Bee Soap

Yesterday my kids and I went to visit the Madhava Honey Sticky Wick-It Shop.  It’s just up in Lyons — every time we go to Estes Park we come within a few hundred yards of it but never noticed because we turn left instead of turn right when Hwy 36 meets 66.  All the time  a treasure just waiting to be discovered . . .

The shop is full of honey and honey products, candle materials, soap making materials, lip balm ingredients, essential oils, honey, honey, honey, agave nectars and local handmade soaps and cute little bees and toys.  It’s a small shop, but packed to the brim!  I got this great mold there and made some soap this morning:

Although honey products are for the most part distributed locally, Madhava has probably reached many people because they produce Agave Nectar.  I love the hazelnut Agave Nectar for my coffee.

There’s a curious story about Madhava Honey’s roots. Apparently, two guys from Boulder in the late 60’s  went up into the mountains. One of them, let’s call him Mo, came back with herbs to start a tea business — aka Celestial Seasonings. The other, let’s call him Bart, started the honey business called Madhava.

Bees have been in the news lately because of their dwindling populations.  There are all kinds of dire predictions about our food supply unless we continue to support the bees.  Several of my friends are avid beekepers, so it’s beecome (sorry — sometimes my hands type the strangest things . . .) a concern of mine, especially since I’m a gardener.

My other interest in bees is because beeswax and honey make such great products like soaps and lip balms. And that’s why we’re posting this today — to make some bee soap.

One of the simplest ways to make soap is with melt and pour base which you can get at a hobby store.  You can also choose a pure packaged soap and grate it, remelt it and mix in your own ingredients to make “hand-milled” soap.

Cut chunks of soap to make about 1 cup melted and put in a 2 cup glass measure.

Microwave this for 60 seconds at a time, stirring in between until melted.

Add in 1 heaping tablespoon honey (mine is a little solidified, so it heaps) or 1 1/2 tablespoons if very liquid.  Stir to incorporate.

Add in 1 – 2 tablespoons beeswax.  Stir, and if not melting, then reheat soap in 30 second increments and stir.

Pour into molds.  I used a candle mold and soap molds and poured the leftover in a little plastic cup so I can try it out!

Let sit until hardened enough to move, then finish in the fridge.  The cooler they are, the better they come out of the mold.

When completely cooled, ease out of molds.  This soap will be lightly honey/beeswax scented and is rich in emollients.

You can also make more of a clear soap, and color it to look more like honey.  Here my son is stirring in the honey into a clear soap base —

And adding the beeswax (if you omit the beeswax, the product will be clear — this soap is going to make a honey colored product that is still somewhat opaque, and our last batch will make the entirely clear product)

Here he’s pouring it into a candle mold to get the bee skep soap. . .

and now pouring it into the bee molds . . .

There we are — tons of little soaps, from almond colored to honey colored . . . . beeeautiful!

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