Apicultural Review Letters

Letter # 427
2010 February 10

Beeswax And Propolis Without Residuals - In Pharmacy And Cosmetics, Alternative Medicine, Holistic Therapies And Natural Cosmetics

Abstract: Beeswax, propolis, honey, comb honey, royal jelly being used in pharmacy, alternative medicine, cosmetics, holistic therapies, need to be without residuals. For the time being there is only little uncontaminated beeswax on the Europien market as most beekeepers work with artificial parts of the combs (foundations). Such beeswax needs to be imported from countries outside of Europe together with until now unknown substances - However, more and more also in Europe beekeepers work without artificial compounds in the apiary; especially in the Center for ecological Apiculture and its certified member apiaries uncontaminated beeswax is being produced, as these apiaries work completely without foundations and the beeswax is harvested from combs drawn out naturally by the bees.

Bee hive products used for alternative medicine, apitherapy, holistic healing, homeopathic therapies and cosmetics need to be without residuals. Beeswax, partitions, comb in the comb and propolis, sold by trading companies or ebay, may contain paraffine and DEET. Artificial comb honey in cassettes made of wood or plastic also contain artificial beeswax.

More important than chemical analysis of products such as beeswax, comb honey, comb in the comb, raw honey, raw-propolis, propolis-tincture, beesbread is the origin of the raw materials, the way beekeepers keep their bees and which kind of hives they use. This fact is overseen in many cases by trading companies and producers of beeswax and propolis products. Propolis products offered in supermarkets or drug stores sometimes contain not only pollutant loads or enrichments with harmful substances but also cancer causing and biotechnological produced sugar substitutes as isomalt or aspartame.

Honeybees in Switzerland collect pollen from maize, also GM-maize (which is not yet prohibited in Switzerland), more frequently than expected; these pollen can be found in beeproducts (pollen, beesbread, comb in the comb, propolis, beeswax) from Switzerland or other countries who allow GM-crops to be grown such as USA, Canada, China, Philippine Islands,  Brasil, Argentina, Mexico, Romania, Czech, Slovakia, Poland, Bulgaria, South Africa, Australia, India, Uruguay, Spain, Portugal. Food containing GM-maize or compounds of other genetically engineered crops are toxic as new scientific research turned out. Beeproducts from these countries need to be certified properly - mainstram organic certification is very often not sufficient.

The quality of food and beeproducts such as beeswax cannot be clearified by common analytic methods and techniques. Analytic procedures are too crude; thats the reason why foodstuff inspectors were often easy game for the swindlers. Also methods of harvesting propolis and pollen are very often anything but according the needs of bees. Even socalled "organic" beeswax may be contaminated with beeswax that contains low amounts of pesticides or paraffin. Thus, raw honey, beeswax, beesbread, pollen and propolis may be contaminated, especially if beekeeping methods are not according standards of Centre for ecological Apiculture.

As cosmetic industry want to offer low budget products, it is creating now cremes, lotions and fragrances without natural ingredients good for skin care such as beeswax and organic herbal oils; cosmetic industry is using poor and cancerogenic compounds instead such as Paraffinum Liqu., microcristaline wax (Mikroparaffin) or vaseline, PEG (Polyethylenglykol), Aluminium, Benzoeacid. Even expensive cosmetics may contain tumor supporting substances. Candles without beeswax made of plant oils from genetically modified cotton seeds may be dangerous.
Read more about sources of supply for pure beeswax and propolis...
Further Reading and References see full version beeswax
Further Reading and References see full version propolis

Complete edition of letters published in Online-Magazine "Apiculture"

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