I've always liked Burt's Bees, even more in recent years because they have an amazing R&D team absolutely committed to creating natural formulations that perform beautifully without threatening the planet. However, I like Burt's Bees even more now because the Burt-and-the-Bees backstory is not the warm, fuzzy tale one might expect. It's much more interesting than that. But I digress: this post is about the helping-bees limited-edition Bellavance Burt's Bees lip balm roll, and some amazing bee hotels. Yep, hotels for bees.
bellavance burt's bees lip balm roll
I can't write about the Bellavance Burt's Bees lip balm roll without wondering why the designers called it a "holster." Okay, I get that the interior set-up is a bit holster-like, but the concept is much more akin to a makeup artist's brush roll. In fact, the Bellavance designers cite chef belts and makeup-artist brush rolls as inspiration. So...*shrug*
Now that that's out of the way, the Bellavance Burt's Bees lip balm roll is this year's fund-raising initiative for bees (for the last two years it's been a sweet little bee bracelet designed by Canadian jewelry designer Jenny Bird). The Pollinator Partnership Canada, a not-for-profit organization protects and supports pollinator types such as birds, butterflies and bees, will receive 100% of the profits.
"Sustainablity is a big thing for us in fashion, as it is for Burt's Bees," said Bellavance designers Ava and Nolan when we chatted in NYC. "For our label, we prefer comfortable, recognizeable, natural-fibre fabrics. We don't use a lot of synthetics unless it's special." (Speaking of Bellavance, I geeked out about the makeup in their Toronto fashion show here.) BTW, Nolan is a Canadian expat.
The Bellavance Burt's Bees lip balm roll ($20, burtsbees.ca) comes with two tinted lip balms and the two newest lip shimmers, Apricot and Grapefruit, which are brilliant as cheek colour and highlighter by the way. In fact, I'm a big fan of the Burt's Bees lip shimmers ($5.99, burtsbees.ca) – Cherry and Rhubarb in particular – because they have just enough pigment to make them gorgeous on cheeks as blush. Surprise!
And in the spirit of sustainability, the Bellavance Burt's Bees lip balm roll can house other items, like that poor defenseless kubuki brush you threw into the bottom of your purse the other day.
urban bee hotels: the newest, buzzing accommodations
Pollinator bees, which make up 90% of the global bee population, are solitary wanderers... a bit like freelance writers with a laptop and a deadline. And just like freelancers need a place to stop for wifi, work and coffee, pollinator bees need a place to rest, refuel and lay an egg. But the world is becoming more and more hostile for poor little busy bees; while there are more and more laptop-hobo-friendly coffee shops for freelancers, safe havens for pollinator bees are dwindling.
So Burt's Bees commissioned the building of bee hotels. Constructed out of natural materials, reclaimed and recycled, the structures offer cosy nooks and crannies any pollinator bee might find luxurious. (The team at Sustainable.to Architecture + Building said they had a lot of fun designing and building bee hotels – best clients ever.)
Each bee hotel is situated in a spot relatively well protected from the elements, animals and small children – the bee hotel at the Fairmont Royal York in downtown Toronto is on the roof of the hotel.
Other bee hotels, each with a different architectural style (they're so cool!) have sprung up at the Kortright Centre for Conservation, the Toronto Botanical Garden, and at Black Creek Community farm. Hit wildforbees.ca for lots more info including tips on making your own bee hotel. (The "download the plans" link is the only one that doesn't work anymore, but you can find additional and comprehensive bee-hotel how-to and crucial maintenance tips here and here. And note: bee hotels aren't "set-it-and-forget-it" structures. They require monitoring to keep them free of parasites etc, and where you put them relative to the sun is important too.)
We get so much from bees, the solitary pollinator types who frequent these rest stops, as well as honey bees. Makes me wish I had a space of my own to put out a little hotel. What about you?