Bees are the most important pollinators in nature and a great part of the food in our diet rely to some extent on bee pollination. Many crops, such as almonds cannot get by without helps from the bees. However with the increased use of pesticides, changes in climate as well as disappearing of green spaces, bee population has been recently declining.
The loss of bees has had a negative impact on the agriculture industry throughout the world, bringing about the impending possibility of a wide-scale food shortage crisis. Without these little pollinator helpers, our dinner plates would definitely be far less colourful, not to mention less nutritious too.
Melvita was created from the inspiration of a professional beekeeper and biologist, and is extremely aware of this ecological drama. In fact the name Melvita comes from the juxtaposition of two Latin words: “mel”, meaning “honey”, and “vita”, meaning “life”. It refers to the extraordinary work of bees, which represent a coming-together of the plant and animal kingdoms.
As part of this year’s earth month’s initiative, Melvita Malaysia decided to save the bees by organizing a fun-filled visit to Happy Bee Farm in Genting Highlands. The visit is Melvita Malaysia’s third locally-based green initiative. A total of 27 media representatives took part in this meaningful occasion.
With this visit, Melvita Malaysia hopes that the media, customers and public will be able to understand how bees play an extremely important role in maintaining the balance of the earth’s ecology. Apart from educating the public on the recent bee environmental crisis with bee colonies depleting each year, Melvita would also like to highlight the brand’s foundation commitment to safeguard the future of bees.
Melvita Foundation pledges to take part in any studies or initiatives that may help put a stop the disappearance of the bees, as well as to promote beekeeping.
The fun-filled event began with all media participants being taken on a live-bee education tour by Happy Bee Farm’s consultant – Mr. Eric Chan, where he showed how a local bee farm is being operated. He then explained every aspect of beekeeping: from setting up a suitable wooden box beehive, to collection of nectar, and finally the process of extracting raw honey.
Everyone also had the opportunity to watch a demonstration of how raw honey is collected from its honeycomb before tasting it. Besides honey, Eric mentioned that there are many other bee products that are beneficial to mankind and are often used as popular dietary supplements. These include beeswax, royal jelly (a substance secreted from the hypopharyngeal glands of young worker bees) and propolis, a resinous substance honey bees use to seal cracks in the hive.
As compared to honey that is consumed day after day, Melvita uses smaller amounts of honey in its products, i.e. not exceeding 5%; hence the impact on sustainability is very low. Honey is powerful enough to give results without being used in big quantities. When used in big amounts, the quality of the skincare texture might be compromised. The challenge is to find a good balance between honey properties, the sugar content (as this might affect the texture of the products), preservation of the final product, and available stock from providers.
Understanding this, Melvita has already been working with several providers of organic honey to ensure there is sufficient supply of high quality honey.
Eric moved on to the bee education area, where a variety of real bees’ specimens, both stingless and dangerous bees, and wasp specimens were displayed here. He elaborated further on bees’ ecological life system, their important role of pollination in flower ecology, and other bee-related information such as tools and equipment for breeding. Many parts of the walls surrounding the bee education displays were derived from the beehive honeycomb structure to demonstrate bee farm’s effort towards beekeeping.
In addition to bees, Happy Bee Farm is also home to many species of butterflies and insects such as beetles and lizards. During the tour, everyone had the chance to get up close and personal with nature, as they witnessed fluttering colourful butterflies roaming around the outdoor rainforest area busy collecting nectar, and witnessed many live attractions of insect specimens with peculiar natural forms, colour and sizes.
After the tour, it was a flurry of excitement during the “Plant for the Bees” activity and “Bee Hive Painting” activity, where everyone got to try their hand at planting flowers in recycled used tyres and at painting wooden bee hives.
To create this pollinator-friendly garden, Melvita has thoughtfully selected Lavender, Mint, Roses and Hibiscus plants. These bee-friendly plants are amongst the signature ingredients of Melvita, which can be found in:
Lavender Floral Water, Lavender Shea Butter, Gentle Purifying Shampoo, Extra-soft Foot Cream, Fresh Breath Toothpaste, Organic Rose Beauty Mist, Rose Floral Water, Rose Cranberry Cream Soap, Rose Extraordinary Water, Wild Rose Soap Bar, Nectar Pur range of products, Rose Nectar range of products, Pulpe de Rose range of products and Floral Bouquet range of products.
Painting wooden bee hive, on the other hand, will help protect the hives from bad weather, wear and tear, as well as termites, so that they can last longer. Creativity was unleashed as everyone dressed up their beehives with Melvita’s elements such as bees. Some press even whipped up new paint colours to make the bee hives more colourful! Both activities will offer a site for honeybees to find shelter and forage throughout the year, subsequently promoting beekeeping.
Participants then sat down to a “honey-licious” lunch prepared by the staff at the bee farm. Melvita Malaysia retail operations and training manager Ms. Coco Lee thanked everyone for their support in making the event a meaningful outing while learning more on the brand.
“Bees are very close to the hearts of Melvita and as a brand which protects nature and safeguard bees, Melvita has set up Melvita Foundation in 2010, where the foundation supports any actions or initiatives that aim to safeguard the future of bees by taking part in any studies or initiatives that may help put a stop to their disappearance, protect their habitat and promote the development of beekeeping throughout the world. In the past four years, Melvita has sponsored the construction of 223 new beehives, created 26 bee-friendly areas, provided training for 61 beekeepers, and conducted 9 Studies/Conferences dedicated to the plight of bees. Today’s bee farm visit is part of our pledge to help the local community realize how important it is to self-initiate an effort to make the earth a better place for our bees to live in.” she said during her short speech.
On a global effort, one of the recent efforts supported by Melvita Foundation is the project led by Friends of the Earth in London, United Kingdom. This major campaign launched was called “The Bee Cause”, whereby their objective is not only to encourage bees to live in urban environments by creating havens for bees, but also to provide food for bees by encouraging people to plant wild flowers. In just two years, the objective has been more than met! Some 70 bee worlds have been planted, i.e. 3,276m² for bees and pollinating insects!
In conjunction with this meaningful occasion, Melvita Malaysia also launched the new Apicosma Soothing Cream, specially-tailored to the needs of dry and sensitive skin. The main ingredients for this product are 3 types of honey complex, which comprises of Thyme honey, Orange Blossom honey and Acacia honey. Honey has always been at the heart of many developments at Melvita. In fact over a third of Melvita products contain bee products. Clearly the beehive is bursting with beneficial ingredients!
When asked about their thoughts on the new soothing cream, all participants liked the silky smooth texture enveloped in a very delicate scent of the cream. Products for sensitive skin often have bland, scentless formulas. Coco then explained that Melvita Research & Development were determined to let sensitive skin enjoyed the excellent sensorial qualities without the risk of allergic reactions. Therefore for the first time, Melvita blended a concoction of fresh notes from organic plant ingredients and came up with this pleasant scent.
Participants expressed thanks to Melvita for giving them the opportunity to learn so much about bees and beekeeping. They also realised that doing their part to help the bees does not necessarily have to be an elaborate or extravagant affair. With small efforts around the home, such as planting flowers in the gardens or cutting out the usage of pesticides, they too can contribute to our joint effort in saving the bees!
After spending an eye-opening day at the bee farm, participants of Melvita’s Earth Month Activity returned to Kuala Lumpur with satisfied appetites and new knowledge about the benefits of beekeeping. Each participant did not go home empty-handed; they received a bottle of honey and an exclusive Melvita door gift.