For this you obviously use beeswax. Bees have on the underside of the abdomen four pairs of wax glands. If wax was neede to build, they separate grease, which solidifies into a small wax flake. With this they build and seal honeycomb. Old comb and seals are harvested. It melts at 60°C, is purified by warm seven, removing sediment and repeatedly melting it in water.

You get a kind of candle as you roll birch bark. Not too tight, otherwise it extinguishes. A tube is good for half an hour of light.

The very earliest candles were made of in wax soaked papyrus leaf.

“Saving energy: squint at a candle, so the light looks double.”(Paraphrasing Kamagurka)

fakkelA torch you can make by splitting a 5 cm thick stick crosswise, possibly 6 or 8 times. By twisting sticks into these fissures you put them open. Fill those burstings with birch bark, dry twigs, dry leaves, resin and others combustible material. Deeper crevices burn longer. Provide one or more spare torches.

In the 13th century BC, the Greeks cut down the pine trees of which they needed the wood for their fleet at 3 to 4 feet above soil level. After 2 years the stump, which then was greasy and very hard from the resin, was harvested. From the wood tar was smothered (pissa) to caulk ships, to seal earth jars waterproof, making plaster, hair removal... Pieces of wood were used to make torches, splinters served as matches (Dawo (i)): if you hold it against a burning ember it flames.

On Crete the trees first were often carved to harvest resin, so they died at two years and were cut down.

Pliny the Elder already mentioned that torches of birch bark were used for wedding receptions in Gaul and as lucky charms.

A torch can be a stick impregnated in combustible stuff used as outdoor lighting. (The word is also used for a process lantern: a burning candle in a glass shell on a long stick.)
Sometimes described in an old text as 'a firework for the illumination of open galleries, gates, breaches, canals, sorties, etc.' Flame construction consists of five ends of ordinary wicks, the strands of which are loosened and dipped in a mixture of resin and turpentine. Thereafter, being compressed togheter, they are covered with cardboard paper.


The mycelium of the Honey fungus (Armillaria mellea) has a curious and unexplained property. This mycelium spreads a faint light in the dark. Soldiers posted them in the trenches on their helmets in the First World War. The light glow is so weak that the enemy could not see it, but enough to not collided against each other in the dark (to 1 meter).
The "shoelaces" are surrounded by a luminous black melanin layer. Luciferin and oxygen oxidize by aid of luciferase (enzyme) wherein oxyluciferin and light arise. This chemical reaction is very efficient: almost all the energy is released as light. That light is stronger when the fungus is disturbed.

Candle looking for downer. Loves going out. (Guy Mortier)

It is better to light a candle than to complain about the darkness. (Chinese proverb)