How Hot Is Too Hot For Beeswax?

Beeswax is a natural wax produced by honey bees that has many uses for humans. However, one property of beeswax that can cause challenges is its relatively low melting point. Pure beeswax melts at temperatures between 144-147°F (62-64°C) according to testing done by Wikipedia. This low melting point means beeswax becomes soft and malleable with just a small amount of heat. While this can be useful in applications like candle making, it also means beeswax can become problematic to work with in warm environments. If beeswax gets too hot, it can start melting and losing its structural stability. Understanding the ideal temperature range for beeswax and learning to manage it in warm conditions is key to successfully utilizing this versatile natural wax.

Melting Point of Beeswax

The melting point of beeswax is between 62-64°C or 143-147°F ( Its flash point, or the lowest temperature at which it can vaporize to form an ignitable mixture, is approximately 204°C or 400°F. The melting point of beeswax is higher than other waxes like paraffin, which melts at around 37°C or 99°F. The relatively high melting point of beeswax makes it preferable for applications like candles, as it stands up well to high temperatures without melting or losing its structural integrity.

Why Beeswax Melts Easily

Beeswax has a relatively low melting point compared to other waxes because of its unique chemical composition. Beeswax is comprised of a mixture of various compounds including fatty acids, long chain alcohols, and esters 1. The main components are palmitate, palmitoleate, and oleate esters which have melting points around 130-150°F. Beeswax also contains some hydrocarbons and free fatty acids which have lower melting points. The combination of all these ingredients with their varying melting points results in the overall low melting point for beeswax as a whole.

Additionally, beeswax does not contain paraffin, which is commonly added to commercial waxes to increase their melting point. The absence of paraffin, which can have a melting point over 200°F, is another reason why beeswax melts more easily compared to some other waxes.

Ideal Temperature Range for Working

the optimal temperature range for working with beeswax is 95-150°f. overheating above 150°f can damage the wax through discoloration, thinning, and separation.

When working with beeswax, it is important to maintain the wax at an ideal temperature range. If the wax becomes too hot, it can be difficult to work with and loses its structural integrity. According to BrambleBerry, the best temperature to pour beeswax is 155-160°F. The wax should be cooled enough that it coats the sides of the pouring vessel.

If the wax is heated above 185°F, it will become very thin and runny. At these high temperatures, the wax will be too fluid to hold its shape or retain details. It will be challenging to create candles, sculptures, or other beeswax crafts requiring molded forms. Allowing the wax to cool to 155-160°F before pouring or shaping enables the wax to flow smoothly while still holding its structure.

Storing Beeswax in Hot Conditions

Beeswax has a relatively low melting point, so it’s important to take precautions when storing it in hot environments to prevent the wax from melting into a liquified state. The ideal storage temperature for beeswax is below 77°F (25°C) according to most experts.

If you live in a hot climate or don’t have access to cool storage, here are some tips for keeping beeswax solid during storage:

  • Store beeswax in the refrigerator if possible. Refrigerators maintain temperatures around 40°F which will keep the wax solid.
  • Choose a storage container that provides insulation like a cooler, thick plastic or glass jar, or insulated shipping box. This helps buffer temperature swings.
  • Wrap the beeswax in a towel or blanket to provide additional insulation.
  • Keep beeswax out of direct sunlight which can heat up the storage container.
  • Consider using a temperature monitor or thermometer to ensure the storage area doesn’t exceed 77°F.
  • If storing for extended periods in extreme heat, consider freezing the beeswax for preservation.

With proper precautions, beeswax can be kept solid and stable even in hot storage conditions. The key is controlling temperature fluctuations and preventing the wax from reaching its melting point.

