9.5 Benefits and applications of primary bee products in cosmetics.

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Beeswax

The actual uses of beeswax in cosmetics are associated with its following characteristics:

For all the above reasons beeswax is very frequently used in the following cosmetic classes (see also Table 9.1 and 9.2).

Even in foaming cosmetics such as skin and body detergents, beeswax improves skin compatibility and reduces the aggressive properties of surfactants, while in shampoos and hair conditioners it improves the condition and the manageability of the hair.

Because of solubility and dispersion problems, beeswax cannot be employed successfully in aqueous or very dilute alcohol solutions. Otherwise, its only major drawback is its limited availability and sometimes erratic supply.

Beeswax is most commonly used in its bleached form, in order to facilitate colour control of the final product. Bleaching, described in section 4.11.1, destroys, among other things, the pleasant aroma of beeswax. For many products such as creams, the light yellow colour of clean beeswax should not be unpleasant at all. Many consumers might even appreciate an explanation of this "more natural" colour.

Honey

The classical for honey in cosmetics during ancient times was for beauty masks (honey, almond oil and plant flours) and for cold depilatory waxes (honey, resin and beeswax).

Honey has an immediate moisturizing and soothing effect on dry skin and can reduce minor inflammations and itches. It also provides cutaneous relief, assists wound healing and restores natural skin moisturizing factors. Honey is also capable of retaining moisture content in a product over a wide range of relative humidities.

The possible microbiological decay of dilute solutions and the tacky feel of concentrated solutions pose the only limit to its wider use. Honey should not be sterilized or pasteurized prior to use since it will loose many of its beneficial characteristics. Variation in physico-chemical parameters with seasons and honey type are a minor drawback for industrial use. Dried, powdered honey is available for special applications.

Honey is used in the following types of cosmetics in the quantities (%) indicated (see also Table 9.1 and 9.2):

foaming products (soaps, shampoos, and foam baths) 0.5 - 5% and more
creams and other emulsions 1 - 4%
face packs and masks 3 - 8%
lip glosses, creams and sticks 1 - 3%
anhydrous (waterless) ointments and lipogels 5 - 15%

Any cosmetic formulation may be used as a guide, but it is a formulator's task to experiment until the optimal dose of each component (for product performance and quality) is reached. The addition of honey must be carried out at ambient temperatures with liquid honey in order to avoid degradiation of heat-sensitive substances. Heating to 40 or 420C is possible and facilites mixing substantially. Honey should be mixed homogeneously with a small portion of the product before it is added to the whole batch. Honey can be added to already prepared products or formulas, however changes in consistency and colour are to be expected. These may be corrected with appropriate changes in the formulation.

Propolis

The many beneficial characteristics of propolis, discussed in Chapter 5, have attracted the interest of the cosmetic industry. They include anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral, anti-acne, anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant activities in addition to its wound healing, epithelial and micro-circulation stimulation properties and topical anaesthetic effects. Its industrial use is only constrained by standardization and quality, the same problems that affect most other natural products and extracts. However, low toxicity and good skin compatibility have been demonstrated, despite a small risk of allergic reactions.

As a consequence of the above-mentioned beneficial effects, propolis is used principally as a deodorant and skin purifying agent, but it is also used as a preservative (see Table 9.1 and 9.2).

Propolis is normally used in one of its extracted forms. The choice of solvent depends on the final application. Concentrated alcohol extracts (EEP) are used for inclusion in the oil phase of products, and dilute alcohol or propylene glycol extracts (GEP) for inclusion in the water phase, or in foaming preparations. Glycerol extracts are also used, as well as extracts prepared with other solvents. Sometimes the solvent should be eliminated or reduced in order to avoid changes in the consistency of the formulation, as for example in the case of alcohol extracts used in certain gels.

Some of the functions, and associated applications for propolis in cosmetics, are listed below.

FUNCTION

APPLICATION

Anti-bacterial agent
Anti-dandruff and sebum equalizing agent
Anti-microbial and healing agent
Anti-irritant and antibacterial agent
Purifying agent
Preservative
Possibly as catching free radicals
Deodorants and antiperspirants
Shampoos and hair lotions
Anti-acnes and after-shave products
Mouth rinses and toothpastes
Cleansing crams and lotions
In all of the above
Anti-aging cream

Propolis extracts can be formulated at 1-5 % concentrations in ointments, in o/w emulsions and most others, alcoholic solutions (mouth rinses) shampoos and foam baths. Higher concentrations can be used in toothpastes and soaps, but it should be noted that in alkaline environments, propolis will change the colour to dark grey. The possibility of allergic reactions should never be neglected and products should be marked accordingly.

Pollen

The functions and benefits of pollen in cosmetics are in some ways similar to those of royal jelly - they are still ill defined or unknown, but are generally accepted as nourishing and stimulating. However, because of the high allergy risk and its granular structure, unprocessed pollen is not favoured in the cosmetics industry. Glycol extracts or the lipid fractions of alcohol extracted pollen, and can also be employed in aqueous solutions and o/w emulsions (glycol extracts) or w/o emulsions and anhydrous formulations for lipid fractions (see also Table 9.1 and 9.2). Concentrations range from 1 to 5 %.

Where pollen is included directly (or alcohol extracts containing some of the colouring matter), the colour of the cosmetic may be affected. Treatment with diethylene glycol monomethyl ether may be used to discolour pollen and its extracts (D'Albert, 1956).

