Monday, December 15, 2008

U.S. Couple Builds Business on Hive Products

The Naked Bee: Bees Make Products Perfect for Gift-Giving
By Laurie Savage, News-Post (USA), 12/15/2008

Chet and Andrea Langworthy's bees busy themselves turning out honey and other products in their hives across Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties. Their secret lives are the stuff of books and movies.

The beekeepers say the benefits of bee products should not be kept secret. They make and market raw honey, flavored honey, soaps, lotions, candles and apitherapy products, all perfect for holiday gift-giving…

While Chet Langworthy says his wife enjoys being out in the field with the bees, she is usually making products in small batches in her kitchen and filling orders, especially at the holidays…

In addition to online sales, they offer their products under the name The Naked Bee at farmers markets, wine festivals, various events and green retailers such as health food stores and garden centers…

Naked Bee products are natural with the exception of a few ingredients necessary to keep lotions shelf-stable. A line of apitherapy products is also growing in popularity.

Pollen is collected with pollen traps placed on hive fronts to knock off some pollen from the pollen baskets on the bees' legs. Pollen is often taken as a supplement.

The biggest seller among the bath and body products is Helping Hand propolis salve for small cuts and cracked hands.

Propolis has natural antibiotic properties and helps the immune system, Andrea Langworthy said. Bees use it to seal cracks in the hive. If something gets into the hive that is too large for the bees to remove, like a mouse, they encase it in propolis.

"The hive is nature's most sterile environment," Chet Langworthy said.

Even raw honey is helpful for small cuts, he said. The reaction between blood and honey produces peroxide, an antiseptic. Honey is usually kept handy in the kitchen anyway.

Propolis is sold in bottled form or it can be kept in the freezer and small bits chipped off to ingest for its medicinal qualities.

A mix of raw honey with royal jelly, pollen and propolis is available that can be taken during cold season with lemon juice or tea.

No comments: