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THE WAX

I use pigmented and raw beeswax in my artwork. In the beehive wax forms the comb or hexagonal cells, inside the comb is honey. As bees turn flower nectar into honey other bees extrude wax to seal each cell of the honeycomb. By harvest time the wax seal is a sheet about one-sixteenth of an inch thick and covers the whole comb. Beekeepers slice this sheet off and sell both the honey and beeswax. Pollen brought by the bees turns the naturally clear wax yellow or yellowish-brown. It takes two million flowers to yield one pound of honey and six to ten pounds of honey to make one pound of wax. Besides the fact that beeswax is the best wax for encaustic painting, I am interested in the natural aspect of the material and the connection with the beetle/insect imagery in my work.