Making the Ordinary Extraordinary with Honey

Making the Ordinary Extraordinary with Honey

Here in our little corner of the world, summer has suddenly been replaced by fall. There is a chill in the air and the blessed rain is falling again. Gone are dreams of grilled hot dogs and watermelon, and in their place are dreams of something a little different. But different doesn’t have to be difficult. The simple addition of a drizzle of honey can make the ordinary become extraordinary.

 

Wildflower, orange, or clover honey is nice and full flavored, but if you want to mix things up, try meadowfoam honey for a marshmallow-like flavor. Or go crazy with the distinctive taste of buckwheat, maple, or lavender honey. If you wanna see an extensive list of honey and how their flavors compare, check out the link at the end of the post.

 

Here are our four favorite foods to top with honey:

 

Oatmeal with Honey

Steel-cut, old fashioned, or quick oats, whichever you prefer. Cook with milk or water, as per the instructions, to the desired consistency, then top with milk and honey. Add fresh or dried fruit, nuts, or cinnamon if you like, for a truly gourmet experience. Our favorite is bananas and walnuts and honey.

Don’t like oatmeal? Honey tastes great on the other cooked cereal as well.

 

Warm bread with butter and honey

Who doesn’t like warm bread? It is soooo good and satisfying! But have you ever tried freshly baked bread (from your kitchen, or the stores) with butter and honey. If you haven’t, give it a try for breakfast, an accompaniment to dinner, or even as a snack or treat.

Vanilla Ice Cream with Honey

The creamy, cold, goodness that is vanilla ice cream is especially good when topped with honey. If you haven’t indulged yet, you should give it a try.

Tea with Honey

Herbal, or leaf tea. Black, green, or white. It doesn’t matter. Try a spoon of honey in place of your usual sugar, and you’re in for a treat. The bonus is that honey in tea is soothing for your throat, making this not only great tasting, but useful during cold and flu season.

Remember, each honey brings a different taste to the party. That means that you can change the experience by changing the honey. Look here extensive list of honey Flavors.

 

Do you have a favorite food that is made even better by drizzling honey on it? We’d love to hear what it is.

A Slice of Bee Life: Bees in the Fall

September is here, and with it, what most see as the start of fall. With the changing of the seasons, comes a changing of activities in a bee yard. Whether you have one hive, or hundreds, the jobs and duties of bee and keeper alike are changing.

 

The Drones

Drones became obsolete after mating with the queens of the various hives and passing on their genetic material. In good times, drones are tolerated and continue to be produced in the hive but once times get trying they are purged from hives. This keeps them from continuing to consume precious resources that are needed for the hive to survive the winter. When the drones are purged, the workers will force all stages of drones from the hives. The immature brood die quickly, and the mature drones soon follow since they do not collect pollen or nectar and quickly starve.

Do not be shocked to see dead drone bees near the entrance to your hives. This is a natural occurrence this time of year.

 

Because drones take resources away from a hive, look for drones and drone brood when evaluating hive health other times of the year. Lots of drones and drone brood is an indication of a hive that has lots of pollen and nectar available.

 

For more information on drones, see our previous post.

 

The Workers

Besides removal of drones from the hive, there are other changes in worker activity. They will begin to scrounge the area around for the last bit of food matter to stock the hive with before the cold hits and most plants begin to die back. Once the plants begin dying back and nectar and pollen dwindle, the focus starts to shift to propolis production. Propolis is like bee glue, and bees use it to seal their hive. It is made out of beeswax, bee saliva, and resinous materials they have collected from plants.

For more information about propolis, see this informative link.

 

Another things workers will do is rob from other hives. Because of this, you may want to close down the hive entrance, making it harder for other bees to try to steal honey and pollen from your hives.

 

The Queen

The queen begins to slow in her egg laying as the temperature cools and she begins to release a new set of pheromones to help encourage her workers to prepare for the cold. From creating the essential stockpiles of resources in places that will be easily attainable during the hive’s time in their winter cluster to their new routines. This will all be carried out and continued through the winter and into spring. Once the warm weather returns the queen bee will trigger the hive back into their more productive routine and typical hive behavior will carry on through the warm seasons until the weather drops the following year.

 More?

