With the declining Honeybee population, it is hard not to worry or want to help in some way. Many residents in our area have taken up bee keeping, helping the population and reap the benefit of a personal honey supply. Bees are more than happy to work hard pollinating and produce honey, first for themselves, then share with us. Besides the honey, they also produce honeycomb, but isn’t always utilized by the beekeepers once the honey is removed.
Brooke Halwix, a 12-yearold from Marengo, had a great idea after her mom had started a hive. She became curious about the bees, helping her mom care for them as well as harvest the honey. Brooke then wondered… what about the honeycomb wax? What can we do with it to help the bees? After researching options, Brooke decided all-natural lip balm would be a great idea. Her first “batch” was Peppermint. Using only organic essential oils, with vitamin E and their wax “Bee Smooth by Brooke” was born. Now scents such as Rosemary Lavender, Orange, Cinnamon, Grapefruit and seasonal scents like Pumpkin Spice and Sugar Cookie are in her lineup. Once the concept took off, her parents helped her build a website, design a custom logo, register as a seller on Etsy. com and learn all the skills to build her business in the last 6 months. Brooke took some of her proceeds and has purchased another hive that she will populate with bees this spring (she said they are “on order”) and will put thousands of bees to work. A self-proclaimed “book worm,” Brooke has self-taught herself the art of beekeeping and how to utilize honeycomb wax. She hopes to double her sales this year with the support of the second hive and by introducing new scents or tinted options. Her farthest customer (so far) is in California. Lucky for us, Brooke will be selling her lip balms at the Spring Momz 2 Momz resale event at MCHS in March. Her mission is to share how important these little guys are to pollinate our food sources, protect them from harmful chemicals and respect their place on the planet.