There are a handful of reasons why Valley Mist lip balm came to be, one of them being the desire to make use of the excess beeswax from the hive we had nestled on the Lancashire hillside mentioned on our home page
and the comb featured above comes from our top-bar hive. Sadly these bees never made it through a particularly cold winter as the swarm was small and late and just didn't build up enough make it through the long wet months. They left us a hive of empty honeycomb and it seemed so sad to leave it to waste and this is where Valley Mist's lip balm creations were seeded. Unfortunately the cost of having the wax tested and certified was too much of a financial stretch for our small business and we had to seek an organic beeswax retailer as an alternative.
As beekeepers ourselves we care about the bees that make our Beeswax, we know the process of honey management and are passionate about the future of the busy bee. Beeswax is a left over natural product from the harvesting of excess honey which is secreted from under the abdomen of young bees. To be specific, young bees between the age of 10 and 20 days old!!!! It's such a small window in the bees' life that they actually produce the beeswax. Beeswax forms the very structure of a hive in double sided sheets of hexagonal cells that can be home to baby bees, a stock room for pollen the protein in the bee's diet, honey storage of course, and is often coated with the little known substance propolis which is itself another magical creation of the honey bee. A healthy hive can produce up to 50kg of honey in a good year. Once the bees have made the honey and are happy with the balance of water content, they cap off the comb with a wax film and seal it in. Honey will pour from the beeswax cells once uncapped at harvesting, the remaining honey will be washed off and reused as mead or other honey dilutes in the food industry. The remaining wax is melted and moulded into usable pellets for the many industries it is used in.
Knowing that a certain American well known brand of lip balm used beeswax as one of their ingredients, I decided to learn more about cosmetics and their ingredients. Research showed an amazing amount of beneficial qualities that beeswax offered the skin and it became clear that we needed to find out more information about using our beeswax in the Valley Mist lip balm.
Beeswax has been used throughout human history in all areas of life from healing to cosmetics; its uses are endless and too far and many to cover in one blog, so let's just look at the benefits to skin ...
Beeswax is used predominately in the cosmetics industry where you'll see it listed in ingredients as Cera Alba. Its use is so wide spread, for centuries it has been used to condition and soften the skin while protecting with a breathable shield. Beeswax is such a natural wonder much like the web of a spider, its creation is something to be treasured and respected.
We use organic Beeswax in our Valley Mist lip balms because we believe you are what you eat and and so the beeswax we use is produced from an organic diet free from man made chemicals. After all, "over 300 individual chemical components have been identified from pure beeswax" (1) which, naturally, is quite enough! It's also a way of making sure that pesticides don't go into your system.
So we know that the Valley Mist beeswax is:
- Helps hold in moisture
What we have not yet mentioned is all the other great stuff that beeswax brings to the table. Beeswax, through its nature to seal and hold, also captures molecules of honey and propolis and so is naturally crammed with the goodies these magical substances bring to the table. Beeswax is also:
- Contains beta-carotene which our body uses to make vitamin A
In summary, beeswax is amazing and is just one of the reasons that we really need to take good care of our bees! Get out there and plant some flowers or flowering trees.