Incredible, right? We take for granted the amazing ways animals in the wild adapt to season changes and evolved to handle difficult times. However, this is not the last of the awesome ways bees handle the end of summer and in our next segment we will touch on their behavior and methods of handling the cold of winter and inability to gather food. Stay tuned either through our facebook, instagram, or here on the website for the next Slice of Bee Life. See you then and take care friends!

 

More Bees, You Asked and We Answered

More Bees, You Asked and We Answered

We have been asked a ton of questions from customers and thought we’d share the answers to a few of them here. If you have questions too or have had some worrisome experiences stay tuned and see if your question could be answered here. If not, we are always happy to receive emails, comments, or other means in which to help you all understand our products and how it can help you best.

 

My dog just ate my lip balm. Do I need worry about that?

orange beeswax lip balm

Luckily, there is no harm in eating More Bees Lip Balm. The lip balm is all natural, and made from non-toxic, lip safe, food grade ingredients. The entire tube holds 0.15 oz of lip balm, which is just shy of a tablespoon. It’s no more hazardous than eating a tablespoon of butter, oil, or shortening.

 

The biggest problem here is a choking hazard. The tube and lid can both be a potential choking hazard for infants, small children, and pets alike. For this reason, please keep your lip balms out of the reach of pets and small children, and only let small children use the lip balm with adult supervision.

 

What is the white stuff on the top of some of my bars of soap? And is it safe?

The white film that is sometimes found on the top of our bars is called soda ash. But what is that? In chemical terms, it is sodium carbonate,  and has a formula of Na₂CO₃. But how did it get there!?!

 

To make true soap, a strong base has to be used. Lye (sodium hydroxide) is the base usually picked (and less often, caustic potash, or potassium hydroxide). The base reacts with fats and oils, turning them into soap. The process is called saponification. In a properly crafted soap, like More Bees soaps, all the base is totally used up, and there is none of it left in the finished soap. The saponification process is usually completed within 1-2 days.

 

Sometimes, during the saponification process, the lye reacts at the exposed surface of the newly poured soap with the carbon dioxide that is naturally in the air. When that happens, soda ash forms on the exposed surfaces of the freshly poured soap. If the saponification process is not complete before the soap is unmolded and/or cut, the ash can form on other newly exposed surfaces. Soda ash is harmless, and will wash off your bar quickly, leaving behind your beautiful handcrafted cold process bar of soap.

 

Why do you add beeswax to your soaps?

We add beeswax to our soaps for a couple of very important reasons. One is that it’s good for your skin. Beeswax brings a lot to the soap party in this respect . As with other bee products, (honey, and propolis), Beeswax has antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antibacterial properties. This makes it a ideal additive in fighting chapped skin and other skin conditions, as well as fighting surface bacteria. Beeswax can also form a protective barrier that seals in moisture without clogging the pores. As a matter of fact, beeswax is completely non-comedogenic, with a comedogenic rating of 0.

 

Another reason to add beeswax to soap is that it makes our soap more durable and long lasting.  The beeswax greatly extends the life of the soap. As we learned in our earliest days, too much of a good thing isn’t always better. In our first year of operation, we actually had customers asking us to step back the amount of wax in our soaps a little bit. It turns out that our customers were getting impatient to try all the lovely bars that they had purchased, but the soap just wouldn’t go away! We still get the occasional customer suggest that our soap last too long, but they are the exception now. Over all, we are very happy with the feedback we’re getting, and don’t have any plans to change our soap formula.

Click here to check out our Lip Balms, Lotions, Soap and Sugar scrubs!

 

Got more questions?

We hope this little bit helped all of you who may have had a similar issue. If not; then feel free to get a hold of us on either Facebook, Instagram, or here in the comments. We would love you help you all be more familiar with our products so they can best serve all your needs. So please, let us know if there is more you would like to know and we will answer them in another Asked and Answered post!

Weeds That Can Heal: Yellow Dock

Medicinal Weeds?

Have you ever gotten busy, and let your yard go just a little long too without working on it? Or walked through an unmaintained, empty lot of field? If you looked at the plants growing under your feet, really looked, you probably saw several weeds that heal. Broadleaf plantain, yellow dock, burdock, feverfew, selfheal…. These weeds, and many more grow readily across large areas of the United States.

