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Greeley, Colorado 80634

We are a family of beekeepers and adventurers who make and distribute products from the daily lives of bees.

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Stories

We love telling stories and are honored that you would want to be a part of them. This is a summary of our journeys, our adventures and how our lives and the lives of our bees intersect.

 

Around 4 pm on the Colorado High Plains and Our Beeyard

Yendra

This is the great Colorado high plains rolling its way like a carpet to the foothills of the Rockies.

This vast expanse contains it all. In one day-whole worlds are created and maintained. In one day, all four seasons can be experienced. So much can happen here in one day.

The work is hard. At times the moments seem long and repetitive. But, the vastness of time out here is like the sky; it never feels too long. There is always more to enjoy, more to do, more to see.

Welcome to Illuman Apiary beeyard #2 on a typical summer Colorado afternoon around 4 pm when the storms roll in.

This summer the weather has returned to the Colorado summers of old. With a long, wet, spring we have gently been placed into summer’s hands as we wait to see what the rest of the summer weather will hold.


With such a rough year last year, we are hoping our old bees will do great and our new bees will love their new home.

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All Systems Go! Bee Awake Beeswax Soap Will Change Your Day for the Better

Yendra

Everyday, you use something to clean your body- but do you think about what’s in that something?

And is it good for you?

We wrote a whole blog on soap to explain what soap is and how rare and important real, healthy soap is.

We make real soap!

We believe that your soap is one of the most important things you will use all day. What if it’s not just about cleaning. What if it’s a jump start for your health?

And, bonus, it wakes you up? :)

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Did Your Honey Crystallize? Yay for you!

Yendra

“What’s the matter with my honey?!?”

It’s that time of year when we get a lot of questions about crystallized honey.

Did it spoil? Why does it crystallize? What do I do?

Let’s talk about it!

Why does honey crystallize?

 Before, we begin, don’t worry! Crystallization means that you have pure natural honey.

Let’s start with the composition of honey. Honey contains about 70% carbohydrates and less than 20% water.

It also contains over 300 оthеr ѕubѕtаnсеѕ, lіkе аmіnо асіdѕ, рrоtеіnѕ, mіnеrаlѕ, and асіdѕ!

The majority of honey is carbohydrates, or sugar. The two predominant sugars in honey are gluсоѕе аnd fruсtоѕе.

Fructose will remain dissolved and does not crystallize. This makes it a great sugar structure to work with. It is also why, if you have honey that never crystallizes than you will have a primarily fructose-based sugar.

Raw, unfiltered, unheated honey that we sell has all the stuff that makes honey so good for you-such as pollen and wax-and those expedite the crystallization process.

Oftentimes, in commercial honey they will fully filter out the pollen and wax, and even heat the honey to make it easier to process. This honey isn’t going to benefit your health but it will stay in liquid form for a very long time.

Our honey is more of a glucose sugar, and compared to fructose, turns to a solid more rapidly. Glucose separates itself from the water in honey and forms crystals.

That means, if your honey does crystallize that you do have natural, raw honey.

There are a few things that you can do to prevent raw honey from crystallizing as fast. This doesn’t guarantee it won’t happen, but it will happen less fast.

This chart from Honeypedia explains that if you keep honey below 10 degree Celcius, or 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your honey is less likely to crystallize (as fast). However, you do not want to freeze honey. Freezing honey will have the same affect as keeping it a higher temperature and will spoil the honey.

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What to do about crystallized honey?

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If you have crystallized honey, remember that there are so many rich components for your health in raw honey. If you heat it in the microwave, it will kill these.

If you do have time and want to keep the nutritional value of your honey, then heating it slowly in a jar in a water bath in a pan over the stove is the best way to go. If you have a thermometer you want to keep it to below 110 degrees, as anything over that will cause it to start losing its nutritional properties.

Honey is so remarkable in it’s benefits for our health. We hope that the next time you see your honey turning to crystals you will cheer in confirmation that you have chosen a quality honey!

 

Sources:

http://honeypedia.info/why-does-honey-crystallize

https://www.precisionnutrition.com/research-review-fructose-vs-glucose

Punching Instant Gratification in The Face/Cured Beeswax Soap Rocks/Protect Your System from Scary Chemicals

Yendra

Most of what we do at Illuman Apiary takes time. We plan, prepare, and waaaaait.

Illuman Apiary natural soaps are like that. Over the years we keep improving them but the soap making process, like all true biological processes, is in control. Not us.

Our soaps changed our lives. Have you stopped to think about the tools that you use everyday to function? Are they benefiting you? Handmaking soap caused us realize how valuable a good bar of soap really is. It can clean, moisturize, lather and protect your immune system?

Let’s get a little nerdy here.

The FDA says, “today there are very few real soaps on the market. Most are synthetic detergent products. Detergent cleansers are popular because they make suds easily in water.”

What’s the BIG deal about that?

The truth is that all the good stuff is gone. In fact, they can be harmful for your body and loaded with potentially cancer-causing ingredients (parabens for example). When you use these detergent cleansers/fake soaps you are requiring your largest organ, your skin, to work overtime.

Backtracking a little, this is how we make soap, and how it has been done for thousands of years.

Real soap is made by combining oils or fats and lye. The reaction that takes place is called saponification and the result is a combination of soap and glycerin. We use olive oil so that leaves traces of olives, we use coconut oil so that leaves traces of coconut, as well as avocado oil, palm oil, castor oil and beeswax. In real soap, nothing should be removed and no synthetic chemicals need to be added. This soap is perfect just as it is. Over the month that it cures, the lye reacts with the soap and eventually is used up in the reaction of the curing process.

