Designed by Nature, Perfected by
HoneyMaiden has been a labour of love for creator, Abigail Hannon, since beginning modestly in 2013.
Coming from an artistic background, the intention was simple; to make a moisturizer for personal use.
Over time, Abigail improved her process to a place she could comfortably gift her cream to friends and family. The feedback was great, but more importantly, where the requests for refills.
In the near decade of private product development that has followed, Abigail has refined and reformulated an age old recipe for a beeswax based cosmetic that would contain none of the usual marketing nonsense, using only recognizable ingredients anyone could understand without needing a chemistry degree, to create a skin cream that gives the ultimate in care; to moisturize without gimmick while being gentle to any skin type.
From the very beginning, the decision was made to avoid the standard tricks of the trade so common in cosmetics to push product.
No alcohol would be added, a common con done in industry to lead a person into thinking the moisturizer had absorbed quickly, instead of just evaporating due to body temperature. Similarly, no artificial preservatives would be allowed, which would debunk any legitimate claim of being a natural product.
We didn’t know it in the beginning, but HoneyMaiden would be taking the hard road on its journey to become absolutely pure, as any sort of shortcut would undermine the benefits of its emulsion.
We can say this, because we have made all of these mistakes (and more), by researching the trends that come and go by experimenting and comparing, to finally learning that there are no shortcuts worth pursuing. The only route is the right one.
“AlphaCream”, the first product HoneyMaiden produced, started its life being made from commercially available, pharmaceutical grade beeswax pellets.
It emerged fairly quickly as simply not good enough.
An early tenet of HoneyMaiden’s aspirations, would be to use only fully traceable ingredients. As it turns out, that is a fairly tall order to fulfill.
With commercial grade beeswax, the ingredient raised more questions than it answered.
This new philosophy of fully traceable inputs, immediately relegated these beeswax pellets to the dustbin, as just too many unknowns existed in its providence.
Where did it come from exactly? How many beehives did the wax get taken from?
What chemistry was applied to the wax while it was in the hive?
Even at the hobbist level of beekeeping, a common practice is the use of harsh organic acids to mitigate certain problems of the hive.
While great care is performed by beekeepers to avoid these chemicals interfering with the honey, the same can not be said for the wax, which will most definitely harbour contamination. This is barely even an afterthought in beekeeping, as the beekeepers goal is rarely to focus on beeswax but the honey.
These questions and many more required a beeswax supply not only we could trust, but could be proud of using.
The next step in the journey, was to find a reputable Irish beekeeper who could provide the purest beeswax nature could create. We did have some early luck in connecting with a beekeeper to assist with small amounts of beeswax, but the supply would not be consistent to our needs.
However, the use of pure Irish beeswax instead of pharma grade made an immediate & huge difference to the quality of the cream.
Fresh beeswax is alive, the heavily processed option however, can not claim such abilities.
Beekeepers it seemed, don’t produce beeswax in either the quantities or the qualities needed to create natural skin cream, which would force HoneyMaiden to source beeswax from numerous sources all mixed together.
This was not good enough, as this would mean more opportunities for impurities getting into the product, (and therefore onto your skin), and even less oversight on how the beeswax was treated.
The only real option available in securing our supply, would be to jump into beekeeping ourselves and self produce beeswax to a standard we knew, without a shadow of a doubt to be pure.
Abigail’s partner, Steve, was “elected” to take on the study of bees and produce beeswax suitable for our needs.
Progress it seems, is never a straight line, and this story is no different.
After a few years learning the beekeeping ropes and the successes and failures that would entail, Steve founded Swarms.ie, currently the worlds largest Honeybee Rescue network, comprising of over 750 beekeepers nationwide who assist where bees end up in places that are not convenient.
To date, Swarms.ie (managed by both Abigail & Steve each summer) has saved somewhere in the region of 50 million bees across the entirety of the island of Ireland, and helped in 1000’s of cases where help was required.
What we have learned from all our detours so far, is the very best beeswax, comes from bees that are not chemically interfered with, that are never fed simple sugars in lieu of their own honey, and that the bees keep the vast majority of the honey they produce, as they need it more.
In exchange, the bees provide a small surplus of wax at the end of the summer, and with that HoneyMaiden produces its cream.
Due to the highly limiting approach we take to beeswax, our HoneyMaiden cream is equally highly limited to what we can produce in a given year, once the beeswax runs out, its gone.
We now keep 8 hives of rescued bees in our rural garden in Donadea, Co Kildare, and from those 8 hives, we gain complete oversight into the origins of our beeswax.
Our plan is to continue our education in beekeeping, while improving our skill sets at bee rescue, especially the most challenging of cases, while increasing our beehive numbers in a way that will not impede on other ecology yet still produce for us the very best beeswax we can create.
We very much expect that you will not only love our skin cream, but become an ardent fan, and we hope you know that by using HoneyMaiden, you are not only getting a superior skin cream, but in the process of nurturing your skin, you directly support our efforts to save Irish bees which gift us so many glorious benefits.
Thanks for reading our story 🙂
Abigail & Steve
HoneyMaiden & Swarms.ie