Show #75: Cate Burton cracks open the candle industry


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Now onto the show…

There’s a candle burning everywhere these days but at what cost to us and to our planet? In chatting to Cate Burton about all things wax, candle manufacturing and the beauty of the bee, we break open the candle industry, exposing even ‘natural’ candles for what they often truly are in this bumper hour long conversation – and trust me you’ll want to listen until the end. Cate is riveting, well researched and absolutely passionate about candle making and I am super excited to share that passion with you in this week’s show. If you’ve been buying candles, tune in, get informed and buy RIGHT – for people and planet.

Here’s a little snapshot of the juicy bits in today’s episode…

  • Cate started making beeswax candles as a hobby. She was using it as a way to reduce anxiety and alleviate stress at the end of her work day and turned this hobby into a business 15 years ago.
  • Cate’s brand Queen B is a reflection of her passion and dedication to using one of nature’s gift, beeswax, and turning it into products that are as close to nature as can be. In her words “I will not turn something that is exactly as nature intended (beeswax candles) into something toxic (fragranced candles) for marketing reasons.”
  • Queen B candles are crafted by hand, don’t contain any toxic additives, are made of pure beeswax and come with a cotton wick.
  • Three major types of waxes are used in the candle industry today: paraffin, which is a petrochemical by-product and a very cheap type of wax, palm wax which comes from palm oil and soy wax which comes from soybean oil. Soy wax is commonly considered the most “natural” when in actual fact it’s not: it comes from chemically bleached, heavy metal hydrogenated soybean oil.
  • The essentials oils that are used in soy wax candles release carcinogenic substances when coming into contact with the flame. If a candle doesn’t use essential oils, it will most likely be scented with synthetic fragrances which are detrimental to health.
  • Both the wax and the fragrances used in candles make candle companies some of the biggest importers of chemicals in Australia.
  • Contrary to other types of candles, beeswax candles have a very high melting point which makes them burn slower with a more vivid flame. The flame that comes out of a of a beeswax candle is the same light spectrum as the sun.
  • Queen B candles are a light blond shade. Darker beeswax candles have a higher level of pollen hence will burn faster and will smoke more. The blonder/lighter the candle is the longer it will burn and the less it will drip.
  • The price of beeswax has increased significantly over the last few years making them seem less affordable compared to other types of candles. However the “true cost” os beeswax candles i.e. their impact on the environment and on people is nothing when compared to the detrimental effects of candles using petrochemicals by-products such as paraffin or highly refined soy wax.
  • Beeswax candles are natural ionisers: it means they absorb germs, fragrances, dust, mould spores that float in the air, drawing them into the wax and sanitising the air.
  • The Queen B range also includes beeswax wraps. They are incredibly easy to use and a great way to prolong the life of the produce you store in them, whether it be sandwiches, bread, or vegetables, especially the ones you have cut in half.
  • You need to relax as passionately and as hard as you work. Lighting beeswax candles can be a great way to signal your brain to slow down and unwind.


And here are a few extra important links:

To find out more about Cate Burton and the Queen B candles and beeswax wraps check out the website HERE. Check out Queen B’s Facebook page HERE. Visit Queen B’s YouTube channel HERE for videos on how to use your beeswax wraps.



Enjoy the show and thanks again for taking the time to rate and review the show – it’s like tipping the bartender and it means the world.

Low Tox. Happy us. Happy planet

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