 

In this blog post we will be looking at yellow dock. Yellow dock grows wild in many areas of the country, and gets its name from its yellow roots. It is made up collectively of two separate species, curly dock and bitter dock. Curly dock (Rumex crispus) has narrow leaves with curly edges, while bitter dock (Rumex obtusifolius) has wider leaves, with more smoother edges. Yellow dock is a perennial plant that is in the buckwheat family. This weed grows readily across large areas of the United States, especially on disturbed land in USDA zones 4-7.

Yellow Dock Uses

Today, most people in this country consider yellow dock to be a weed, but it has been used for its nutritional value and medicinal value for hundreds of years. Yellow dock looks very distinctive at all stages of maturity. By the time it is fully mature, it is hard to confuse with anything else. Its distinctive look, makes it easy to harvest in the wild.

Parts of the plant can be used as a food such as the leaves and stems can be eaten, raw or cooked. Once matured and dried, the seeds are sometimes ground and used as a coffee substitute; and in Romania, it is used as a spice. Like other plants high in oxalic acid (beets and chard are examples) dock leaves and stems should be consumed moderately, especially if you have a problem with oxalic acid. This plant can also have a mild laxative effect due to the presence of anthraquinones in the plant. So again, consumption in moderation is best.

 

The fruits and roots have been used as a medicine for hundreds of years.

Medicinally, people have used yellow dock for many purposes; as already indicated, yellow dock can be used as a laxative. There is also evidence indicating that may be useful against parasites. Inflammation, and microbes (bacteria, and fungi).

 

Historically, Yellow dock has been used for pain and swelling of nasal passages and the respiratory tract. It has also been used to treat various infections (bacterial and fungal). It is used as as a toothpaste by some people, and has been be used for bleeding and hemorrhoids when applied to the skin. And finally, its has been used to treat arthritis.

 

Historically, yellow dock has been used for skin diseases, skin inflammation (dermatitis), rashes, a vitamin deficiency called scurvy, obstructive jaundice, and psoriasis with constipation. Because of its usefulness with skin conditions, we incorporate finely ground yellow dock root, in our Yellow Dock and Oats Soap.

More Bees +Yellow Dock = Love

As stated before; we are no doctors, but we do our best to be informed to help others find what works for them and their individual issues. So; if the external application of yellow dock sounds helpful to you or is what you have been looking for in your journey of skin care- stop on by. We are sure our Yellow Dock and Oat Soap will not only clean but help with any pain, swelling, and discomfort you may feel in your hands our other parts of your body.

 

Perhaps this article might have also made you consider that some of those “pesky” weeds in your garden aren’t so bad in the event they could be useful. Maybe you’ll let them stick around or even plant some of your own to help with the little hiccups of life when they arise. So, we hope you enjoyed learning of the awesome medicinal properties of yellow dock and that you will like this new series we are doing. Take care and stick around!

 

Cucumber: Your Skin’s Best Friend

Cucumbers: Food for Your Skin

 

Little white ones, round yellow ones, and of course don’t forget the green ones, long and short. At every farm market stall we look, cucumbers are starting to pop up. And that’s a good thing, in so many ways.

They’re great tasting, low calorie, and packed full of compounds that make them a highly anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer food. Combine that with the fact that cucumbers are packed full of water (96%), vitamins, and minerals, and it’s easy to understand that cucumbers are hydrating and nourishing. We’ve already looked at how staying hydrated and eating a balanced diet are good for you, and good for your skin.

Tips for Healthier Skin and a Healthier You: Staying Hydrated

Tips For Healthier Skin and a Healthier You #2: You Are What You Eat

 

But did you know that cucumbers can be used directly on your skin? It’s true.

 

Have you ever seen those commercials where the woman has cucumber slices covering her eyes?

Do you know why she’s doing that? It isn’t just because it makes a good visual. It’s because cucumbers has several properties that are beneficial for your skin. Use of them in your beauty products help revitalize, rejuvenate, and firm the skin. The effects of cucumber when used on the skin include:

 