Now, when you look at synthetic detergents or synthetic soaps, they do not have their MVI (most valuable ingredient)  glycerin, because there was no saponification process. Part of gylcerin’s power is that it attracts moisture to your skin while it smoothes and soothes it. Often, soap manufacturers remove the glycerin from the soap to sell or use in other more expensive products. They then add synthetic ingredients, detergents, foaming agents and chemical fragrances to the glycerin-lacking soap to simulate the properties of glycerin.

Finally, The Not So Good Stuff

Witih our soap, nothing is added after the soap is poured.

In commerical synethetic detergents, here’s a few potential additives after the soap is made:

  1. Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) is used in laundry detergent that will dry out and irritate your skin.

  2. Sodium laureth sulfate (SLES) is a cheap foaming agent that can become contaminated with the suspected carcinogen Dioxane while being manufactured. Eek!

  3. Triclosan is in most antibacterial soaps and is classified as a pesticide by the Environmental Protection Agency. This chemcial is thought to be contributing to increasing bacterial resistance across the world. It has found its way into our waterways, disrupting the photosynthesis of algae, building up in the fatty tissue of fish and carrying on up the food chain. A 2008 study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found triclosan in the urine of 75% of the people surveyed. To make matters worse, over 40 years of FDA research has concluded that antibacterial soaps are really no better than just washing with real soap.

  4. Parabens as perservatives. Thankfully, many synethic soap and cosmetic companies have gone away from parabens due to their frequent presence in people who have breast cancer.

Our Soaps have the only the Goods

In our soaps, we use beeswax, which is great for your skin, immune system and overal health with its natural antibacterial properties. We also use coconut oil in every bar which has moisturizing and disinfectant properties combined with vitamin E that is necessary for healthy skin. Each ingredient is on the label and easy to understand. Our soaps don’t have to just clean you, they can make you healthier, moisturized and feeling better!

The Bottom Line: Why Use Natural, Cured Illuman Apiary Soap?

  1. Illuman Apiary soap won’t dry out your skin or cause skin irritation since all of the ingredients are gentle and skin safe.

  2. Our natural soap doesn’t contain any synthetic ingredients, which can be absorbed by the skin (the body’s largest organ) and sometimes get into the bloodstream causing problems.

  3. Our scents are powered by essential oils and are all natural, more subtle and refreshing.

How to get started? Any of them will make a great starting place. Subscribing to a box of the month will give you seasonal varieties. You can also ask us, or come to a Market.

Why Bison?

Yendra

We love history. Ecological history and human history. We love how things go together and their connectedness directs us how to go forward.

Our Greeley Is My Home line has a bison as its logo.

Here’s some questions you have asked about why we have a bison as a logo.

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Apis Requiem

Yendra

Armando and Yendra meeting to get the message and the design just right. :)

Armando and Yendra meeting to get the message and the design just right. :)

Over a year in the making, this design by the awe-inspiring Greeley-local Armando Silva came right on time! Armando is a Mexican-born first generation immigrant raised in Greeley from the age of 5. He incorporates his Latin roots into his art and uses it as a tool to empower and motivate.  Our collaborative design makes it debut for the annual observance of the Mexican celebration of the Day of the Dead/Día de los Muertos.

The commemoration of the Day of the Dead is to remember ancestors, tell stories of them, and celebrate who they were.

On a good year all you can see are wildflowers around the hives.

On a good year all you can see are wildflowers around the hives.

This year, we suffered our worst losses yet with a record 15 hive loss. These losses were mostly out of our control. The year started with a warm, dry spring. It called the bees out with warm weather but taunted them no food. Over the summer, we suffered multiple hailstorms with golfball-sized hail that decimated the flowers around our hives. This, along with normal environmental attacks of neighboring pesticides, wax moths, mites, and colony collapse hit our hives especially hard.

This fall is bittersweet; we are heading into winter with a small crew and fear of what next year’s weather will bring. This is why this design comes at just the right time. We pause to mourn our bees we have lost this season and in seasons past. We hope for a better future that we may not see in our lifetime.

Armando’s art captures visually what we want you to understand. The position of the bee in the chest of the beekeeper is there because our bees are a part of us. We are committed to them and our existence is connected to theirs. At times, we feel that all we can do is take care of them the best we are able, but we cannot promise them a better year next year or even a decade from now. A part of the tradition of the Day of the Dead that speaks to our hearts is that as long as you celebrate and remember your ancestors you keep them alive.

For us, this art commemorates our commitment to be keepers of the bees and to tell their story. Our hope is that as long as we tell their story we help to keep them alive in the here and now.

And it all started with...

Yendra

We first began our business with lip balms. We wanted few, quality ingredients and we also knew we loved bees and wanted to grow our apiary.

So we made lip balms. And we added our heart with quotes from our hearts.

And we grew our apiary.

We still make lip balms with simple 6 ingredients.

Our lip balms naturally have an SPF of 8 because we the outdoors are always calling.

We fell hard for Wax Melts- 5 reasons why :)

Kenneth-James Tencza

We kept hearing from customers that they wished they could burn our beeswax candles at their jobs but they weren't allowed to burn wicks.

Honestly, we did not know a lot about melts.

We knew our beeswax candles were great for the environment and air-quality, but the more we started learning about melts the bigger fans we became!

Here's our top five of why Beeswax Melts are Fabulous

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