A vegan diet is defined as a way of eating that avoids animal-derived products and ingredients to the best of one’s ability.

Veganism typically extends beyond diet and also aims to avoid the use of animal-derived ingredients or byproducts that are harvested in ways that may harm animals.

Beeswax is the waxy substance produced by honeybees to construct their hives and contain honey. As honey is often avoided on a vegan diet, you may wonder whether beeswax should also be excluded.

This article examines whether beeswax is considered a vegan product and appropriate to include in a vegan lifestyle.

Beeswax is a common ingredient in many commercial products, such as food, beverages, cosmetics, candles, and personal care items, including dental floss, lotions, lip balm, and creams, as an emollient, thickener, and emulsifier (1).

Produced by secretory glands on the undersides of worker bees, beeswax is the main construction material in the making of a beehive. It’s used by bees to create the honeycomb structure of their hive, as well as serve as caps to contain the bees’ honey (2).

When honey is harvested, beeswax must first be scraped off of the beehive. The beeswax can then be melted down for its various commercial uses.


Beeswax is a waxy substance produced by worker bees in the construction of hives and containment of honey. It’s used in a number of consumer products.

A vegetarian product may be produced by animals or insects but not contain animal flesh itself. For example, vegetarians often consume eggs, honey, and dairy products.

By this definition, beeswax can be considered a vegetarian product, as it’s made by bees but doesn’t contain bees themselves. However, determining whether beeswax is vegan requires a further look into the definition of veganism.

While some companies harvest beeswax in a way that aims to protect bees from harm, the processes used don’t come without risk of hive disruption, damage, or accidental bee death.

Furthermore, some people believe that disturbing animals or their habitats or taking something from them without their direct consent does not align with the principles of veganism.

Based on this definition, even if beeswax is removed from hives in a way that avoids harming the bees directly, it’s still removed without their direct consent.

Hence, while beeswax can be considered a vegetarian substance, it’s not truly a vegan ingredient.


Beeswax does not contain animal or insect flesh and is considered vegetarian. However, there are concerns with how it’s harvested, as well as its effects on the bees, making it not a truly vegan ingredient.

Beeswax is a waxy substance made by worker bees to construct hives and contain honey. It’s used in a variety of commercial food and consumer personal care products.

While some companies employ beeswax harvesting methods that aim to minimize harm to bees or their hives, the risk of bee death remains.

Furthermore, some people on a vegan diet believe that disrupting beehives without the ability to obtain consent from their owners goes against veganism. Therefore, beeswax is considered a vegetarian product, but it’s not vegan.

At the end of the day, you have to decide whether the harvesting measures used are enough for you to feel that they align with your ethics. The best way to make this decision is to educate yourself on the practices used by individual companies.