  1. Lightening of the skin – the effect is subtle, but there.  Allowing fresh cucumber (slices, pure, mask, etc) to sit on your skin, gently lightens the skin, and can reduce the appearance of dark eye circles, redness from acne, dark scar tissue, and blotchy skin from sun exposure, and unwanted tans. Because cucumber is all natural, and very gentle, it is suitable for daily use, without causing irritation, to achieve an accumulative effect.
  2. Anti-inflammatory effects – Cucumber can help soothe sunburn, rashes, insect bites, acne, and irritation. Allowing cucumber slices, pure, or juice to sit against the skin where these ailments occur can help to soothe them, and reduce their duration. In some cases, it may even alleviate them entirely.
  3. Mild astringent properties –  Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid. These two acids allow cucumbers to reduce water retention and swelling. That means cucumbers can help alleviate puffiness or swelling due to exhaustion, crying, insect bites, water retention, etc.
  4. Maintaining the youthful appearance of your skin –  Cucumbers contain enzymes that slow down the destruction of  elastin (a protein that gives your skin elasticity), and hyaluronic acid (a substance that helps your skin use it’s your own body’s moisture to stay hydrated from within). These are both substances that work together to make your skin youthful and healthy.
  5. Works as a skin toner – Used directly after cleaning skin, but before applying a moisturizer, toners provide extra hydration, help further clean pores, restores the slightly acidic pH balance of the skin, and helps your skin absorb your other skin care products. Toners are water based, and rubbed on the skin in small amounts. Some people use a few drops spread by their hands, while others prefer to apply a small amount to a cotton pad and gently rub it over the skin. The most common places to use a toner are the areas where people tend to get acne – so the face, and possibly the neck, the chest, and/or the back. Because cucumber is mild and gentle, and will not strip all your natural oils from your skin, a cucumber based toner will help give your face a bright, clean look.

 

Adding cucumber to your skincare regime has many wonderful benefits for your skin, and making use of those benefits can be as simple as placing a few slices on your skin for several minutes.  You can also puree a cucumber and freeze the puree into small cubes. The cubes can be used one at a time, as they are thawed, by spreading the puree on the skin in the desired location. You can also juice a cucumber, and either freeze the juice in cubes, or keep the bottle in the fridge (use within 5-7 days). To use the juice, simply place a small amount onto a cotton ball.

 

If you don’t have the time or desire to deal with cucumbers in all their natural glory, be assured that more and more body products are incorporating cucumber: Lotions and creams, masks, toners, and even soap.

Handcrafted Beeswax Honey Lip Balms, Lotions, Soap and Sugar scrubs!

 

Hot Paws: Protect Your Pup’s Paws!

Hot Paws:

7 Tips for Protecting Your Dogs Paws This Summer

 

We, at More Bees, look forward to seeing all of our customers when we go to the farmer’s markets. We love introducing you to our products, answering your questions, and helping you pick out that special something your yourself or others.  Your ideas and feedback on our wonderful beeswax and honey body products are truly appreciated.

The market is fun to explore, with new things showing up weekly. We know those of you who bring pets look forward to sharing the market experience with your furry family members..

Dogs resting in the shade for a break from walking on hot asphalt.

Which brings us to something important we want to share with all of you. Several days over the next week, we are expecting temperatures in the nineties in the Portland Metropolitan Area. It will be hot and sweaty, and even downright uncomfortable at times. All of the people we see at the market have the benefit of shoes between the soles of their feet, and the hot pavement. Most of the dogs we see out there don’t have that benefit. As the temperature go up, so does the temperature of the pavement. But the pavement temperature is much higher than the air temperature reported on the news, or your weather app.

Please, if you bring your four-legged family member to the market, and they are walking, check the temperature of the pavement periodically. Make sure it will not be hot enough to burn their paws.

Remember, if you think the pavement it too hot for your feet, then it’s too hot for your dog’s feet. Does you dog keep going under tables? Is he dancing or prancing about?  Do you need to pull on the lead to get her going? Maybe you notice an odd gait? Please check the pavement temperature before admonishing your pup. Hot pavement could be causing pain and even injury to your dog’s paw pads. So, if the pavement feels hot, please remember to check the paw pads for sign of injuries.

 

Ways to protect your dog’s paws in hot heat:

  1. Make sure your dogs paws are in good shape. Inspect them regularly to look for injury, dryness, cracking, and fungal infection. Paws in good shape are less likely to become injured.
  2. Moisturize your dog’s paw pads regularly. Skin that is healthy and well moisturized is less likely to tear or crack. More Bees Solid Lotion will work just as well on your dog’s feet as they do on yours. We recommend the unscented Natural, or lightly scented Lavender Solid Lotions. Both are all natural, and full of beeswax an nourishing oils. Note that paw moisturizers WILL NOT keep your dogs paws from burning.

