Tuesday, October 9, 2007

The Original Bee’s Wax

By Ki Hackney

On a visit to Valley House Antiques in Glen Head, Long Island, a few years ago, I picked up a can of “The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Furniture Polish.” My thirsty old grand piano and tiger maple chest were thrilled. And I was hooked.

“Everybody uses The Original Bee’s Wax,” says Katharine Bingham, who used to make the most special, and stylish, necklaces for Valley House, and as soon as she gets a little more settled in her new home in West Palm, she’ll start again, although Katharine insists it will be “on a much smaller scale.”  Back to Bee’s Wax:  “Even our refinisher for all the pieces in the shop used this polish and still does,” Katharine adds.

The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Furniture Polish.
Applying the Bee's Wax formula to the fridge.
I saved my own empty can while using up a few other things still in my utility closet (that old Scottish heritage in my family is alive and well). A few weeks ago, I dialed the 800-number on the The Original Bee’s Wax can and ordered a supply for my household and as gifts for some friends. It seemed better than another box of candy or knicknack and these days, useful or disposable is often a welcome sight.

What is Original Bee’s Wax and where does it come from? “It is the only furniture polish that leaves no wax build-up,” says Brian Metzker, who, with his wife, Maxine, founded the company in 1974.

“The use of bee’s wax polish goes back to the Middle Ages,” says Brian, “because it enhances beauty while offering protection for fine wood. Up until we formulated The Original Bee’s Wax Old World Formula Furniture Polish for aerosol dispension, bee’s wax was used in either a liquid or paste form which required a great deal of elbow grease that still left an oily feel. Our Natural Bee’s Wax leaves a light delicate finish with no oil. It won’t fingerprint and there will be no build up, because a new coat takes the old one off.”

Brian claims that this Natural Bee’s Wax spray will clean leather, silverware, glass, mirrors, cabinets, etc. and that it even gives granite and marble much-needed acid resistance. I haven’t tested everything, but it cleaned up a stainless steel refrigerator after my neighbor had hers installed, which left fingerprints everywhere.

The Metzkers run a tight ship. They stick to one product. They sell only to antique and furniture dealers in 50 states. And individuals can order via telephone or the internet.  The website is the only place you can order one can at a time. If you call the 800-telephone number, a person actually answers. The Metzgers insist on this personal response, and, if you have to leave a message, they actually call back. If there’s a dealer near you, they personally direct you. If not, they’ll take your order by phone. Here’s how to find the nearest dealer and/or order:


The price tag: 1 can (website only) is $15.99; 3 cans are $39.90; 6 cans are $69.90; and 12 cans are $119.90.