Simon Cavill of Bee Good skincare (and regular Countryman contributor) has been in touch to raise his concerns about honey bee ingredients being used in beauty products:
“At Bee Good we clearly love bee-based skincare ingredients, but it is vital for the future of our honey bees that we only harvest items like honey, beeswax and propolis from these precious insects. The beauty industry regularly highlights the use of bee venom and royal jelly as ‘anti-ageing’ ingredients, but it’s important to realise that these products usually come from outside the UK with some pretty dubious harvesting processes that harm or destroy thousands of bees.
“For example, bee venom is harvested by placing an electrified grid in front of the hive. Bees landing on the grid get an electric shock, making them sting through the grid with the venom dripping onto a plate below. Whilst the electric shock itself doesn’t kill the bees, the release of venom alerts the entire hive and puts the colony under extreme stress.
“Whilst collecting bee venom doesn’t usually result in the direct death of many bees, collecting royal jelly certainly does. Royal jelly is produced by worker bees and fed to all baby bee larvae in their cells. In order to harvest this substance, frames containing queen cells full of royal jelly are cultivated in hives before the bee larvae are removed and discarded to die before the royal jelly is collected out of the cells. This is something we at Bee Good simply can’t contemplate as being either ethical or cruelty-free.
“We hope Countryman readers will support us in our Bee Good To Bees campaign, as our ecological reliance on bees is far more critical than the anti-ageing benefits they are being harmed for, and the results of which we know can equally be achieved with other carefully selected ingredients.”