Loretta LeGuee of Gold Beach, Oregan, came across a huge hunk of 300 year old beeswax while beach combing. It seems to have come from a Spanish shipwreck which has been known to toss up random chunks of beeswax over the years.
They suspect the beeswax is either from the Santo Christo de Burgos, which sank in 1693, or the San Francisco Xavier, which disappeared in 1705. In both were tons of beeswax from the Philippines bound for Mexico via the Manilla-Acapulco trade route, Williams explained. There is historic evidence one of the ships wrecked in Nehalem Bay, creating the beeswax bounty, according to the team that hopes to conduct archaeological research at the site.
“Where she (LeGuee) found it would be unusual, being so far south,” Williams said, noting the ocean currents off Oregon flow north, not south. “But we know the Indians were trading it prehistorically up and down the coast.”
Apparently there were no native honey bees in the Americas. I’m going to have to look that up, though, because it sounds weird to me.
Anyway, here’s the yuge chunk of wax. It’s totally cool.
For more about the Beeswax Wreck, check out The Beeswax Project.