 

  1. Walk the dog early or late, not during the highest heat of the day.

 

  1. Let your dog walk on the grass when possible if it is hot out. The grass will be much cooler than pavement, sand, and even dirt. (But if it’s not too hot, let them walk on the pavement, since this will toughen up their paw pads a bit, so they are less likely to tear or burn as easily.)

 

  1. Use a dog stroller, dog carrier, or dog backpack. If you know it is too hot for Fido to walk, but you still want to take him with you. Improvise if you need to. The smaller the dog, the easier it is to do.

  1. Put dog boots, dog shoes, or dog socks on your dog’s feet. If Rex is too large for a backpack or stroller, or Fluffy really wants to walk, consider putting shoes, boots, or socks on them. Just like with your feet, these will provide protection from the burning pavement.

  1. If your dog does suffer from a heat related paw injury, call your vet. They can advise you as to how to treat the injury and whether or not the pet should be seen. While they cannot stitch a burned paw back together, they can clean and dress the injuries, provide your furry friend with antibiotics that will keep their paws from getting infected as they heal, and prescribe pain medication so they don’t suffer as much.

 

For those who didn’t know, their fur babies pad can burn and get hurt pretty badly, we hope this helps you for the future. As for those who may have heard we hope this is a friendly reminder to watch for your dog’s feet. We all love having our furry family out and about with us, but we shouldn’t let them hurt just to be at our side. Have any more helpful tips to give for other people so they too can protect their pup’s feet? Post them below and share the puppy love!

 

 

Bee Garden Gone Wrong; Where Are The Bees?

Bee Garden Gone Wrong;

Where Are The Bees?

Spring has come and gone and bees are buzzing about, you have this beautiful and lush garden  but no bees are indulging in all the flora. Why? It is noble to want to plant for the bees to help them and save them from their dwindling numbers, but sometimes good intentions don’t always work out. So, what could be wrong with your bee garden?

 

What’s In Your Garden?

First off, do you have peppermint, cinnamon, or garlic? All three and other similar plants may ward away bees due to the unappealing or overbearing smell. Some bees may make the trek over but there is a good chance you won’t get all the bees you want. Though every bit does help, perhaps leaving these plants out of your yard will aid in bringing in more bees.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Perhaps you are growing your own vegetables; we all know fresh produce is the best. But, certain foods can ward them away. Bees tend to have a distaste for cucumber which is believed to be from the acid that simply does not resonate with the busy little pollinators. So, if you have cucumbers, why not set them aside of set up a greenhouse? This will help attract bees to the greater selection you may have.

Bad Flowers

We all know bees LOVE flowers! I mean, how else do they make honey? Well, some flowers really are a no-go for our friends. A variety is good and nice to see, but what are the main colors? Maybe red? Well, there is the first issue. Bees see the world in an unique and amazing way that helps them find the best flowers. Red -however- doesn’t come up very clear to the bees and may be skipped all together. So, consider lots of yellow, blue, and purple -all these will still help you have a gorgeous garden still; but the bees can see them way better.

 

Smell is a huge one, the more fragrant the more the bees think, “Oh wow, it’s a buffet.” So; the opposite also has a similar effect. Weak scented flowers won’t really attract the bees; so, consider some rather fragrant flowers to attract more bees. So, if you have light fragrant flowers maybe plant them near your house where you don’t want bees but want lovely color -like those red flowers.

 

Next up, the shape. Those shaped like trumpets are a pain for bees to squeeze through for nectar. So, most will avoid them to conserve energy and time. Consider flowers that are more open and easy for a bee to maneuver about. Less bees will come if the garden is too challenging to get what they need.

Finally, did you know some flowers are lethal or -at least- harmful to bees and the honey? Rhododendrons are a rather nasty one that can make bees sick as well as make any honey that is created unsafe for human consumption. Also, azaleas and oleanders are also bad for bees and can be very harmful. So, it is best to just avoid these flowers and most of all; you should do your research to make sure you have a nice variety that works for the bees and you for a good and successful bee friendly garden.

Oleanders
Rhododendron
Azalea

Food For Thought

Another thing you can do to help bring more bees to your garden is bee water. We have mentioned this before but a reminder is always nice. These simple little water stations are life savers for the bees as they can travel long distances and may get dehydrated. Also, bees cannot swim and are very susceptible to drowning. These are super easy and you can be really creative with making them.

