Bees hold a special place in my heart, as beekeeping is a beloved Vermont family tradition. My grandfather, aunts and cousins have all kept bees, and although I have never kept bees myself, I feel lucky to be surrounded by such nurturing, patient and natureful souls. Easily the most hardworking creatures on earth, bees are truely wonderous and their results are nothing short of miraculous. As healthy as bee products are for our bodies internally, they are equally beneficial externally. We have carefully selected 5 actively beneficial bee products to create the ultimate facial for healthy, radiant skin - Manuka Honey, Bee Pollen, Beeswax, Bee Propolis, & Royal Jelly. All the bee ingredients we use are pesticide-free, chemical-free, and anti-biotic-free. The source of our bee ingredients treats the bees as humanely as possible and keep interference in the bees life to a minimum.“Under normal conditions, a healthy colony of honey bees can have surplus ‘hive products’ removed without overtaxing the colony,” Eric C. Mussen, a bee expert at the University of California-Davis, told me via email. “Beekeepers do not have to ‘put pressure’ on the bees to perform. They perform at a high level anyway, so long as conditions are good. Beekeepers can only modify what is going on; they cannot increase or decrease output, like you can with a machine.” - Grist.com
The bee population is declining at an alarming rate, down nearly 70% in some regions with no end in sight. The bees are threatened by the use of pesticides, genetically modified plants, virus' and the varroa parasite. Our country's crops and revenue depend hugely on the bees, whom polinate approximately 1/3 of our crops. The situation is emergent.
What can you do to support the bees?
- Keep pesticides out of your garden and yard, they can harm the bees!
- Leave weeds like clover and dandelions in your yard as a snack for bees.
- Grow a variety of flowers over the summer season for the bees to feast on, the more colorful, the better
- Buy local honey and bee products from local farms or farmers markets to help a support a robust pollination for your local food system.
So what's the Buzz about honey bee ingredients?
- Bee Propolis - raw propolis straight from the hive and infused into our argan oil!
Propolis is a resin-like substance made from collected tree resins that are then processed by bees and secreted, much like nectar and honey, and is often referred to as "bee glue." For 5000 years people have used Propolis as natural medicinal and antiseptic aid for healing wounds and acne. This bee adhesive is antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, anti-acne, anti-inflammatory and has huge antioxidant properties which prevent free-radicals that cause aging. Bee propolis is used as a preservative, a deodorant and as a skin-purifying agent. Like other bee products, it encourages tissue repair and regeneration.
- Certified Raw New Zealand Manuka Honey - UMF Rated 15+
Harvested from the remote and pristine hills, forest, and coastal areas of New Zealand. This Manuka honey has been independently tested and rated to be at least 15+ UMF rating. Manuka is high in the antibacterial methylglyoxal (MG). MG is found in most types of honey in small quantities. However, manuka honey contains up to 100 times more MG than normal honey. Because of it's powerful anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it makes for the ultimate treatment to heal and soothe blemishes. It also helps balance the skin’s pH and contains amino acids which slough away dead skin cells, helping to keep pores clear. Manuka honey promotes collagen production, keeping skin looking youthful and firm. And the topper is that Manuka honey draws moisture into the skin. This hydration enhances skin’s elasticity and cell regeneration, as well as promote healing.
- Beeswax - 100% Pure - the fields, farms, and foothills of Southern California
Honeybees produce a natural wax, secreting it from glands on the sides of their bodies. They then scrape the wax off, chew it up and secret it to the inside of the honeycomb. There, it gradually hardens into a protective lining for the cells where the baby bees are grown and the honey is stored. When applied to the skin, beeswax creates a protective barrier on skin, holding in moisture and reducing dryness. Beeswax has powerful anti-bacterial properties to keep skin clean and ward off acne. Beeswax attracts moisture which in turn will keep your skin hydrated as well as being high in Vitamin A which helps skin cells to regenerate keeping you looking youthful. The anti-allergenic properties of beeswax soothe dry, itchy, irritated skin related to dermititis or eczema.
- Bee Pollen - the fields, farms, and foothills of Southern California
Bee pollen is the male seed of a flower blossom which are collected by the honey bees and mixed with the bees' digestive enzymes. Bee Pollen is a complete nutrition, a super nutritious, perfect food, these tiny pollens contain almost all the nutrients required by the human body and are enormously rich in proteins, vitamins, minerals, beneficial fatty acids, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids which are anti-viral and anti-bacterial. It's also the only plant source of vitamin b12. There are also more than 100 active enzymes present in fresh and unheated pollens. Applied to the skin, pollen is beneficial for healing acne and absorbs damaging free-radicals which cause premature aging while stimulating growth of new tissues. Bee pollen helps to balance the immune system which can reduce inflammation and skin conditions like dermatitis and eczema.
Royal Jelly is produced by nurse worker bees for the sole purpose of feeding queen bees and raising new queen bees whom live 4-5 years. Like honey, pollen and wax, Royal Jelly has anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, and wound healing properties. Studies have shown that age-defying royal jelly boost collagen production and and skin renewal making for fewer lines, wrinkles and sagginess... it's been used for exactly this purpose since ancient times. This powerful immune-booster reduces inflammation and soothes conditions like dermatitis, dampering dry, itchy, sore, inflamed skin. It is also thought to protect against UVB rays by increasing collagen production - although we don't recommend using this as a sunscreen. Lastly, royal jelly speeds up wound healing, meaning those pesky blemishes will be gone in no time thanks to the anti-bacterial properties.
Below are photos my family was kind enough to share of their beekeeping throughout the years. Although we do not use family ingredients, I hope you enjoy the beauty of the honey bees.
My aunt Jennie & Cousin Molly in full bee gear!
My grandfather, Edward Masterson, first of the family beekeepers