Where exactly does that old saying "none of your beeswax" come from? Actually we had no idea and a quick bit of web searching suggests that it could be nothing more than a simple substitution for "mind your own business"... boring eh?
We much preferred the urban myth definition that had 18th century women covering up smallpox and other scars using softened beeswax. When other people looked too closely they would cry "mind your own beeswax!" ie. stop looking at mine! But alas, there don't appear to be any actual facts to back this up :-(
Undaunted, we decided to share our beeswax over the course of two candle-making workshops this month which so far, have seen 12 lovely, creative people making their own beeswax candles and Christmas decorations here at 13 Bees. We teamed up with the very knowledgeable Paul Clark from Arbres et Abeilles
(Bees and Trees) Nursery and Beekeeping, and who's been running candle workshops for several years, to offer four hands-on sessions in the run up to Christmas. And we're delighted to report that halfway through, everyone seems to have had a great time, filled their own beeswax goodie bags and learned a little about the amazing things bees do for our world.
For example, did you know that bees were originally kept commercially for their wax rather than their honey? Our ancestors hadn't really gotten the bug for sweetening everything and wax for clean-burning candles, polish for wooden furniture and other applications were far more important!
There are lots of fun and simple things that can be made from beeswax (although it takes a lot of work by the bees to make enough wax to be useful) and our guests all made a range of moulded, dipped and rolled candles as well as their decorations over the course of an afternoon - check out some of the pictures below. We've got two more workshops this year and more planned for 2017 so if you fancy trying your hand at making beeswax candles, just let us know :-)