Where our beeswax comes from
Instead of buying beeswax from a large company without verification of ethical beekeeping practices, we choose to support a local beekeeper as our sole supplier. We do this so that we can support our local bee population and small businesses at the same time while being able to vouch for the treatment and morality of the treatment of these vital species.
These bees spend spring-summer at an orchard just north of Grand Rapids Michigan where they are cared for and protected while they pollinate apples and various wildflowers around their family farm.
What are ethical and unethical beekeeping practices
Not all beekeepers have ethical practices, there are some unethical beekeeping practices. Some of the ways bees are kept unethically is by trimming the wings of their queens to keep them from flying away and starting a new colony elsewhere. They artificially fertilize the queen forcing her to lay more bees the hive wasn’t naturally ready for. The worse practice by some beekeepers is culling their bees, which is a fancy way of saying killing off the colony because it is cheaper to buy new ones than keep the ones, they already have alive through rough seasons like the cold winters we have here in Michigan.
Our beekeeping supplier however takes a bee first approach with as little disruption as possible to the hive. This way allows the bees to live as close to their natural lives as possible so they can do the important work they need to do.
Luckily, healthy bee colonies are hard workers and often produce more money than they need to feed the hive. This allows beekeepers to extract honey to be sold to consumers while leaving the bees happily fed, while others choose to provide supplemental food in case the bees are unable to produce access for harvesting.
Additionally, being a local Michigan candle company who buys beeswax from local Michigan beekeepers our cold winters can put stress on the hive. This is one reason why some beekeepers choose to cull their hives and purchase new ones in the spring because it is cheaper than feeding them all winter.
Our beekeeper however carefully transports the bees to warmer weather where they will have adequate food so they can continue to make the honey they need when they wouldn’t be able to if they stayed put and transport them back when the weather and food supply is adequate for them. This allows the colonies to survive, thrive, and grow year-round further helping our local bee colonies when they return.
Importance of local bee populations
Bee populations facing a steep decline in their population largely due to the use of pesticides used to protect farms from insects eating their crops.
This has boosted food production but significantly harmed local bee populations, the EPA states 1 of every 4 bites of food we eat have a direct link to bees and their role in pollination.
Without bees’ local environments would be in disarray with far less greenery and gorgeous flowers but more significantly for us, they help produce much of the food we eat daily.
For this reason, we want to be sure that every pound of beeswax we produce comes from these local bee populations so crucial for the environments we live in and the food we eat.