How we got into Honey Bees

Honey bees came into our lives through the back door – so to speak. My interest began when I heard that honey was good for your skin. That got my attention.

I’m a soap maker who specializes in all-natural goat milk soaps and lotions. Every ingredient I use in my products must offer health benefits for your skin. Research indicates that adding vitamins and minerals topically can be almost as effective as eating fresh, healthy foods. Skin is our largest organ and takes the most abuse, ranging from pollution to poor diet. We need to protect it as often, and in as many ways, as possible because it absorbs everything in our environment.

Benefits of Honey
I’m always looking for ingredients that will make my products better and offer my customers more ways of improving their skin. While researching ingredients for a new soap product I discovered a few of the benefits of honey. The more I read the more benefits I discovered. For instance,

  • honey is a humectant that absorbs and retains moisture,
  • honey has antioxidant and anti-microbial properties that are absorbed through the skin for added protection,
  • honey is a natural sun screen that rejuvenates your skin thereby softening wrinkles, and
  • honey contains sugar which makes the soap bar harder, longer lasting, and makes more suds.

My lotions are made with seventy percent goat milk that contains lactic acid which acts as a gentle exfoliant. Because exfoliating your skin can be a bit abrasive I wanted to add a soothing agent to my lotions. Honey is perfect. The more I learned about the benefits of honey the more I was convinced that honey had to be in all of my products.
Since my goat milk comes from my own goats, and I grow my own rosemary and lavender that I use as exfoliants, why shouldn’t honey come from my own bees? Besides, having honey bees is a perfect fit for our place.

Deciding Which Products to Make
Once I became more familiar with honey, I started thinking about other honey bee products I could add to my existing line. Below are a few of the possibilities:

  • Soaps – already made but can add honey to more products;
  • Lotions – already made but can add honey to this product;
  • Skin Care – researching facials and creams;
  • Lip Balm – made in a limited edition, will increase product line;
  • Candles – added pure bees wax candles to product mix, and
  • Honey – sold in different sizes.

I’ve had my business since 2005 and have worked through this process several times. I chose to make goat milk soaps and lotions because of the benefits milk had on my skin; I researched then designed my labels, photographed my products for my website, developed my pricing strategy, and decided how I would sell my products: over the web, through a few local retail dealers, and via the Internet. When I learned about North Carolina’s agricultural promotion, I applied for them, too.

If you would like to learn more about honey, then please visit the National Honey Board website.



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