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Beeswax Blog

The Effect of Producing Soy Wax on Honey Bees

Thursday, May 11, 2017 | By Pat Cattermole
I recently found some compelling evidence about the effect of growing soy on the demise of our honey bees. A section on the Government of Canada website under Health Canada got my attention. They go through the usual suspected culprits that may contribute to unhealthy honey bee hives. The list includes parasites, disease, the loss of food supply, weather, possible bad hive management and pesticides. There is an irony that some beeswax candle companies use beeswax blended with soy wax or make candles of pure soy wax. There is a connection between growing soy and the demise of the honey bees. 

There is a section regarding neonicotinoid pesticides. They note, even though these same pesticides are used in Western Canada there have not been the huge bee die offs there. Where neonicotinoids seem to have the most effect is when corn and soy are planted in Ontario. They note the only situation where high numbers of bee mortalities have been directly linked to neonicotinoid pesticide use is through exposure to dust from some types of planting equipment while planting neonicotinoid treated corn and soybean seeds.

So why would you use soy wax to make candles when the methods of growing soybeans can be so detrimental to honey bee hive health? Honey bees pollinate crops that contribute 1/3 of the food that shows up on our daily food plates. Beeswax candle makers need honey bees for the beeswax for our candles. It is our food and our livelihood. Why would we support an industry that is harming so many honey bees? Beeswax is the only unaltered ‘natural’ candle wax.

There is extensive information on the Government of Canada website about the disappearance of the honey bee. To read the article at the Government of Canada website (Health Canada) you can go to this link

I love to grow sunflowers and the photo is of two of our important pollinators working side by side in my garden, a honey bee and a bumble bee.
Pat Cattermole picture Published by Pat Cattermole - I had the good fortune to be hired at Honey Candles in the fall of 2004. Experience managing a small rural printing business and 15 years as an elected public school trustee has been a benefit as Honey Candles moves through the need for flexibility and the demands of rapidly changing natural products marketing. I am the Sales Manager and most likely to be the one answering the phone when you call. Social Media and blogging for Honey Candles has been a recent addition to my list of skills.

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