World Bee Day: Small business Beessential offers natural products made from the power of the bee
'Accidental' beekeepers David and Amy Rzepka created a thriving skin care company in Ohio
World Bee Day is Saturday, May 20, and one Ohio family is celebrating by continuing to make all-natural products that are good for the environment and good for human skin — thanks to the power of the bee.
In Bedford, Ohio, family business Beessential began after the Rzepka family discovered that they really enjoyed beekeeping.
Here’s the buzz: About 20 years ago, David and Amy Rzepka agreed to let a co-worker put a beehive on their family farm in Ohio — temporarily.
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They didn’t plan to be responsible for the bees, but life events came up and the co-worker could no longer tend to it. That left the couple to abandon the bees — or get busy learning about them in order to properly care for them, as the company noted via email to FOX Business.
David Rzepka became a beekeeper, eventually creating an entire line of all-natural skin care items.
Beyond enjoying the science, he found that tending to the bees gave him time to reflect — and he found bee culture fascinating.
Beekeeping became a cathartic activity, leading him to realize "how connected the bees’ world is to our world," the email from the company said.
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He soon began researching bees and attending workshops at Ohio State University Agricultural Campus Learning. The idea that "any changes in our environment affect their environment as well" became a driving force in the company’s foundation.
David Rzepka learned that the foods we eat and the chemicals we use have an impact on both bees and humans.
That’s when the idea came to the family for Beessential natural skin care products, tapping into the power of the bees.
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Using honey, beeswax, propolis and other ingredients that are "good for us and the world we live in," the company has built a thriving small business around an all-natural philosophy, its email notes.
Today, David and Amy Rzepka and their family produce a full line of natural products — lip balm, soap, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, foaming soaps, deodorants and creams that "keep your skin and hair healthy the natural way."
"We take all the natural ingredients that are brought to us from the hive and we make some great products that are environmentally friendly and safe to use from your head to your toes," David Rzepka explains in a YouTube video (SEE the video, below).
Beessential has a factory, warehouse and offices with approximately 15 to 20 employees in Bedford, Ohio.
Here's the buzz on bees for others
Interested in creating a bee-watering station in your own backyard, helping these vital pollinators stay hydrated?
There are a few key reasons that bee watering stations can benefit bees, according to Beessential.
First, bees require water to help regulate the temperature inside their hives, especially during hot weather.
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Providing a readily available water source can help reduce the time and energy bees need to spend searching for water, enabling them to focus on other essential activities such as foraging for nectar and pollen, the company said.
Here are the steps anyone can follow to help bees stay hydrated.
1. Choose a shallow dish or container at least 10cm in diameter; a bird bath or plant saucer are suitable.
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2. Fill the dish with clean water, ensuring it is not too deep (no more than 2cm).
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3. Place the dish in a sunny spot in your yard, preferably near flowering plants or even a beehive.
4. Ensure that the water is changed about every two to three days to prevent the growth of bacteria.