You may already know that honey is considered a superfood. Eating honey can boost the immune system because of its antiviral and antibacterial properties. But what about beeswax? Can you eat beeswax?
Yes! Beeswax is edible, and it is packed full of vitamins and nutrients. The whole honeycomb can be eaten. That includes the waxy cells and the honey inside of it. This is called comb honey, and it is considered a natural delicacy.
Read on to learn all about the benefits of eating beeswax.
What is Beeswax?
Beeswax is a natural wax that is created by the honey bee. Bees create beeswax and form it into hexagonal shapes to store honey, nectar, pollen, propolis, and to raise their brood.
According to motherearthnews.com, “Beeswax consists of at least 284 different compounds, mainly a variety of long-chain alkanes, acids, esters, polyesters, and hydroxy esters, but the exact composition of beeswax varies with location.”
It is 100% safe to eat beeswax, as well as the honey inside of it. Many people like the chewy texture of the wax and the sweet taste.
You want the beeswax you eat to be fresh and soft. New comb is quite malleable, while the older comb becomes stiff over time. The best comb honey to eat will be made of young, fresh comb that is white or transparent in color. The walls of the comb should be very thin and soft.
If preparing comb honey, it is best to use no foundation. Burr comb makes great comb honey, as it is made from fresh wax and contains no foundation.
How is Beeswax Made?
Beeswax is secreted from 8 wax producing glands on the honey bee’s abdomen. Young bees typically create wax, as the glands begin to atrophy as the bee gets older.
Beeswax is initially clear and colorless, but becomes yellow and opaque with the addition of pollen and propolis. To secrete wax, the ambient temperature in the hive must be 91 to 97 °F.
Beeswax cells are quite small – three millimetres across and 0.1 mm thick. It takes 1,100 cells to make just one gram of wax. Once the wax cells are secreted, worker bees use it to construct honeycomb cells.
Benefits of Eating Beeswax
Just like honey, there are health benefits of eating beeswax.
Strengthen Your Immune System
Beeswax contains vitamins, antioxidants, and enzymes that benefit the immune system. Beeswax also contains pollen, which is commonly taken as a supplement to strengthen the immune system.
Natural Energy Booster
Raw honeycomb and the honey inside of it contains vitamins, minerals, sugars, and carbohydrates. It’s high carbohydrate content is a good source of natural energy.
Phenols and antioxidant compounds are found in raw honey, and therefore also in raw honeycomb. These antioxidants are linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and also protect your body from cell damage.
Eating raw honeycomb can actually give you a better night’s sleep. It provides the proper balance of sugar to create a rise in insulin. That triggers serotonin, a chemical that stabilizes your mood and helps with sleep.
How to Eat Beeswax
The easiest and most straightforward way is to eat it as is, and just bite off a piece and chew it. The sweet honey is quickly released from the cells, leaving behind a piece of wax. The wax is gum like in texture and can be chewed as well. It is safe to swallow the wax, but some people prefer to spit it out.
A popular way to eat comb honey is to spread it on a piece of toasted bread. Toast a piece of bread and lightly spread butter on it. Then, while the bread is still hot, spread a chunk of comb honey onto the toast. The warmth of the toast softens the beeswax, making it very soft and easy to chew and swallow.
Charcuterie boards have been very popular lately, and comb honey is a delicious addition to any meat and cheese platter. Top a cracker with a piece of cheese and a chunk of comb honey. The combination of salty cheese and sweet honey is a tasty combination.
Beeswax is a natural wax that is created by the honey bee. It is edible and contains vitamins and nutrients. Benefits of eating honey are strengthening the immune system, more energy, heart health, and better sleep.