The Story Behind Bee Balm

Though I intended my next post to be about moisturizing the skin, I will have to get back to that in a day or two, as I’ve been uploading many new products, and I wanted to talk about one here. (More on skin care soon!)

Back in June, I attended an event at the farm providing my CSA shares. The speaker for the event was Steve Harris, an apiarist from a local farm not too far from my home. His lecture was primarily the reason I wanted to attend this event, as I am in love with bees (as every gardener must be) and have a deep concern for their welfare since this strange phenomenon of Colony Collapse Disorder fell upon them. I have always dreamed of keeping a beehive and since CCD hit, it seems more necessary than ever for people to consider keeping bees.


I was struck by the respect in Harris’s voice while he talked about his beekeeping and his sorrow when he revealed that one of his hives froze during our unusually cold June. I could tell that this man loved his bees and was determined to do his part to keep the species going.

Some have said that the only reasonable response we can have to CCD is to stop using any bee products whatsoever. However, I have heard contrary reports from numerous sources, including Harris, who say that using bee products can actually help. Why? If you buy honey or beeswax from local or small-scale beekeepers, you can usually be assured (sometimes by going to the farm and taking a look for yourself) that the bees are being taken care of in a compassionate, sustainable manner. Your money supports these sustainable, small-scale beekeepers, and they are some of the greatest caretakers the bees have these days.

Currently, I have a large stock of filtered beeswax from small US beekeepers. While I am perfectly happy with it, I’d really like to try to acquire some local beeswax. Once I run out of my current supply, I’ll hopefully be transitioning to a local supplier. My honey, however, IS local, bought from Harris. It is raw and organic – and unbelievably amazing. I’ve always thought that honey was magical, and when it comes to me straight from the source without processing…it is all the more magnificent to me.

In an effort to express my love and appreciation for bees, I decided to develop a product using primarily beeswax and honey. Both are extremely good for the skin in so many ways. After a few days of experimentation, I ended up with what I now call Bee Balm – a product that makes me feel especially proud. It is super thick and nourishing. The jojoba oil has been infused with skin-healing calendula and lemon balm. The rest is all beeswax and honey. Amazingly, it isn’t greasy at all – it’s as if the oil sinks into the skin, followed by the smooth honey, and sealed in with beeswax. Further, it makes your hands semi-waterproof, which is perfect, as I had intended to create something that would help people who use their hands a lot – whether it’s washing dishes, gardening or even professionals (doctors, teachers, etc.) who are required to wash their hands regularly. It has such a rich, luxurious texture.

I hope people fall in love with Bee Balm as much as I have. I’m very excited to support a local beekeeper who obviously loves his bees so much, and I hope that this product also shows MY love and respect for bees.

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4 thoughts on “The Story Behind Bee Balm

  1. great article…i’ve been buying honey from a north portland apiary which is super local and tasty in the truffles…however i didn’t realize that honey is not vegan because it technically is an animal product, so have gotten some flak from those folks. but i’d rather go local than import agave from another country, so i guess i’m saying ‘vegan ingredients’ instead of ‘vegan truffles’. sigh…

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