MiVT: Bees on Broadway

SWANTON, Vt. (WCAX) Bees have been in the news lately after Governor Phil Scott recently signed a bill that significantly reduces the use of a pesticide that's been killing these pollinators. That's good news for one Vermont business that relies on bees for better skin.

There are six bee hives in the Benoit family's Swanton backyard.

While the queen of this hive is busy at work, she's got nothing on Darci Benoit. Darci is the queen bee of her business, Bees on Broadway. "It's been a great year for our bees. They all lived through the winter, which is the first time we've ever been able to say that," Darci said.

"Wow, this queen is doing good too," added BJ Benoit, Darci's husband.

Darci makes the usual honey and wax candles, but it's the soap and skincare products that have had people buzzing. "Everything is with honey or wax. You have some soaps that have both," she said. "There's a lot of different health properties that go along with using beeswax on your skin."

BJ has certainly benefited. As a welder, he's had several skin issues but is allergic to over the counter ointments.
"A lot of burns and really bad skin," he said. "I don't have to use as much lotion, because the soaps work so well."

"My husband and I would hang out in this tiny little room in our house and that was my laboratory for the longest time," Darci said.

She moved into their new space on First Street in Swanton last August. It gives her the ability to have more room when making her soaps and salves. It's pretty convenient too, just right around the corner from her house on Broadway where it all started.

"It makes me smile everytime I walk in this door. I love it here. This is my happy place. I work full-time as well. So, this is my hobby, which is turning into a lot more work," Darci said.

"It's just amazing what she's started in a little back room of our house with the lip balm. To know when we go somewhere and people say, 'Oh, you're the bee people, right?'" BJ said.

Six hives isn't enough for the demand, so Darci's been able to use other locally sourced wax and honey. Bees on Broadway is available in several stores and salons around the state, and can be ordered through its website.

"I have some more wholesale accounts I've just picked up, so that's kept me really busy," Darci said.

You'd expect nothing less from a bee-business with products that keep your skin soft and smooth, with a little touch of sweet.