The New School Montessori is proud to own 2 bee hives that provide countless learning opportunities for our students. And now, with Carrie Driehaus’ help, our bees have given us lip balm!
Carrie Driehaus, a New School parent and part owner of Queen City Pollinator Project, cares for our hives and presents lessons, demonstrations and provides glass beehives for classroom observations. Carrie is always finding new ways to engage the students in learning more about the lives and work of these bees. And last month, Carrie used several sheets of empty honeycomb from our hives as the wax component for homemade lip balm for the students.
Honeycomb is the basic structural component of a hive and is incredibly lightweight and strong. These 3 dimensional sheets of hexagonal cells are made by bees scraping and molding wax that is secreted from their bellies. Bees can reuse honeycomb from year to year, storing honey in the cells or even the queen’s eggs. Newly made honeycomb is white, while older honeycomb is darker in color.
Steps to make lip balm:
- Carrie broke up the waxy honeycomb into pieces and tied it into cheesecloth bags where she heated it on the stove until the wax melted out of the cloth and floated to the top of the water.
- Carrie discarded the bags and poured the liquid into paper cups to cool where the wax soon rose to the top of the cup, firmed up and was gathered for the next step.
- Carrie infused almond oil with aromas from flower petals, orange essential oil and camomile extract as she warmed them together in a crockpot for an hour and then strained out the petals.
- The aromatic almond oil and the hardened beeswax from the paper cups were combined, melted, stirred and then transferred into lip balm tubes with droppers.
Voila! New School Montessori Lip Balm!
Ann Baumgardner, Communications Director