The Importance of Honey Bees
Summer is here and the bees are out! After hibernating over the winter, bees awaken in time to collect pollen and nectar from flowering plants. While bees can sometimes seem like a backyard nuisance, the unassuming Honey Bee is one of the most important elements in our life cycle.
Did you know that the Honey Bee is directly responsible for pollinating 1/3 of all our vegetables and fruits and indirectly responsible for the production of nearly 70% of our entire food source? Without the Honey Bee, our farming practices and food creation would drastically change, causing a rise in our food prices and, more than likely, health issues.
For us, the Honey Bee holds much significance. In fact, the Honey Bee deserves the highest title in the Sally B’s work force, for it is responsible for the creation of all the beautiful and good-for-you botanical ingredients used in our product formulations. Without the Honey Bee, we would have no lavender, no camellia seed oil, no avocado oil, and no beeswax (among many others), all of which are some of our favorite, skin-loving ingredients. In particular, beeswax, used in our B Glossy Lip Gloss, Lip Yummies, B Soothed, Lip Skinnies, Healing Hand Butter, and Natural Buff Cuticle Bar, is a superb moisturizer, helping to lock moisture and protecting skin from environmental factors. It also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties and is a source of Vitamin A, which promotes healthy cell development.
Our love for botanical ingredients wasn’t our first introduction to the importance of the Honey Bee. It was Sally’s father, a beekeeping hobbyist, who first instilled to her the importance of Honey Bees. He maintained several organic hives in the North Georgia Mountains and harvested honey annually, much to his family and friends’ delight. Now, we have a new beekeeper hobbyist among us who nurtures 60,000 bees right here in the heart of Atlanta. It is Honey Bee farmers like them who are helping to keep our beloved bees (and ingredients) fruitful.
Recently, Honey Bee hives around the world have fallen victim to Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), a mysterious phenomenon that has worker bees disappearing. In some areas of the world, bee populations have declined by almost 50%. While there is yet no known cause of CCD, one of the main arguments is that it is caused by pesticide use. Researchers and scientists are hard at work to find the root of the cause and keep Honey Bees alive, but there are things you can do to help:
- Support local Honey Bee farmers by buying local honey. Keeping Bee Keepers in business will ensure that bee populations are being cared for and cultivated, so that our local flowers and crops will be sustained.
- Buy products made with beeswax. A higher demand for beeswax keeps Honey Bees and gives Bee Keepers a new sense of purpose to keep them alive and healthy. It’s important to note that extracting beeswax from a hive does not harm the Honey Bees.
- Avoid use of all pesticides in your yard. When Honey Bees extract nectar from the blooms in your garden, they will also ingest whatever pesticides have been sprayed on it. This not only hurts the bees, but also whoever eats their honey. This is easily avoided by not using pesticides.
- Plant a “pollinator garden.” Choose nectar-producing flowers that are native to your region. Choose native plants will help them thrive in your garden without the use of pesticides or too much water. And the nectar, of course, will keep Honey Bees happy.
- Don’t kill unwanted bees. If an unwanted hive appears in your yard, call your local beekeeper’s association to find a Beekeeper to safely remove it. They will relocate the hive to a safe place and the colony will quickly adapt to their new environment and get to work!
While we don’t recommend giving bees a high five like this guy, we do hope that you will join us on our quest to supporting the health and longevity of our world’s Honey Bee population.