Any self-proclaimed environmentalist understands the importance of opting for organic when it comes to farmed foods. But what may be less well known is the importance of opting for organic when it comes to honey bee byproducts, namely beeswax. A natural wax created by bees, beeswax is the substantial foundation of the hive, serving a purpose in the natural infrastructure of bee colonies while also doubling as one of nature’s most effective humectants. With its nourishing and protective properties, it’s no surprise that our expert formulators have incorporated organic beeswax into some of our products making them Bee·gan, or totally vegan-friendly + organic beeswax (👀at you I-Waken Eye Serum and Nourishing Lip Tint). But before committing to this ingredient, in typical Indie Lee fashion, we did a whole lot of research on beeswax and uncovered some serious truths about the importance of opting for certified organic beeswax specifically.
What goes into Organic Beekeeping?
The practice of beekeeping involves the maintenance of bee colonies, oftentimes in man-made beehives. While wild bees can live in most hollow spaces, beekeepers aim to cultivate hives that can be carefully manipulated for the hive’s health. For instance, creating uniform combs so they can easily be transferred to another hive without being damaged, all in an effort to support the industrial needs of the beekeepers such as harvesting honey and other honey bee by-products. A necessary species that has long been endangered, bees are recognized as critical to the environment because of their leading role as pollinators. This makes beekeepers - those who provide and protect bee habitats - the unsung heroes of the modern bee population. Despite the environmentalist heroism associated with beekeeping, the industry still faces many challenges including pests, disease, pollution, and climate change. The good news is that in spite of this, there are still select hives that are being used to raise bees successfully without antibiotics or chemicals: enter USDA certified organic beeswax. Both an art and a science, organic beekeeping has proven to be the preferred practice perfected by few suppliers because of their ability to maintain the purity of the ingredients. To be certified USDA organic indicates that the raw byproducts of the hive (including our hero ingredient beeswax) are processed without the use of any harmful agents that would interfere with a raw ingredient's properties. In other words, organic beeswax ensures the integrity of the ingredient to the highest standard.
The process to become certified organic is not an easy one. Each step from hive to harvest to processing the ingredients (beeswax, honey, etc.) is carefully audited to ensure maximum ingredient purity and harmless hive practices. There are also stringent regulations that require the bees' feedstock, AKA the farms and agriculture surrounding the colony, must be organic as well in order to account for the bees’ flight radius. Because the process to become certified organic is rigorous and ongoing, smaller suppliers are unlikely to be able to prove chain of custody or be financially stable to have enough feedstock acreage under USDA certified organic cultivation. These strict stipulations contribute to the finite number of organic beeswax suppliers. The rigid guidelines and consistent auditing help to ensure that organic beekeeping is the best practice to reduce the risk of contamination or compromise of the beeswax, which is great for eco-enthusiasts like us. Choosing certified organic beeswax is also a surefire way to support ethical practices that promote bee health and habitat.
So what about organic beeswax makes it so irresistible? As one of nature’s most luxe moisturizers, organic beeswax locks in moisture while providing a breathable barrier on the skin. It doubles as a natural emollient and rich texturizer, making it the perfect addition to our formulas that aim to hydrate and smooth. Silky, protective, and nourishing our Bee·gan formulas tote quality, and effectiveness, making them the perfect extension of our commitment to superior ingredients and sustainability.