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I began this blog to chronicle my beekeeping experiences. I have read lots of beekeeping books, but nothing takes the place of either hands-on experience with an experienced beekeeper or good pictures of the process. I want people to have a clearer picture of what to expect in their beekeeping so I post pictures and write about my beekeeping saga here. Along the way, I've passed a number of certification levels and am now a Master Beekeeper! Enjoy with me as I learn and grow as a beekeeper.


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Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Preparing for the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference

On Saturday and Sunday I will be presenting three workshops at the Southeast Organic Beekeepers Conference in West Palm Beach, Florida. I'm very excited to be invited. I am talking about
  1. Preparing honey and wax for competition,
  2. Harvesting honey from bee hive to jar, and
  3. I'm doing a hands-on workshop making lip balm and lotion.
We'll be able to make lip balm in the time allotted for the workshop, but the lotion will just get started. It takes about 2 1/2 hours to cool after it is made before you can put it in the jars. I wanted the participants to get the sense of homemade lotion even though we won't finish ours in the workshop so last night I made hand cream (in the white round-top jars in photos below) and tonight I made lotion bars.

The lotion bars are just luscious. I ordered a mold in November when ordered a number of little things from Brushy Mountain. I've never made a lotion bar, and now that I've done it, I want to make them all the time.


These are made from a recipe I found online: 1/3 cocoa butter, 1/3 beeswax, 1/3 avocado oil and some drops of Vitamin E. Oh, my, what a treat. You pick up the bar and rub it between your hands and the most cocoa-delicious smell, the most soft and smooth feel on your skin, an overall nurturing experience in general occurs.

I made two batches and made the second batch with half cocoa butter/half shea butter in that 1/3 part of the recipe. It doesn't have such a strong cocoa smell and I think I like it better.

It's not cheap with those ingredients. Avocado oil was $9.99 for an 8 oz bottle. Cocoa butter was $4.99 for a one ounce stick. The beeswax was free from my bees. I think it costs about $2 a bar to make without buying wholesale ingredients, but I see lotion bars sold on the Internet for around $10 a bar for a slightly thicker bar than these....of course I am not including a cost for container. So maybe $10 is about a 100% markup over cost.

Here is the poured mold about 10 minutes after pouring.


Here are finished bars packaged in sandwich ziplocs.



Here is the last mold (each recipe I did made three bars - one ounce/one ounce/one ounce of ingredients).



And the beautiful (you should smell them) unwrapped bars with little bees on them. Oh, the limits of the Internet - I wish you could scratch and smell or slide your finger over the screen and sample.

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5 comments:

  1. Valerie Daniel8:23 AM

    Mom, These look great. Have you decided to open a shop yet and sell your treasures? I still have an order for your lotion from Adrienne's friend, Jennifer.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good luck on your presentation this weekend! All of these products look great! I would order some if you opened a shop.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello Linda - I sure enjoyed your pictures and process of making your lotion bars. I also began making lotion bars during these long winter days from my beeswax. I agree - they are the Best for moisturizing and I would not be without them again. If anyone is interested I have them listed on my deesbeeboutique.com website.

    Thank you Linda for your wealth of information on your blog. I have learned a lot in this past year - beekeeping, using beeswax and honey for products and now starting a blog too! Best of luck to you as you promote the honeybees!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Anonymous11:39 PM

    Linda,

    Those lotion bars look wonderful. I wish I could be there with you at the conference.
    Enjoy your new hobby.

    Sincerely
    Annette from Placerville California

    ReplyDelete
  5. These look absolutely yummy. I would attend every one of your sessions if I could but alas, I live in Calif. Beautiful, you have given me a great idea!

    ReplyDelete

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