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The Benefits of Beeswax Candles

I want to talk to you about candles. Perhaps not what you expected, but we can cover a lot of territory in this one product. If you don’t know me, hi, my name is George, and I am a Honey Bee guy. Now that my obvious bias is out there, let me convince you why their beeswax makes the best kind of candles.

There are three types of candles we see a lot: paraffin candles made from petroleum, soy candles, and beeswax candles. But, by far, the most and cheapest candles are made from oil.

Yankee Candles are not cheap but still use paraffin which is oil. So why is using oil a bad idea? It seems obvious, but burning oil products pollutes the air. Beeswax candles clean the air of pollutants when you burn them. Beeswax candles emit negative ions that bind with particulate matter in the air, causing the floating particles to drop to the ground.

Using fossil fuel to create candles is just not environmentally sound. Beeswax candles are a renewable resource. Many suppliers of beeswax candles are in your local community. Buying their candles and other bee products helps to keep small operators in the business. We need as many pollinators in local communities as possible. Comparing how oil is captured, refined, shipped, and manufactured into products then sent again to be sold versus collecting beeswax during honey harvest for pure candles makes a choice obvious.

A few more good points about beeswax candles. First, the candles burn longer, drip less, and emit a brighter flame. Another reason is beeswax candles will have natural honey or floral scent. Finally, beeswax candles are pet-friendly as no toxins are used in natural candles.

Now let us talk about soy candles. I have seen these everywhere, proclaiming they are all-natural and on the same level as beeswax. Well, they most certainly are not.

Soybean production has been a significant contributor to the deforestation of the Amazon. In addition, herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers in soybean production are also a cause of concern.

Soybean oil used to make soy candles goes through numerous steps that bleach, deodorize, and manipulate the oil. This process softens the oil and can lead to petroleum products like paraffin being added to harden the wax. Beeswax is incredibly strong in its natural state.

Two more quick points. Soy candles emit a white light akin to fluorescents versus the warmer and brighter flame of beeswax candles. Second, beeswax candles are denser than soy candles and, as such last longer.

If you are interested in candles, find your local beeswax candle maker and buy from them. If you are in eastern Minnesota or Western Wisconsin Wimmerswilderness.org/beehive is the place to look. We have Grade A Raw Honey, Beeswax Candles and Beeswax Lip Balm.

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Manatee

I first wrote this article on manatees months ago, and it just sat around because, for some reason, I was having trouble sending it in. So I am pretty happy I got a chance to rewrite it. Today covid is spiking, our Nation is literally on fire, and Florida – oh yes, Florida – is experiencing the impacts of the red tide. The latest red tide killed over 600 tons of fish. This single event caused by a combination of pollution – a leak from a wastewater reservoir – and climate change have made red tide kills much more frequent.

First paragraph and nothing about manatees, well it can be easy to forget about manatees. They are not everyone’s first concern. The days they were in the headlines have passed, I think. However, there are still many stories about the problems they face, and if you ever saw a calf swimming by, your heart would melt. When you see the numerous scars on the moms, you will get sad and then mad.

2021 has been the deadliest year for manatees on record. Eight hundred forty-one to date have died from starvation or killed by such things as boat strikes.

The toxic impacts of red tide have taken their toll on manatees over the years, as in 2013, the previous record for manatee deaths set at 830.

I am not a marine biologist or an expert on manatees. However, it had always been a dream to see these peaceful, beautiful creatures in the wild. That came true this March while vacationing in the Florida Keys. We spent a day at Bahia Honda State Park, and we saw three cows with their calves in tow. It was fascinating watching them swim buy, and as you see in the accompanying pictures, they are very gentle with each other.

The sweet behavior of these gentle aquatic creatures made seeing the dozens of scars on each of them all the crueler. Repeated boat propeller strikes that had gashed their backs were a testament to their resiliency. I had always known the precarious position manatees had trying to survive, but the increasing danger they face and the lack of public attention is a recipe for extinction.

I read a lot more about manatees and found several great groups trying to make a difference, such as Save the Manatee https://www.savethemanatee.org/ that are trying to help. However, I fear that the lack of concern about the environment from state officials in Florida leads to more pollution-killing seagrass and more red tide events. This crisis is all set against the stage of disappearing habitat and climate change.

It is hard as an individual to save a species or improve long-term climate change when our food prices spike 50% to 100% and a global pandemic ravages our communities. Try reading something on the numerous endangered species and find a way to help, even in a minor way. I am a big believer in a million little things making a significant change. It is cliche, but if each of us does our part, we can accomplish a lot.

Check out wimmerswilderness.org to learn more. Wimmer’s Wilderness is an informed look at Politics, Community, Government, Environment, and Education from a local perspective.

April 30th Week in Review

In this Week in Review, we discuss Resiliency planning on South Dakota and Nebraska Ranches. How improving grazing management, wildlife habitat, and water quality all improve the ranches and the environment.

I highlight some issues with the American Rescue Plan recently signed into law. Many local governments had received excessive Federal payments when they suffered no loss in tax revenue due to the pandemic.

Finish up with a bit of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.