax and honeycomb can help to maintain healthy teeth and bones when eaten regularly. They are helpful in preventing dental cavities when they are consumed on a regular basis.

Honey dripping from wooden honey spoon in jar on grey background. Copy space. Autumn harvest concept. Banner

Is Honeycomb Healthy to Eat?

Honeycomb is high in antioxidants, which are important for overall health. It also contains minerals like zinc, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals can provide health benefits like lower blood pressure and improved heart health.

Honeycomb is also a good source of B vitamins, which are important for energy production and a healthy nervous system. 

Additionally, honeycomb has anti-inflammatory properties that can help to reduce inflammation in the body. [7]

Honeycomb may also be beneficial in preventing heart diseases. [8]

Benefits to Eating Beeswax

There are many benefits to eating beeswax. Here are a few:

  • Beeswax is a rich source of vitamin A, which is important for maintaining healthy skin, hair, and vision.
  • Beeswax is also a good source of vitamin E, which is important for protecting cells from damage and helping the body use vitamin A.
  • Beeswax contains a number of minerals, including calcium, selenium, chromium, and magnesium.
  • May have a rejuvenating effect on your skin.
  • Beeswax is rich in linoleic acid and oleic acid, which help treat chapped lips and hands, as well as moisturize dry hair and skin.
Honey and Honeycomb slice

Risks to Eating Beeswax

While beeswax and honeycomb are generally safe to eat, you should make sure to only ingest food-grade products.

People who eat unprocessed beeswax are at high risk for contamination from Clostridium botulinum spores. The most common source of infection is contaminated honey. [8]

The substance itself is a toxin that causes botulism after it passes through the digestive tract undigested into a person’s intestines.

What Does Beeswax & Honeycomb Taste Like?

The taste of beeswax and honeycomb is difficult to describe. It’s a unique flavor that is unlike anything else. Some people say it’s sweet, while others say it has a slightly bitter taste. 

It all depends on the person’s palate.

Beeswax and honeycomb are made up of mostly sugar, so they should be sweet. But it’s not like tasting sugar in syrup or out of the packet; this is something completely different. 

Beeswax has an earthy tone that sets it apart from other sweet treats or desserts, even though it can be used to make them.

honeycomb on plate

What Do Bees Use Beeswax For?

Beeswax is a natural product that is made by honey bees. The bees use it to build their hives, waterproof the hive, and store food. It is also used by the bees to protect the brood.

Related: How do bees make wax?

Building Honeycomb

Beeswax is used to build honeycombs. Honeycomb is split into hexagonal cells, which are used to store both honey and brood. When bees fill up a honeycomb with honey, they’ll cap it with an additional layer of beeswax.

House bees will produce wax in their wax-glands, and will then use it to build this honeycomb. They do so by taking the wax off of the wax mirrors, chewing it, and then molding it into the desired shape.

Once the wax is later heated, it’ll mold into hexagonal cells.

Beeswax has many qualities that make it ideal for this purpose. It is strong, durable, and malleable. It is also waterproof.

Related: How Long Does It Take Bees to Make a Hive?

bees-on-golden-honeycomb

Storing & Sealing Honey

Honeybees produce honey, which they feed on. As honeybees can’t forage during the winter, they produce excess honey which they store in honeycomb cells.

Beeswax is also used by bees to seal honeycomb cells. 

When honey is stored away, house bees will “cap” it, or seal it, which prevents it from spoiling. This way, the honey they store can be eaten long after it’s been stored.

Related: How long does it take bees to make honey?

honey bees on honeycomb

Storing the Brood

Beeswax and honeycomb are also used to store brood. The queen will lay her eggs in honeycomb cells. After about 5-6 days, the brood cells will be capped, just like honey.

Larvae and pupae will spend approximately 12 days in capped cells, where they’ll develop their external features and grow bigger.

bee larvae

Conclusion

Beeswax can, and is, eaten by many people. Beeswax is mostly consumed in the form of honeycomb, as this also contains raw honey. This combination of beeswax and honey promotes several health benefits.

Eating honeycomb can help prevent heart disease, provide several vitamins (A, B, C, D, and E), and provide antioxidants. It also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Bees use beeswax to make honeycomb, where they’ll store honey and brood.

FAQs

Is Beeswax Healthy?

Beeswax and honeycomb are believed to be healthy. If you plan on eating honeycomb, make sure you buy food-grade honeycomb, as unprocessed beeswax and honeycomb can be contaminated.

Where Can You Buy Beeswax?

You can buy beeswax in many places, such as your local grocery store. Beeswax may be a special item that can be difficult to buy, but you can definitely buy it online.

Is It Safe to Eat Beeswax?

Beeswax is generally believed to be safe to consume, but you should make sure to only eat food-grade beeswax anyways. It can be contaminated, if it hasn’t been processed properly.

About Teodoro Pittman

Teodoro is a nature and animal lover. He specifically focuses on insects, such as ants, bees, and the like. In his free time, he takes care of his own ant farm, where he analyzes their behavior. Teodoro has spent the last 7 years studying the intricate behavior of these small creatures.

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