At Balmonds, we're all about the bees!
With summer just about to break into bloom, we want to pay tribute to the humble honey bee! That’s because beeswax made by honey bees plays a crucial part in the formulation of Skin Salvation, our thick, intensively-moisturising ointment and the heart of our dry skin range.
Beeswax creates a soothing barrier that locks moisture in and helps keep external irritants out, as well as having unique antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that work marvels for sore skin. So of course we want to source the best. But that doesn’t necessarily mean organic, despite our firm commitment to using only the purest ingredients, products that are kind to both skin and environment. While most of the oils and tinctures we use are indeed organic, where beeswax is concerned we prefer to keep it local.
That’s because Soil Association regulations say that hives must have a four-mile radius of organic crops or uncultivated land to provide a source of nectar and pollen for honey bees; a particularly difficult rule for beekeepers to stick to in the UK with its colourful patchwork of small fields and towns, because all those busily wandering bees can’t be guaranteed to have collected their nectar only from organic land.
Given the ecological implications of flying beeswax thousands of miles across the globe from, say, New Zealand or Zambia, it was an easy decision to source it locally despite it meaning no organic certification for Skin Salvation.
We've used beeswax from the wonderful Paynes Southdown Bee Farms since we started, first their small 30g bars and then, as output increased, big drumlike blocks weighing 800g each which we bash up into chunks and melt in huge pans.
Paynes is based in Hassocks, a small Sussex country town just down the road from us in Brighton, and has been a family-run business since 1922. They sell honey from their hives spread out across the South Downs, as well as supplying beekeeping equipment such as frames and protective clothing, and some truly delicious homemade honey and clotted cream fudge!
We love knowing the provenance of one of our most important ingredients and we love the connection with have with Paynes. Let's hear it for the bees!