Posts tagged ‘honey’

September 5, 2012

Neal’s Yard Remedies: Bee Lovely shower gel review

The minute my Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely shower gel arrived my daughter pounced on it, asking ‘Is this for me to share?’ Somewhat begrudgingly, I agreed. She’s been frightened of using the shower, preferring the calmness of a bath, and I thought this might be the thing to make her brave enough to give the shower a try.

I was right. She was in there for ages…

The Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely hand cream has been such a success that they’ve expanded the range to include this gorgeous honey, orange and mandarin shower gel (which can also be used in the bath but don’t tell my daughter, or we’ll be having a water shortage again) as well as a body lotion, hand wash and a multi-purpose balm. All of these are gentle enough to be used from age three upwards, which is why I’ve had to relinquish sole ownership of the shower gel. The citrus fragrance is uplifting without being too strong and used in the shower, makes for the perfect energy boost. The wake-me-up start to the day I need! I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I get to use it again, because it’s rapidly become Eve’s favourite too…

As well as being gorgeous to use, 5% of the retail price of all of this range goes to support the Bee Lovely campaign and help fund a number of the charitable partners that Neal’s Yard Remedies are working with. They’re also working with Project Dirt to provide grant funds to projects working in support of bees – so if you think you might be eligible, do take a look (the deadline for applications is 30th September)

One thing that everyone can do to support their campaign is sign the petition, which needs 100,000 signatures by 30th November 2012. I really do urge you to do this, because it’s not an overstatement to say that bees and other pollinators are vital to our survival. A third of the average diet is pollinated by bees and so their disappearance would have disastrous consequences.

Earlier this year we sowed wild flowers that we got through the Friends of the Earth Bee Cause (one of the charity partners), and the brilliant little booklet that Neal’s Yard Remedies sent out to us has lots of facts and pictures. Eve has gone from being really nervous of bees to being fascinated about them, and she is already planning what we’ll grow on the allotment next year to encourage them to return. Once we’ve decided which plants to grow, I’ll share my top ten flowers for bees here on the blog. If you want to know more about why bees are so vital, do have a look at my previous post about the Neal’s Yard Bee Lovely campaign and I urge you once again to get involved, perhaps buy one of the lovely products or plant some seeds and sign the petition.

With huge thanks to Neal’s Yard Remedies for sending me the lovely shower gel to review.

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August 17, 2012

Weston Scarves and Burt’s Bees collaboration

A Weston scarf is firmly on my ultimate fashion wish list. Founded by Professor Richard Weston, the scarves are a remarkable fusion of art and science, with stunning digital images taken from nature, such as rocks and minerals, being used to great dramatic effect. The end result is something not purely to wear for one season, but something you would love forever. Perfect for someone like me, who wears a scarf like an adult comfort blanket almost every day (honestly, ask my friends) and cannot bear throw-away fashion. (I’ve written quite a lot of blog posts about scarves actually, if you want to look…)

This summer, Weston Scarves are collaborating with Burt’s Bees in a campaign to support the British Beekeepers Association, with the creation of a stunning ‘Wild for Bees’ floral printed scarf and matching, special edition version of their 24 hour Milk and Honey body lotion.

The beautiful yellow, purple and green scarf, which is over a metre long, is being sold exclusively through the Burt’s Bees website, with all proceeds going to the British Beekeepers Association‘s ‘Adopt a Beehive’ project. It’s a seriously gorgeous scarf, I covet it so much. If you bought one, not only would you feel great about supporting the charitable campaign but you’d never want to take it off!

You can buy the body lotion nation-wide from Debenhams, the Burt’s Bees website and independent stores. I’ve tried the lotion and it feels very light, absorbs easily and really does soften the skin very well. Along with the milk and honey, it also  contains shea butter, coconut and grape seed oils and vitamin E, so there is no surprise that it does such a good job. I liked it a lot.

I’ve written before about the plight of bees and every single project that is making a contribution to their recovery gets my full support. As an allotment holder and keen gardener, I’m only too aware of the importance of all bees as pollinators. Approximately a third of the food we eat has been pollinated by bees, so whether you think it matters to you or not, the survival of bees is vital for everyone. This campaign, working to support honey bees in particular, will hopefully raise the profile of the British Beekeepers Association and the work they do in supporting bee colonies. The limited edition scarf and body lotion will be available throughout August and September.

