Honeybee feeding on a Dandelion flower
The use of Bee Venom is taking a spotlight in the beauty industry again at the moment. We love bee based skincare ingredients, and there is no doubt that Bee Venom and Royal Jelly can deliver skincare benefits but there is also no doubt that it is vital for the future of our honeybees that we only harness and utilise bee based ingredients that do not harm these precious insects. Here I'll share a little on Bee Venom and Royal Jelly and why we choose never to use them in our products.
We hope you will support us to #BeeGoodtoBees, as our ecological reliance on our buzzy friends is far more critical than the anti-ageing benefits they are being harmed for and the results of which can equally be achieved with other carefully selected ingredients.
The good, the bad and the ugly
There is a lot of hype about products containing bee venom and similarly Royal Jelly, as on paper both ingredients help to address issues of ageing skin…sadly they are not so good for our precious honeybees and therefore the future of our ecosystem. As demand increases for Bee Venom and Royal Jelly so too does the potential threat to our honeybees since the extraction process is invariably intrusive.
The truth about harvesting bee venom
To harvest Bee Venom a frame containing an electrified grid is placed at the entrance to the hive. As the bees land on the grid an electric current passes through them, in effect giving them an electric shock - they react to this by stinging through the grid and their venom drips onto a plate below where it is allowed to dry and be collected later.
Whilst the electric shock itself doesn't kill the bees, the release of venom puts the entire hive on alert and more and more workers exit the hive to try to deal with the perceived threat. This can put the colony under stress and it can take several days for the bees to replenish their stocks of venom making the colony vulnerable to attack. So at Bee Good, whilst it is not proven that bees physically suffer from the electric current they are subjected to, we don't believe that treating our bees in this way is “cruelty free” and therefore we actively choose not to use bee venom in any of our products.
Royal Jelly - killing bees for beauty
Whilst collecting Bee Venom doesn’t usually result in the death of many bees, collecting Royal Jelly certainly does. Royal Jelly is normally produced by special glands within the worker bees heads and fed to all baby bees soon after an egg is laid in the cell. Unfortunately thousands of baby bee larvae destined to become Queen bees are killed in order to collect this 'precious' Royal Jelly.
Royal Jelly is the white substance surrounding these Honeybee larvae
The eggs that are selected by the colony for greatness as a future Queen are fed on Royal Jelly exclusively. In order to harvest in commercial volumes, frames of newly created Queen cells are placed inside an otherwise Queen less hive so that the workers deposit large amounts of Royal Jelly into each cell.
After about 48 hours, the frames containing the Queen cells full of Royal Jelly are taken from the hives and the maturing baby bee larvae removed from the cells and simply discarded before the remaining Royal Jelly is vacuumed out of the cells and collected. This process leads to the death of thousands of baby bee larvae and is something we at Bee Good simply can’t contemplate as being either ethical or cruelty free.
Why is it important to protect or honeybees and educate consumers to avoid products that harness Bee Venom and Royal Jelly? Because bees are critical to our ecosystem. The numbers of bumblebees and solitary bees has declined rapidly since the 1940's and several species are now extinct. Without the tireless work of our bees and other pollinating insects, over one third of everything we eat would disappear from our tables.
Across the UK countryside, bees face many challenges. There's the loss of natural habitat, a lack of forage from declining wildflower meadows, and a toxic cocktail of pesticides. In addition, wild honeybee colonies have been practically wiped out by the deadly varroa mite and managed colonies now need careful support and husbandry by beekeepers to ensure their survival. So harvesting Bee Venom and Royal Jelly exacerbates what is already a serious problem...