Frequently Asked Questions

Being relatively fresh on the scene there's a lot to know about Beekeeps. Here are a few questions that pop up from time to time.

 What are Beeswax wraps?

 

Beeswax wraps are an eco alternative to plastic film wraps such as cling wrap or saran wrap. They're used in a similar format but work differently. The modern Beeswax wrap draws from ancient food storage methods with the environment in mind.

 

Application : Beeswax wraps need the warmth of our hands to form onto a bowl, this takes a little time. 

 

Efficacy : Beeswax wraps breath. When used correctly they prolong the life of your food stored. However, the wraps are not long term water tight, so wet foods stored against them can seep through over time.

 

End of life : The average use life of cling film is relatively short, maybe a few days. Beekeeps will typically work well through a year & with good treatment beyond! Check out our guide to maintenance for more info. At the very end of its life Beekeep can be home composted.

what are Beeswax wraps used for?

 

Beekeeps are ideal for storing fresh food from the garden/farmer, cut fresh food, pre prepared meal components and of course leftovers. Our large Beekeep is great for storing Sourdough breads, wrapping the bread in more & more layers as it is cut down.

Why is Jojoba oil used in making Beeswax wraps?

 

Jojoba oil is a soft wax which is liquid at room temperature. As such, it blends with the beeswax to create a consistent sealing & sticking agent which is flexible without cracking straight out of the fridge.
 

Are beeswax wraps hygienic?

 

Yes, No. Like anything, when used incorrectly food can spoil. It is true that Beeswax wraps have antimicrobial properties which inhibit the growth of Bacteria such as Salmonella & Staphylococcus as found in this study. But this does not substitute for good hygiene in your kitchen. Store Beekeeps clean, keep eating everything in the fridge to maintain turnover, if in doubt pasteurise Beekeep in the oven as described in maintenance section.

Can you freeze Beeswax wraps?

 

Yes! This is a great way to store foods in the freezer. The beekeep will not be effected by freezing temperatures, however it is best to allow the wax to gently thaw before unwrapping your goods. Berries can be frozen in bags, Spinach/kale/silverbeet can be frozen once wilted ready for pies & bowls wrapped in Beekeep can be frozen.

does the beeswax wrap make food smell?

 

A subtle honey scent can transfer on foods such as cheese when stored for long periods of time, particularly out of the fridge. We find that it is subtle & not an issue being honey lovers. If you find it's unpleasant please get in touch & let us know.

 Can you cut beeswax wraps?


Yes! Cut beekeeps to whichever shapes and sizes are best for you. Cut with a pair of sharp scissors, we deeply infuse our beekeep blend into the cotton so it is sealed up right through! It's not necessary to use pinking shears (zigzag cut), this is just a coincidental motif from the industry. The wax blend will stop the fabric from fraying.

How to store beeswax wraps?

 

Beekeeps are best stored in a dry dust free environment such as a drawer or hanging. We've seen many creative ways to keep them, we hang ours on a line over the sink. Vertical lines with pegs are also great & help when sizing up your Keep for a particular use.

Which foods can't you wrap in Beeswax wraps?

 

Beekeeps are not good for storing raw meat. If it does come into contact with meat, store in the fridge or freezer until you are able to pasteurise in the oven, see maintenance section. Oily foods can transfer into the blend so should be best avoided.

Where Can I buy Beeswax wraps?

 

Beekeeps are stocked throughout shops in Tasmania & Victoria including Melbourne & Hobart. Check our stockist page to find store locations. Or of course available at our online shop and posted to you.

How to clean beeswax wraps?

 

Wash Beekeeps in a clean sink with luke warm or cold water. Eco detergents or natural soaps will work to move food off the cloth. Alcohol or petrochemical soaps will strip the oils out of the cloth so avoid. Anything that you need to wear gloves for is too harsh!
 

Rinse under cold water
 

Set to dry on a dish rack or string up a little line! Here's ours
 

Store in a dust free environment or leave hanging for easy use

How long do Beeswax wraps last?

 

We find our Beekeeps tend to last at least a year with good use. But our home Beekeeps, first created in 2013 still going strong in 2020. Of course there were some that didn't make it this far, so it goes.
Aim for a year and hope to overshoot! Check our maintenance guide below for best results.

Trouble shooting & Maintenance

How to maintain Beeswax wraps?