Transporting Beeswax in Warm Weather

Transporting beeswax during hot summer months or in warm climates requires some extra precautions to prevent the wax from melting and making a mess. Here are some tips for keeping beeswax from getting too hot when transporting it:

  • Load beeswax into the vehicle early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Park the vehicle in shaded areas when making stops to keep the interior as cool as possible.
  • Use an insulated container or cooler and freeze gel packs to transport smaller amounts of beeswax.
  • Wrap larger slabs or boxes of beeswax in towels or blankets to provide insulation.
  • Place a thermometer in the vehicle to monitor interior temperatures.
  • Run the air conditioning, if available, to maintain a cool environment.
  • Avoid leaving beeswax unattended in hot vehicles for extended periods.
  • Bring beeswax inside if stopping for lengthy periods of time.
  • Drive with air vents open to promote airflow and prevent heat buildup.
  • Travel with windows cracked if transporting comb honey to prevent wax from softening.

With proper preparation and some simple precautions, beekeepers can successfully transport beeswax frames, blocks, and other bee products even during hot weather.

Heating Beeswax

When heating beeswax, it’s important to use the proper temperatures and methods to avoid damaging the wax. According to Crystals Raw Honey, beeswax begins to melt around 140-150°F. Temperatures should be kept in this range when melting beeswax to preserve its properties and quality. The ideal temperature is between 144-150°F.

Beeswax can be melted using several methods:

  • On the stove in a double boiler or makeshift double boiler, such as a glass bowl suspended above a pot of water. Monitor the temperature with a thermometer.
  • In the oven at low temperature (140-150°F) in oven-safe containers. Do not heat beeswax higher than 150°F in the oven.
  • In a slow cooker on low setting.
  • In a purpose-made wax melter which allows temperature control.

Regardless of method, heat beeswax slowly and avoid overheating above 150°F. Use a thermometer to frequently check the temperature when melting beeswax. Proper temperature control will retain the honey aroma and texture of the beeswax.

Signs Beeswax is Too Hot

There are a few clear signs that beeswax has been overheated:

– Color change – When heated above 185°F, beeswax will irreversibly turn from its natural light yellow to a tan or brown color. This is one of the most obvious indications it has been overheated (

– Burnt odor – Beeswax has a lovely natural honey-like scent when warmed properly. If it starts to smell burnt or acrid, that’s a sign it’s too hot.

– Thinning/Separation – Excessive heat can cause components of beeswax to separate, resulting in a thinner, less viscous texture. Properly melted beeswax should remain fairly thick and creamy.

– Bubbling/Foaming – When beeswax reaches its smoke point around 400°F, it will begin bubbling and foaming as it starts to burn. This signals it has far exceeded a safe temperature.

– Smoke – If you actually see wisps of smoke coming off melted beeswax, it is burning and dangerously hot. Immediately remove from heat.

Cooling Overheated Beeswax

If your beeswax gets too hot and becomes overheated, there are some steps you can take to re-solidify it properly. The most important thing is to cool the wax down slowly and gently.

Place the melted beeswax in a heatproof container and set it aside to begin cooling at room temperature. Avoid putting it directly in the fridge or freezer as this can cause cracks and flaws in the wax as it hardens too quickly. Allow the wax to sit undisturbed as it cools so a smooth layer can form on top.

You can create a water bath by placing the hot beeswax container into a larger container filled with cool water. This will draw heat away from the wax more gently. Change out the water as it warms up to keep cooling the wax slowly over several hours. The water bath method helps prevent overheated wax from developing a grainy crystallized texture as it solidifies [1].

Stirring the wax as it cools can also prevent lumps or grittiness, but stir gently and avoid introducing air bubbles. Allow the beeswax to fully harden and then inspect it. If needed, you can remelt and cool overheated beeswax again more carefully to improve the texture.


In summary, the ideal temperature range for working with beeswax is between 95-105°F. Beeswax starts to soften around 95°F and melts completely at temperatures of 147-150°F. Overheating beeswax above 150°F can damage and discolor it. Signs that beeswax is too hot include a burnt smell, darkening color, and the release of oil. If beeswax does become overheated, it’s best to allow it to fully cool and solidify before attempting to re-melt it. Keeping beeswax stored and transported at proper temperatures will help avoid overheating and maintain its quality.

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