This is one of those things that crops up on facebook when I advertise our vegan wax wraps:
"I understand the whole vegan thing but honestly, what's so bad about beeswax?"
It's a good question and one that deserves and answer, so here's mine:
1. It's a bee's home
Bees work incredibly hard to build and maintain their homes - beeswax is used to build the comb that their young grow in and to store extra honey to get them through the winter. Beeswax maybe a by-product of honey production for us but it isn't a by-product for the bees - it's the fundamental building block of the hive.
2. You can't collect it without killing bees
In order to harvest honey beekeepers have to smoke the bees off the comb and then slice the wax tops off the honey cells. As the bees attack to defend their home many die from trying to sting the beekeeper or getting trapped in the frame.
3. You're stealing the bees' resources
When commercial farmers take the honey and wax from a hive they force the bees to work longer and harder to recoup what they've lost - each pound of beeswax is the result of six round-the-world pollen gathering trips for the hive - we're stripping them of a truly epic amount of work.
The stolen honey is often replaced with low-grade sugar water which deprives the bees of vital nutrients. This depletion of their food sources coupled with overwork shortens their lives and harms their health - is that anyway to treat a species that's vital to the pollination of our food?
4. You don't need it
Beeswax and honey aren't necessary. We have lots of wonderful plant based sugars and waxes to use in our food and cosmetics. Why traumatise a whole colony when you just don't have too?