What you will need:

  • A container to hold the water –  a pet bowl, pie tin, bucket, a birdbath, or something of the likes that will hold water.
  • Rocks, marbles, pieces of wood, moss, or others things for bees to land on. Bees cannot swim, so this is very important.
  • Water

Yeah, it can really be as simple as that! The hardest is remembering to refill the water frequently, so that the bees don’t run out.

We hope all of this helps you make a much more flourishing bee friendly garden so you can help us in our mission to save the bees. If we missed anything please let us know in the comments below. The bee loving community should all know and share the best was to help bees so they can some day thrive as they did.

Finding the Perfect Pollinator For You

Looking for the Perfect Pollinator

Say, you want to begin beekeeping to not only help support one of nature’s greatest pollinators, but to also help support your own garden. You begin your research to find some honey bees; but none of them fit the bill quite right. Something or other just doesn’t make them the perfect pollinator for your yard

 

So, you get yourself  some Blue Orchard Mason bees instead. That’s great! We need all the pollinators we can get. It’s not just the honey bees that are suffering, and the mason bees are a great choice for localized pollination (their range is much smaller than a honeybee’s). They are little pollinator powerhouses.

 

But they do have a downside. You see, whereas honeybees pollinate plants from early spring and into the fall, Mason bees only pollinate the fruits, nuts, and early flowers of the spring. By the time summer rolls around, they’ve built their nesting cells, laid an egg in each, filled each with pollen, and capped the cells over. Having assured the continuation of their species, the adult Mason bees die. Their young will hatch the following spring, to continue the cycle.

 

So, how do you assure pollinators for your summer vegetable garden, and all the summer and early fall flowers if all your mason bees are now gone?

A Different Kind of Pollinator

Enter Megachile rotundata, the Alfalfa Leafcutter Bee. This bee was naturalized across the country in 1940, and was credited with saving the American alfalfa industry. Alfalfa is used as a high protein feed for a variety of livestock. These bees saved the industry, because it turns out that they are 15 times more efficient at pollination than the honeybee.

 

Megachile rotundata are known as leafcutter bees because the female bees cut ¾ in circles out of leaves to use as nesting material in their nesting houses. They prefer the leaves of rose, josta, lilac, and pea plants, but have been known to use other leaves. Though the circular holes on the leaves aren’t pretty to look at, the circles of leaf material taken do not harm the plant, and are invaluable to these bees.

Leaf-cutting Bee (Megachile species) female in flight with cut leaf section

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just like the Blue Orchard Mason bees, Leafcutter bees are solitary bees.  They do not live in large hives, and there is no queen. Instead, they build nests in hollow stems, and small holes in trees. People can provide suitable nests for leafcutter bees, if they would like to raise them in their yards.  As with the Mason bees, a house that can be disassembled, or one that holds paper tubes, is preferable. This allows you to gently harvest the cocoons for safe keeping over the winter. Do not get the leafcutter cocoons wet – they are not waterproof.

 

Also as with the Mason bees, pollen is carried on the underbelly, and not in pollen sacks, making this bee a very effective pollinator. A really interesting thing about these bees is that they are bivoltine. This means that they are capable of  producing two generations of offspring in a single season. After the female lays her eggs in the prepared nesting house, the eggs can either rapidly hatch and develop into adult bees, or the eggs can be overwintered, with mature adults emerging in the late spring to early summer of the next year. If the eggs laid developed rapidly and emerged as adults shortly after being laid, these second generation bees not only add to the number of overwintering cocoons, they also add a special boost to your garden, providing extra pollination in the late summer and early fall.

 

Unlike Mason bees, Leafcutter bees can and will sting if they are aggressively handled, but the sting is very mild, and virtually pain free. If you would like to make the addition of leafcutter bees to your garden pollinator series, they can be purchased from some garden stores, as well as online

.

For more information, check out the following links.

 

Lifecycle of a leafcutter bee – this schematic only shows one generation, but if conditions are suitable in your area, you may also see second generation bees.

Leafcutter vs Mason bees

Tunnel Nests for Leafcutter bees

How nesting boxes differ by species

What Does Fremont Have in Store for You this Weekend?

For Anybody Looking for Something to do This Weekend-

Keep Reading

Not only will we be at our usual markets (Hillsboro Farmers Market in downtown Hillsboro, OR, Gresham Saturday Market on the beautiful Mount Hood Community College Campus, in Gresham, OR, and the Hollywood Farmers Market in Portland, OR), we will also be at Fremont Fair in Seattle, WA. On June 16-17, in the Fremont Neighborhood of Seattle, Fremont Fair will be taking place. It is a celebration of the summer solstice, and the start of summer. It’s big, Big, BIG! And it has something for everybody.

