Bees are dear to Vapour’s heart: 146 of the 150 products in the Vapour line contain organic beeswax. Beeswax is what gives Vapour stick products form and stability; as Krysia puts it, “Beeswax is the foundation of the foundation.”
Vapour used to buy organic beeswax as close to home as possible, from Canada, but that small family farm lost its certification after Monsanto crops were planted nearby. Certified organic bee products are hard to come by: first, the beekeeper must manage hive and farm without using pesticides or antibiotics of any kind; then they must only use natural practices for harvesting the honey, smoke rather than the often-used fume boards. Nearby farms must also be pesticide-free in order for the bee colony to qualify as organic. Bees collect nectar and pollen in a four-mile radius from their hives. Now Vapour sources its organic beeswax globally based on seasonal availability. Between sourcing and shipping, this ingredient can get pricey, but Vapour’s commitment to organic is unwavering; as Krysia says, “Vapour will never create product without the highest percentage of organic ingredients possible.”
The rapid population decline of honeybees gained attention in 2006 when the disappearance of bees from their colonies was given a new name, Colony Collapse Disorder. Washington, D.C.–based education and policy non-profit Beyond Pesticides first started publicizing the role of pesticides in bee decline years ago and their scientific database has “identified new findings demonstrating that pesticides, especially the neonicotinoid class of insecticides, have sub-lethal and chronic impact on bee behavior, immune system, and colony longevity.”
Buying organic beeswax, although not always easy, is the right thing to do on two counts. One, keeping Vapour products organic is good for you because 60 to 80% of what you put on your skin is absorbed into your body. Mainstream cosmetics can be chock-full of chemicals that are scientifically linked to a host of physical maladies. And two, keeping Vapour products organic is good for the planet. By purchasing organic beeswax, Vapour is supporting bee population health, habitat and, hopefully, longevity. According to Beyond Pesticides website one in three bites of food require pollinators. There could be serious implications for the stability of ecosystems, the economy and our food supply if bee populations continue to decline.
Krysia is looking forward to having her first beehive in her garden next summer. Thanks to her ever-growing garden, she understands and appreciates the job that wild pollinators do. Talking more about pollinating she says, “We don’t think about the pollinators’ roll in the process of growing food because it happens seamlessly; it’s invisible to most of us. Pollinators are the unsung heroes of the food chain.”