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Market is the place to bee

Threesome teams up to offer royal jelly, honey in Forest Grove

What do honeybees and body products have in common? Ron Stark, beekeeper and owner of T bee S, and Dan and Nicki Powers, owners of West Coast Body Co., would say there are many healing properties that come from honeybee products.

Both businesses have booths at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, a program of the nonprofit Adelante Mujeres.

Stark found his way into the honey business about seven years ago and today manages 300 hives as his full-time job. He transports his bees from farm to farm, pollinating everything from blueberry bushes to buckwheat. Farmers pay Stark to bring his bees to their fields, and he sells the raw honey at six area farmers markets where he enjoys spreading the word about the health benefits bee products — such as bee pollen and royal jelly — have to offer.

Royal jelly is a substance secreted from the glands in the heads of worker bees and fed to larvae. When worker bees need to create a new queen, they choose several small larvae and feed them generous amounts of royal jelly in specially constructed queen cells. The large amounts the queen larvae receive triggers their advanced development and this is also when the beekeeper is able to extract the nutritious jelly.

After receiving numerous requests for a skin care product with royal jelly and having struck up a friendship with Stark at a local market, the Powers decided to create a new body cream.

“The benefits of taking royal jelly internally are numerous. It’s full of vitamins and minerals that also help when you use it topically,” said Nicki Powers. “Royal jelly promotes skin cell regeneration, which improves the appearance and elasticity of your skin.”

She and her husband started the business last year. “Both of us have dry, sensitive skin and also have pain from car accidents and sports injuries. We had a hard time finding natural products that actually work,” she explained.

The couple also offers a line of arnica cream, lotions and balms using only essential oils and natural ingredients.

Whether you’re seeking local honey for your cup of tea or a lotion to soothe your aches, you’ll find it at the Forest Grove Farmers Market now through Oct. 30 from 4 to 7 p.m. on Main Street. You can also visit westcoastbodyco.com for skincare products or call Ron Stark at 503-858-7207 for honey products.

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