 

 

The Solstice parade is a Mardi Gras styled parade that encourages even the spectators to participate. The Parade is at 1 P.M. on Saturday, but plan to arrive early if you’re going to view the parade.

 

Before and after the parade, there will be plenty to keep you busy.

Well over 300 booths featuring handcrafted goods and art.

There are even decorated cars, a dog parade, and there are even nude bike cyclists to start off the parade! Check it all out at the official Fremont Fair website. Maybe we’ll see you there.

For more fun facts and information on the solstice fair itself look here Fremont solstice parade.

Tips for Healthier Skin: Comedogenic Substances

“Can I use this on my face?”

This is a question many of our customers ask when looking at our solid lotions. Our answer to this question is…maybe. It depends on your skin, and how coconut oil affects your complexion. You see, our solid lotions contain coconut oil. It’s naturally antibacterial and anti-fungal, coconut oil is an excellent moisturizer for your skin. Some people even find it helpful with eczema and psoriasis. But it also scores a 4 on the comedogenic scale.

So what is comedogenic, anyway?

Comedogenic (com·e·do·gen·ic) is a word used to describe substances, and it means that the substance tends to cause blackheads by blocking the pores of the skin.

You may have seen substances, or even products, touted as non-comedogenic. the term non-comedogenic is used to describe substances that do not tend to cause blackheads by blocking the pores. When applied to a product, the term means generally means that the skin-care product has been formulated so that it will not cause blocked pores.

Based on scientific studies, a comedogenic rating scale from 0-5 has been compiled (see the end of this post for a list) The rating indicates the likelihood that a substance will clog your pores.

0 – will not clog your pores.

1 – little chance of clogging your pores.

2 may possibly clog your pores.

3 – likely to clog your pores.

4 – very likely to clog your pores.

5 will definitely clog your pores.

Substances are fine to use on your face, and other acne prone areas, if they have a rating of 2 or below. They are unlikely to cause acne. Conversely, you should avoid using substance with ratings of 4 or 5 on your face.

 

There are a few things to keep in mind. The first is that your skin is individual, and the ratings were devised using either the rabbit ear test or else groups of people. This means that ratings are a rule of thumb, not written in stone. If you are acne prone, you may want to test the substance to see if it causes a problem for you.

 

Next, products are made up of a mixture of ingredients (substances). The ingredients chosen, and the ratios they are mixed in, can affect the comedogenicity of the overall product.  But you can’t tell just by reading a label if the product will clog your pores. Just because a product contains a small amount of a level 4 or 5 comedogenic substance does not mean the product will necessarily be comedogenic. That said, if you are prone to acne, and one of the first 5 ingredients is a 4 or 5 on the comedogenic scale, it may cause you problems.

 

Finally, for products, there is no official designation of ‘non-comedogenic’. It’s a completely unregulated term. It doesn’t necessarily guarantee anything. So, when you see a product promoting itself as non-comedogenic, realize that it can still cause problems.

What Does All of This Mean?

What all of this means is that you should test new products before using them on your face, neck, chest, or back; especially if you are acne prone. These are the areas of the body people are most likely to get acne outbreaks.

 

How to test a product to see if it will clog your pores: test the product in an area that is prone to acne. If you are fast to break out, then you’ll know soon enough. If it takes a few days, or a few weeks for you, then keep testing than keep testing the area daily. If you breakout on your back or chest, you could spot test there so it isn’t as conspicuous.

How to Test it

For seeing if products with comedogenic substances will be an issue for you test it on an area of skin that is inconspicuous and small. Try it for a few day or give it more time. You may find you have a lotion that is great for your hand legs feet knees and elbows and is also safe for your face. We hope you found this informative about the that big word comedogenic or the term non-comedogenic and how it applies to our lotion and to you.

 

Consider just giving it a try to see if it works for you. It may cause an outbreak, it may not. What is considered a higher level comedogenic may not affect your skin as much as somebody else. It all depends on your skin.

For more information on the subject of comedogenic substances, and how to properly use comedogenic ratings, check out these blog posts from Lab Muffin, and Complicated Conversation.