Bees get a boost with body butter project

BEE AWARE: Paige Drummond, left, and Jess Price had the help of Carol Preist, background, in developing their Honey and Lemongrass Body Butter product.
BEE AWARE: Paige Drummond, left, and Jess Price had the help of Carol Preist, background, in developing their Honey and Lemongrass Body Butter product.

Nelson schoolgirls Jessica Price and Paige Drummond have crafted a sweet-smelling sensation to help raise awareness about the place of bees in New Zealand's ecosystem.

The Nelson College for Girls students, both 16, got together with cosmetics and skincare specialist Carol Priest of Plantier Developments to design a lemongrass-scented body butter made with certified organic beeswax.

A donation from the sale of each pot will go towards the National Beekeepers Association's ''Bee Aware'' campaign.

Priest said the project was a collaboration. After the girls approached her as a mentor and sponsor, she provided the material and recipe for their body butter mixture and helped them make it at her facility in Founder's park.

''They gave me a brief and we kind of worked around that.''

Anchorage wines funded the body butter's containers and design company Contexo assisted with the labels. Jessica and Paige decided to produce a lemon body butter after their market research identified a lack of similar products in common stores around Nelson.

As for the bees, Jessica said she and Paige just wanted to help: ''They play such an important role, and the varroa mite that's affecting them is so horrible.''

The National Beekeepers Association has designated September as Bee Awareness Month. It attributes $5.1 billion of New Zealand's economy to pollination by honeybees, domestic honey sales and exports, beeswax and exported bees. Two thirds of our food comes as a direct result of honeybee pollination.

The girls' company, Wild Bee, was set up as part of the Lion Foundation's Young Enterprise Scheme (YES). Their body butter, which costs $15 for a 100gm pot or $23 for 200gm, will be for sale at the Nelson Market this Saturday when the YES products are all on offer.

The Nelson Mail