With thanks to Burt’s Bees for the body lotion sample.

April 18, 2012

Neal’s Yard Remedies: Bee Lovely Campaign

It’s universally acknowledged that bees are in trouble. Before you leave, thinking that it’s not really a concern to you, consider this. Approximately one third of the food we eat is pollinated by bees. So, if you’re fortunate enough to have a nourishing and varied diet, then bees are of extreme importance to you. Not to mention that alfalfa, a major crop fed to cattle, is also pollinated by bees. So, even if you’ve never willingly eaten a vegetable (I’m looking at my husband here) then bees are still vitally important.

Why are the bees in trouble? There are various contributory factors and you might have heard of Colony Collapse Disorder, where no one reason seems to be the cause but one of the major reasons they are dying is because of the use of pesticides. It’s been recognised that a group of particularly powerful pesticides, neonicotinoids (neonics), are at the heart of why the bees are disappearing. Using new technology, neonics penetrate the plant and attack the nervous system of insects that feed of them – posing a deadly threat to all pollinators. These pesticides have been banned in other countries already. The French banned neonics in 2000 after concluding through their extensive studies, that even small doses of these pesticides disoriented bees and impaired their foraging ability. Italy, Germany, Slovenia followed suit and banned sales of two varieties of neonics.

DDT is a chemical pesticide that was used widely across Britain, Europe and the US – until it was shown to have chronic effects on the nervous system, liver, kidneys and immune system. It was banned in Britain in 1984. Neonicitinoids are 7,000 times more toxic than DDT. Yet they are still being used.

If we lost the bee population, The British Beekeepers Association estimated that it would take a workforce of 30 million people just in the UK to do the pollination by hand.  This isn’t a joke. In Southern Sechuan, China, the pollination has to be done by hand as, due to overuse of pesticides, the local bee population died out.

Have I persuaded you that this is important yet? I hope so.

So, onto practical action now. What can you do? There are various ways you can get involved, thanks to the Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Campaign.
  • You can sign this petition about the use of Neonicitinoids from Neal’s Yard Remedies. 100,000 signatures are needed before it can be taken to Parliament.
  • If you go into your local Neal’s Yard Remedies store, there are wild flower seeds (from Land Life) and a ‘Bee Lovely and Help Save The Bees’ booklet available for you to take away. These lovely resources will help you to make better choices in your own garden and help support your local bee population.
  • You can buy a gorgeous and limited edition Bee Lovely handcream from Neal’s Yard Remedies too – with a blend of organic honey, brazil nut oil and beautiful orange essential oil, not only will a percentage of the cost be donated to the charities below but your hands will thank you too!
  • You can make different choices in your garden, choose pollinating plants and flowers, leave places for bee habitat instead of being super-tidy and garden organically instead of using pesticides.
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies are working with three partner charities:
  • Land Life, who are planning on supporting a number of bee projects and raising awareness
  • Bug Life, who are running projects to support the 250 different pollinating insects threatened with extinction.
  • Pesticide Action Network, who will be creating a bee microsite on their website, which will be a one-stop-shop for anyone searching for information about pesticides and their effects on pollinating insects.
 
From today, I am starting my own ‘Margot and Barbara Bee Project. Last year I did a day of bee-keeping, and it was superb. This is the next stage!
  • As an inital step, I will be signing the petition above and adding my name to the list of people who think that these pesticides should be banned.
  • I’m going to treat myself to a tube of Bee Lovely hand cream. I’ll share my review with you here too.
  • I am going to turn over a portion of my allotment to flowers that are recognised as being good for bees. Although the bees will benefit, they in turn will pollinate my crops so I will benefit too!
  • I am also going to turn a chunk of my allotment into a wild flower area. By planting native British wildflowers from a reputable source (such as Land Life or Wiggly Wigglers) biodiversity, and therefore bumble bees, can be encouraged. Again, they will also help to pollinate my crops.
  • I’ll be investigating the possibility of joining a local beekeeping group with the long term aim of a hive or two of my own…
  • I’ll be doing a series of Bee Project posts, which will hopefully be useful and informative and perhaps persuade a few of you to join me?
Look out for more blog posts about my Bee Project and I do hope that you will also support the Neal’s Yard Remedies Bee Lovely Campaign. It really is vitally important.