Beeswax is a thick fluid secreted by the worker bees (of about two weeks of age) from the four pairs of wax glands on the ventral side of their abdomen. It is used to built their nest (combs).
- Colour: The colour ranges from white, deep yellow, tan to brown. However the colour of pollen, comb age, presence of propolis, metal discolouration and improper handling by the beekeeper are major determinant of beeswax colour.
- Density: 0.95 – 097
- Melting point: Pure beeswax has a melting point of between 62 - 65°C.
- Solubility: Beeswax is insoluble in water, slightly soluble in cold alcohol and completely soluble in fixed or volatile oils, chloroform, ether, benzene and carbon disulfide.
- Odour and Taste: It has a honey like odour and a faint characteristic taste.
Beeswax consists of hydrocarbons (14%), monoesters (35%), diesters (14%), triesters (3%), hydroxymonesters (4%), hydroxypolyesters (8%), free acids (12%), acid esters (1%), Acid polyesters (2%), free alcohols (1%) and unidentified substances including pigments and propolis (6%).