The Beauty of Bees

Fig and Honey Soap

Natural Soap

Not only are bees great for keeping our plants pollenated and our gardens buzzing with life, both the honey and beeswax they produce have wonderful soap properties. Honey is used to add moisture, smoothness and increases lather which is particularly good if you’re making soap with beeswax too. Honey also adds a lovely sweet, natural scent. Furthermore, if you’re after natural colour, you can also use honey to tint your soap a warm brown. Beeswax, on the other hand, is mainly used in soap to harden it – in small amounts it adds a suitable firmness and silky texture to your soap bars while not affecting lather.

Natural Beeswax Furniture Polish

If you’re keen to make your living space as eco-friendly as possible, beeswax provides a great way of making your furniture look and smell fresh without the use of any unnatural coatings. Furniture polish of all kinds can contain lovely oils and waxes that help hydrate and protect; however, most types unfortunately contain chemicals and other solvents which isn’t ideal. But have no fear, here is a handy little recipe that uses just two main ingredients: beeswax and olive oil. Even better, it can be made in less than 30 minutes and only a couple of hours to cool until it can be used immediately after. When combined, these simple oils form a semi-hard wax that you can massage into almost any wood to create or restore a beautiful sheen.

Ingredients

  • 150g (2/3 cup) of beeswax
  • 600g (3 cups) of olive oil (or if you want a creamier polish use up to 900g)
  • (Optional) 30 drops antioxidant such as clear Grapefruit seed extract or Vitamin E
  • (Optional) 10 drops Essential oil – Woodsy essential oil blendor Lavender essential oil

Olive oil on its own can do this really well, but only temporarily as it has a tendency to erode. Beeswax is much more durable and can give your furniture a long-lasting, healthy sheen and texture after regular application. Another ingredient that is good to include is a clear Grapefruit seed extract (such as Citricidal) or Vitamin E oil, though from a functional perspective it’s completely optional. Even though beeswax lasts years without going off, olive oil can eventually go rancid – this is why an antioxidant will help stop that from happening and ensure that your polish continues to smell like rich honey-scented beeswax.

Method

1. Place both the beeswax and the olive oil into a double boiler. You can make a double boiler by floating a saucepan inside another pan filled with hot water. You want your oils heated indirectly and evenly in this way because it’s safer for you and helps maintain the integrity of the ingredients.

2. Heat the double boiler/pans on medium heat until the beeswax is melted. Stirring it will help speed things up but don’t be tempted to turn the heat up too high as there’s a chance that boiling water will splash into your oils.

3. Add the optional antioxidant and essential oil and stir well. Pour the hot mixture into clean and dry wide-mouth containers.

4. Allow the mixture to cool for at least two hours into a semi-hard balm consistency.

5. You can use the polish immediately and enjoy making your furniture glow! To use the polish, just scoop some of it out with your fingers or with a clean rag and work it into any and all wooden surfaces using a massaging, circular motion. You can wipe any excess polish off or leave it on for a couple of hours, giving more time for the oils to permeate the wood. Lastly, buff it to a sheen afterwards and watch the richness of the wood come to life.

Beeswax balm:

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