Meet the bee farmers producing the beeswax in our lip balm and contributing something lovey to our Summer Beauty Goodie Boxes!
Last week Brian and I jumped into the truck, dodged heavy rain and hail, and took a an hour and half trip north of Calgary where we live to go and tour Nixon Honey, a local bee farm.
Since embarking on creating and manufacturing my first all natural, locally made Lip Balm it's been a non-stop learning experience. First there was creating the formula to match the lip balm of my dreams (fun but definitely complex), then there was figuring out the eco friendly packaging (which is whole other saga to share for another day 🥴), and now it's been fascinating learning more about the various producers that are behind the scenes supplying the key ingredients. Such as the locally produced beeswax which makes up 23% of my lip balm.
Like many of us I'm keenly interested in humanizing my purchases. Putting actual faces to business brands, understanding where my purchasing power is going and doing my very best to align my self with other companies that are working to create a healthier planet, and a healthy vibrant local economy.
Let me preface this by saying prior to visiting this bee farm I knew bees were important to our food crops but beyond following a few adorable bee accounts on Instagram (like @bee_nfluencer ) spotting a few hives in neighbours yards or in farmers fields I knew next to nothing about the industry of bees. Well let me tell you, it's major! (And hot, sweet smelling, and sticky!).
What started out as a dads "retirement" project 20 years ago, quickly escalated to put it mildly and has become the son and his wife's full time work. With 1000s of bee boxes going out to farmers fields throughout Alberta every year Nixon Honey is responsible for a lot of the pollination that's happening around here.
The extraction room where they carefully remove the honey from the hives to damage as little of the beeswax honeycomb as possible was fascinating to see, we're planning to return this August with the kids where you can pour your very own freshly made liquid honey (watch their social media accounts for details). Things always taste better when you've had a hand in making them, even if it is just opening up a spout!
What I found of particular interest was the beeswax, which is the actual ingredient I'm buying from Nixon Honey. The extracted honey is spun to separate out the chunks of beeswax and other bee debris from the liquid honey. The raw beeswax definitely looks very different from the smooth, clean, purified version that eventually makes its way into my lip balm.
The list of health and beauty benefits, and the history of using beeswax is longstanding and well backed up:
- Mild antibacterial properties
- Locks in moisture to keep your kisser nice and plump
- Completely natural product making it a good option for those with sensitive skin prone to redness or irritation
- Beeswax smells really good, a subtle sweet scent that I've always personally loved. I believe scent is a really important component of beauty and wellness products.
And best quote of the day came when I asked about getting stung by bees, which I'm sure they never ever get asked..."less than 20 stings is a good day, and more than 100 is a bad day". 😮 pretty sure I don't ever see myself becoming a bee farmer after hearing that stat, thank goodness they love doing it!
Let's hear it for the bees and the bee farmers who take care of them! 🐝
Nixon Honey can be found on Instagram at @nixon_honey my lip balms can be found online by visiting here, and Local Goodie Subscription Boxes are shipping weekly, for details visit here. And stay tuned as we'll soon be stocked on shelves at some of your favourite local shops around Calgary and surrounding areas.