 

Wash in cold water only, mild soap
 

Avoid contact with wet or hot foods directly (ie place food in bowl and cover)
 

If wax blend is moving or cracking or if stickiness is lost, activate the wax with heat, see next question. This can be done in the oven, the sun or with a hairdryer. This process is best to do once a year or every 6 months for frequent users
 

To extend the life of the wrap beyond, apply a small amount of beekeep blend or beeswax.

How to refresh beeswax wraps?

 

Refresh your beekeeps with heat if stickiness is lost or the wax has moved. This involves bringing the wax to a low heat, over 70 degrees Celsius but no more than 100. This is best done in the oven, with a hairdryer or in the sunshine.


Oven : Place on baking paper and heat the oven at 80 degrees, it will just take a few minutes. Remove from oven & allow to cool.
 

Hairdryer: Place on baking paper. Heat Beekeep with hairdryer until wax activates. allow to cool.


Sunshine: Place on baking paper and position the beekeep in a sunny spot, (works best on hot days!).

How to clean beeswax wraps?

 

Wash Beekeeps in a clean sink with luke warm or cold water. Eco detergents or natural soaps will work to move food off the cloth. Alcohol or petrochemical soaps will strip the oils out of the cloth so avoid. Anything that you need to wear gloves for is too harsh!
 

Rinse under cold water
 

Set to dry on a dish rack or string up a little line! Here's ours
 

Store in a dust free environment or leave hanging for easy use

Mold or Mould on beeswax wraps?

 

Bummer! Depending on how bad the growth is it may have reached the end of its life & now is the time to put it in the compost. If it looks salvageable;
 

Clean off mold in water
 

Re-activate the wax using the oven method but set to 100 degrees Celcius or freeze for 5 hrs or so in your freezer. These methods will kill most molds.
 

Your Beekeep may be permanently discolored.

 Is pine tree resin safe?

 

Sometimes. There's much discussion about the use of Pine tree resin in Beeswax wraps due to interpretation of safety data sheets. This is a good thing, everything on our planet has the ability to do us great harm when quantities and circumstances are out of balance. We use Pine tree resin for our Beekeeps to add stickiness, this makes them much more effective in application than wraps without Resin. The pine tree resin also has an anti fungal nature which slows the growth of yeasts. Our products when used as instructed do not expose users to harmful risks described in safety data sheets. At this stage there is great diversity amongst commercial beeswax wrap producers, as well as a thriving DIY culture. Recipes very amongst the hundreds of producers so what is true for Beekeep is not necessarily relevant for all beeswax wraps.

Need more info? Producing Beekeep every week in our home studio for the last 6 years we certainly did! Sending Beekeeps into the kitchens of our lovely customers, we carefully considered our product. 

Here's what we found from the research: 

Dust: In its raw form, Pine tree resin can cause respiratory issues. It's dusty & when handled the fine particles are easily breathed in. This is not an issue for people using our pre-made wraps or our DIY kits as the resin is blended with the beeswax and will not fly off on its own.

 

Toxic Fumes: When heated over 200 degrees Celcius fumes are produced, these are toxic. There are no circumstances in which this would occur with our products provided oven thermostats are accurate when activating the Blend during Beekeep maintenance. This can be a risk for home or commercial producers of Beeswax wraps if safeguards are not in place. This is why we have pre blended our DIY kits so that these temperatures need not be reached. We fuse the resin with Beeswax to lower the melting point far below the fume producing temperatures. Great care should be taken if making your own from scratch, here is a link to the safety data sheet we are referencing, it's a great guide to eliminate risks.

In-gestation : Pine tree resin has had it's toxicity through in-gestation measured in several studies. Don't be alarmed, us humans have measured the toxicity of everything. There are two main markers that are used to describe toxicity. LD50, the dose required to kill 50 percent of a test population over a specific time. NOEL, No observed effect level, the highest dose at which there was not an observed toxic or adverse effect in the population tested. 

We cherry picked the worst case scenario from the published experiments. A study in which dogs & rats were fed a diet pertaining .05% pine tree resin for two years found no observed effects. Adults consuming 1.35 kg of food a day could consume our kitchen pack & our 100g DIY kit for Breakfast Lunch & Dinner for two years and still be below the NOEL. As you can see the tiny amount that may come off onto our food is way below the NOEL. We can not speak for resin quantities in other Beeswax wraps.

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© Beekeep : by Visiting Wildflowers

beekeep@visitingwildflowers.com

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