The most important use for beeswax as a beekeeper is of course to give the honeycomb back to the bees so that they can re-fill it with honey. It 'costs' the bees to recreate the honeycomb, so giving it back means that they can collect more honey next season. The bees will re-use honeycomb, but they will not take flakes or pieces of wax and re-use them, so once the wax is damaged, or removed from the honeycomb, it can be recycled into something else. The list below is just some of these uses.
Candles – Historically this was almost the most important use of bee products. Churches used a lot of candles and tithes could be paid in beeswax.
Furniture polish – dissolve beeswax in turpentine to make a paste. Rub onto furniture. The turpentine dissolves and the beeswax protects and shines the furniture
Stop sticking drawers – rub a block of beeswax on the drawer runners and the drawer will slide smoothly, using the beeswax as a lubricant.
Press screws into beeswax before using and they will go into wood easier and the wood is less likely to split. The screws are also easier to remove.
Rub a saw with beeswax to make it cut easier without sticking.
Run thread through a block of beeswax to make it easier to sew with and less likely to break.
Beeswax, often with the addition of colour, is used to fill small cracks and holes in furniture.
A slipping belt on a vacuum cleaner, sewing machine etc can be rubbed with beeswax to give it a better grip.
Cosmetics – any number of lip balms, hand creams etc.
Covering food such as cheese to prevent spoilage.
Leather was waterproofed using beeswax.
Putting a shine on sweets and tablets
Used for musical instruments, such as fitting the reeds for woodwinds and to make the mouthpiece of didgeridoos.
Prevents the dye from getting to the pattern in Batik fabric painting.
Encaustic art – painting using molten beeswax
Add a colour or dye to make crayons.
Used as a resist in a number of art forms where areas need to be masked from a treatment.
Lost wax casting - A model of the item is made in beeswax. This is then coated in clay which sets to make a hard mould. The wax is melted out and the mould is filled with metal to make an accurate copy
A polish and lubricant for skis.
Soap made with beeswax makes a hard soap which is supposed to be good for dry skin.
Grafting wax – beeswax is mixed with other materials to make a wax used to protect the joint when grafting trees and other plants.
Used by ancient Egyptians as part of the embalming process.