The Story of Soap
While beekeeping is my passion, I have a deep respect and curiosity for many of the mostly lost “Old World” type of sustainable lifestyle practices utilized by our more symbiotic ancestors. Practices that held harmony with the earth above expediency and convienence. For my money the practice that exemplifies this the most is the practice of soap making.
Soap Making by all accounts has been practiced at least as far back as civilization itself. Clay cylinders containing a crude rudimentary soap were excavated in ancient Babylonian ruins that was dated back as early as 2800 BCE. Perhaps accidentally at first rendered fats from a cooking fire and a crude form of lye present in the ashes combined, congealed, and became soap. In my personal favorite version of the narrative, an especially keen observer woul notice that the laundry washed downstream from the cooking and funeral pyres would come out noticeably cleaner. Perhaps immediately, perhaps over generations, the dots would be connected and the process would be “domesticated”. By which I mean the process was removed from the natural world and purposely carried out by our ancient ancestors. Over several centuries craftsmen and artisans would tweak and refine their process annd ingredients.
Flash forward several thousand years and your average run of the mill, store bought soap bar hardly resembles natural handmade soap at all. Replacing locally sourced ingredients with oils from unsustainable farming practices and adding harmful preservatives, dyes, detergents and chemicals.
The Hive Mind Apiary's soap recipe is by design short, simple, and all natural. A real, pure, and simple soap that pays combines the centuries of craftsmenship with a modern sophistication.
It all starts with fat... Fats and oils can be recycled by most food service industries through local services, but the dirty secret is that a large portion of those oils are simply thrown away. Destined to be impropperly disposed of in a landfill. By reclaiming even a portion of that "waste" we can help reduce the damages caused by impropper disposal. By hand selecting fats and oils from local sources and naturally refined until I personally deem them acceptable for use in my soap, I can ensure the quality of my soap every single step of the way.
The Original Cold Process
The "Cold Process" soapmaking method refers to soap made without the introduction of an outside heatsource. The process is anything but cold however. The heat given off by the process of Saponification (The process by which oil becomes soap) is a chemical heat. Roughly 98% of the saponification will occur a 24 hour "cooking" time in which the molded mixture is insulated and untouched. The remaining 2% happens slowly over the course of 4-6 weeks! Due to the hot and transformative nature of this process, additives like essential oils can be degraded or simply cooked off. In order to combat this I use Local Bentonite Clay mined from deposits surrounding the Great Salt Lake in every scented bar. Not only is the clay a natural fixative (Additive to preserve scent and color) it's also mineral rich and wonderful for your skin.
My philosophy is that every ingredient in my recipes should be carefully chosen to enhance the quality of the product for the end user. More specifically the ingredients should enhance the soap's ability to nourish and cleanse the skin. Utilizing All natural ingredients takes the guess work out and gives the soap character. Things like texture, grit, density, scent, lather, color, or purpose.
Soap varities and avaialability are constantly changing.
From the very pits of hell, this magnificent soap bar is made with the evildoer in mind. After a long day of bathing in the blood of the innocent, you need a true unholy relic to clean up after a hard day's work. That's where I got you friend! Patchouli and Saffron scented, and Activated Charcoal, forged in the caustic crucible of the flesh of swine and liquid metal alkali. A truly exqusite abomination...
Similar to the Lavender & Honey Bar in composition. Substitute the Lavender flower buds with Activated Charcoal and you have a beautiful black bar of top notch, handmade, soapy goodness!
This Lavender Honey Bar is simple, bare bones, down to earth, old school sweetness. Soothing Lavender, and the calming sweetness of Raw Local Honey. Locally grown Lavender buds are lightly peppered into this bar to add some grit, but not too much. Just a wonderful before bedtime soak type of soap bar.
I tell all my soaps they're my favorite, but this beauty is the one I go home to! My take on the classic "Chef Soap" which typically features coffee as an exfoliate as well as an odor nuetralizer. If you have ever worked in a kitchen you know, try as you might, the smell of onions and garlic are insidious. Lingering like some sort of vengeful parasitic stink cloud. Whether you work with your hands or you yourself are a vengeful stink cloud (No judgments...), this is the soap for you. Simple and straight forward, but easily the most versatile. Chalked full of coarse ground coffee, shaved coconut, and peppermint essential oil it's the soap for any occasion!
Very similar to the Local Lavender bar with a little added citrus. As I explained in that bar's description, the local dessert grown lavender has an almost citrusy bite to it. Which is wonderfully complimented with a hint of lime.
Pure and simple. Locally distilled Lavender Essential Oil and dried Lavender flower pods from local gardens. The local wild Lavender has refreshingly sharp floral note that is almost citrus-like. A local favorite.
My personal favorite for a nice beard wash and our best selling soap! Our Pine Tar soap is made with 100% pure Pine Tar with a touch of Local honey from our hives. It has a strong piney scent that is crisp and clean, without being overpowering. Pine tar soap can also be very beneficial for a wide range of skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. I find it particularly wonderful as a shaving cream substitute.
Made with the highest available grade Activated Charcoal and Peppermint Essential Oil, this bar is simply a whole lot of lovely! The Activated Charcoal is very fine that acts as a mild exfoliate, and draws dirt and imupurities from the skin. Great for acne prone, oily skin and of coarse (as with most of my products) it makes a simply magical beard soap.
A match made in heaven... Bacon, Beer, and Coffee... The pinnacle of wonderful! You were going to have it all anyway, so why not save some time and wash up while you're at it? Seriously though, wash up ya filthy animals!
I love Patchouli. Prior to making soap it was a scent associated with attractive yoga instructors and possible a mind altering journey or two... I would come to find out that like cilantro or pineapple on pizza, people are seriously divided on Patchouli. Not only divided but each camp adamantly assert the other camp is not only wrong but that their entire character should be called into question. I hope to provide a middle ground in this no man's land with this well crafted offering of peace. Patchouli can be an aggresive aroma on its own... Most secnt combinations will play off eachother's strengths and weaknesses by highlighting or muting certain aspects of their counterpart. Both Patchoulli and Saffron have earthy/floral/sweet/spicy profiles. Blending two similar profile oils can be tricky and the result is often a hectic unpleasant one. These two oils however truly complete eachother. The similarities, rather than clash, harmoniously come together a yield a scent profile unlike any Ive had the pleasure of experimenting with. Its simply exquisite and my absolute favorite to make.
Bare bones soap with a twist. A healthy helping of dried basil leaves and just a whole lot of tomato. Unscented, but naturally savory and delicious. Wonderful for sensitive and oily skin.