The AU Beekeeping Society gets creative with repurposing beeswax from old hive frames. The Beekeepers collaborated with members of the AU Community Garden to create products that demonstrate AU’s commitment to sustainability and forging a self-educating local community. Seeking to feature AU’s self-produced materials in their full integrity, the sustainable collaborators unanimously decided to craft AU Honey Chocolate Mint Lip Balm.
The balm not only ensures supple lips in windy winter months, but also allows for a full sensory experience of AU’s buttery honey laden beeswax, ambrosial garden herbs, and delicate oils. Through perusal of herbal medicinal books, the beekeepers and gardeners, turned artisans, crafted a unique balmy blend that captures the essence of AU’s Apiary and Community Garden. The sweet mint aroma, delicate flavor profile of chocolate mint and honey, refreshing menthol tingle, and light glossy finish are enough to ensure anyone’s commitment to sustainability.
The batches of balm are handcrafted from chocolate mint from the Community Garden, honey and beeswax from the AU Apiary and organic grapeseed oil. The students first harvested their ingredients from Campus and quickly started infusing the mint leaves in the oil, warmed on a double boiler, for 4 hours. Once the desired minty aroma was reached the mint was discarded and beeswax was added to the oil and stirred until fully incorporated. The hot mixture was poured into 1 ounce recycled plastic containers where the balm solidified to a creamy consistency that melts to the touch.
The students credit the superior consistency of the lip balm to the quality of their beeswax and to the traditional balm ratio of 4 parts oil to 1 part wax. The success of the project and the community of artisans it created inspired plans to create scented candles, body butters, and soaps with beeswax, herbs, flowers from the AU Apiary and Community Garden. Not only will these products provide a little indulgence, but they also allow students to empower the local community and themselves. Students will gain knowledge on how to craft products that they frequently use to ensure that products are produced sustainably and even more so aspirationally. Through this renaissance of traditional artisanship, the Apiary and Community Garden work to honor their commitment to act locally and think globally.