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Family minds its own beeswax

HIGH PRAIRIE, Alta. – There’s more to bees than honey.

In a search for hand lotion, Rachel Kemp turned beeswax into a line of body care products she hopes will diversify her family’s beekeeping business.

“This is my way to contribute to the family business,” said Kemp, who has launched her own Kemp Honey line of body products.

From the kitchen of her High Prairie farm home, Kemp has made lotions, balms and butters from beeswax that she sells through local tourist outlets and the Kemp Honey on-farm store west of High Prairie.

Using recipe books from the local library, as well as trial and error and feedback from her husband, Ryan, Kemp has developed a line of body products that she believes has potential to be an important part of the fourth generation family bee business.

“It’s kind of nice. I have my own little niche and I’m not stepping on other beekeepers.”

Lotion sitting beside honey pails in tourist and craft stores has become a good marketing combination for the Kemp Honey name.

“It’s doing quite well,” said Kemp, who wants to also sell her products in other stores across the province.

“I have a lot of repeat customers.”

Through feedback from her customers, Kemp has developed different sized containers and new products, including a bath salt.

Kemp helped form a local chapter of the Agri-Food Network, a marketing group, to develop more skills to sell her body products. She has joined the Branding the Peace group to have access to the Peace country brand logo as one more marketing tool to help her business grow.

“I’d like to see it take on a life of its own.”

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