As a beekeeeper and long-time bee enthusiast, I got a little giddy when Prosperity Candle started making a beeswax candle… and even giddier when they partnered with Sweet Beginnings, a Chicago-based company that provides full-time transitional jobs for people with significant barriers to employment through urban beekeeping. Sweet Beginnings makes the family of Beeline Products, a stellar line of all-natural skin & body care infused with the best of bee goodies. And they sell honey, too!
I could talk (type?) for days about all the reasons why this partnership and the For the Love of Bees Gift Basket makes me so pleased. But since the average Jane is probably a little less obsessed with the honeybee than I am, I’ll give you my top reasons:
1) Beeswax rocks. It has the highest melting temperature of any wax, so beeswax candles last forever. It is 100% natural and has a subtle and pleasant fragrance all its own. It kicks butt as a moisturizer and is a natural anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti-allergenic and a germicidal antioxidant. And honey’s benefits go even further (and it’s found in every single Beeline product). Honey helps skin retain moisture, it’s a natural antioxidant with antimicrobial properties and is great for protecting against dangerous UV rays, it’s effective against acne, it absorbs impurities from the pores…the list goes on.
2) Providing jobs through beekeeping, especially urban beekeeping, is downright genius. We’ve all heard the bees are dying, thanks especially to campaigns from Whole Foods and Haagen Dazs. And what do bee-keeping experts say is the solution to the bee crisis? Keep them in your yard, on your roof, and in as many ecologically diverse locations as possible. Urban beekeeping gives bees huge diversity of food options, which is great for their immune systems. I know it probably seems counter-intuitive, but those bees that spend their season on orange and almond farms are actually a lot worse off, since they don’t get all the nutrients they need just pollinating one or two things (not to mention all the pesticides). A bee in an urban setting, on the other hand, has a whole smorgasbord at her wing tips.
3) It’s the little apiaries (bee-farms) that will make the biggest difference for the honeybee, and honeybees make a big difference to everyone. They pollinate a third of all the agricultural products we eat. Pears, apples, strawberries, blueberries, melons, almonds, cherries… the list is astounding. Einstein predicted that humans would last a mere four years without them.
4) Who doesn’t love the metaphor of a beehive? A community of altruistic women working together, making food, and keeping the world on its axis. (In case you didn’t know, a hive is 99% female, and all worker bees–the ones that do the pollinating and honey-making, are female. You go ladies.)
5) This basket combines roughly 1 gagillion things that are good for the earth and for the soul. It represents employment opportunities for women refugees and for Chicago natives struggling with barriers to employment, it features incredible products, including body polisher & exfoliator, hand & foot balm, and a beeswax candle, and it contributes to the continued health of honeybees. Win!
Good for you, good for bees, good for others, good for the world. Talk about a gift that gives back!