Table 9.2:
List of the various formulations to which primary be added (modified from Proserpio, 1981). (-possible, ** easy)

List of the various formulations to which primary be added (modified from Proserpio, 1981). (-possible, ** easy)

Royal jelly

Royal jelly is used in its fresh or freeze-dried form, and also mixed with a stabilizer such as lactose or glycine (see also section 6.7). Any form of royal jelly can be mixed with cosmetic products at temperatures up to 30 to 35 C.

The percentage incorporated in mixtures many years ago, when royal jelly was much more expensive ranged from 0.05 to 1 %, while today the level commonly ranges from 0.5 to 1 %. Its ascribed beneficial characteristics (Table 9.1) can be exploited in all preparations with which it will mix easily (Table 9.2) and particularly for dry, relaxed and aged skin. The lack of scientific support for such functions does not necessarily disprove its benefits.

Queen bee larvae

Only one indirect reference to the use of larvae could be found in DeNavarre (1962). It describes how in 1955, De Bevefer stabilized royal jelly with 25 % of sterilized queen bee larvae. This addition to royal jelly was said to potentiate and stabilize its action. In addition, two patents were granted for the direct inclusion of powdered queen bee "embryos" which is said to have effects similar to royal jelly (Swiss patent, 1957; D'Albert, 1958). The same report by DeNavarre mentions Rovesti's (1960) discovery of a trephonic substance in queen larvae, said to result in effects equal to other embryonic extracts. These are very high priced ingredients for some cosmetic formulations. No use of queen bee larvae has been found in any of the reviewed formulations.

9.6 Buying

When buying ingredients for cosmetics, it is extremely important to obtain fresh, uncontaminated and clean products. It is usually difficult and expensive to sterilize a contaminated product without damaging at least some of its useful properties. Also, many contaminants cannot be cleaned sufficiently, particularly if the dirt has been dissolved in one of the ingredients. The buyer, therefore, often needs to supervise the production process of his raw materials, or give special advice on improvements to achieve the desired quality. In this respect, the processing and extraction of natural products can be particularly problematic.

Adequate testing facilities should be available and used for checking material, before buying and/or before using. This, of course, becomes more important and also more cost-effective when larger quantities are purchased. Reliable suppliers can save a manufacturer a great deal of time, effort and money. For addresses of some international suppliers, see section 9.3.2 and Annex 2.

9.7 Storage

In order to increase the useful life of a product under various circumstances, or in order to determine the possible shelf-life other than by experimentation, the following criteria have to be monitored:

These considerations are discussed in detail in the section on quality control (9.8) and in the section on packaging (section 9.9). Various forms of deterioration for the individual ingredients are summarized in Table 9.3.

Table 9.3
Degradation and preservation of cosmetic ingredients

Ingredients

Degradation

Prevention

Unsaturated lipids, natural and synthetic Rancidification, oxidation Addition of antioxidants, cold storage and exclusion of air
Proteins, vitamins, biological polymers, water-based products Bacterial and fungal growth Addition of antibiotics or fungicides and cold storage
Photosensitive material, enzymes, essences, vitamin, a.o. Exposure to light Addition of chemical UV filter, dark (opaque) containers and dark storage
Natural powders, gums and products rich in carbohydrates (starches, sugars, etc.) Bacterial and fungal growth Addition of antibiotics and fungicides, dry and cool storage
Vitamins and derivatives, enzymes, proteins, fragrances, aromas, etc. Exposure to heat Protection from heat, cold storage
All of the above Aging Rapid processing and consumption

Products in general should be stored for as little time as possible by the producer, the retailer and the consumer. Smaller batches made more frequently may therefore become necessary. Raw materials, each according to its requirements, can usually be stored separately better than they can be when combined in the final product. Storage temperatures for most final products should be within 5-300C. High quality emulsions with low water content may possibly be frozen, but each formulation will have to be tested for negative storage effects on stability and appearance of the product. Many products should also be kept in the dark or in dark containers, such as boxes. Containers need to be adequate for their purpose (see also sections 9.9 and 9.10). During distribution, the same criteria need to be observed. The retailer too, needs to be advised of proper storage, particularly in the case of preparations with a short shelf-life.

Industrial formulations, such as the more complex ones in the following recipes are designed to last for one to two years, observing the most stringent precautions during manufacture. The simpler recipes usually without preservatives and anti-oxidants will last between a couple of weeks and a few months, depending on the ingredients and temperatures conditions; water emulsions (o/w) being more fragile than oil (w/o) emulsions. Refrigerated storage will prolong their shelf-life considerably. In general, they should be treated in the same manner as perishable food items.

9.8 Quality control

Quality for the consumer means the performance of a product according to its purpose, and the lack of undesirable side effects. Manufacturers however, need an additional definition of quality which allows them to control the manufacturing process for uniformity of the end product, which then has to comply with the consumer's expectations of quality.

In such a definition for a manufacturer, quality is an inherent part of a product and is defined through characteristics that, when compared with a standard, serve as a basis for measuring the uniformity of the product and drawing conclusions as to its acceptability with set quality standards.

The minimum standards must consider at least the following points:

The standards themselves are set by law, industries, industrial organizations or according to the buyers' requirements. Beyond these generally minimum requirements, each company should set its own standards Adherence to the standards is effected by including adequate control of raw materials, packaging material, manufacturing and packaging procedures and the final product itself - such as its stability in end-use tests under various environmental conditions. Tests should compare product batches with a standard.

Since the different degrees of quality control are expensive, and better quality requires additional care, better equipment and better raw materials, there are also different levels of quality and, accordingly, different costs.

Of course, a product also has to fulfil the purpose for which it was made: soap, moisturizing cream or anti-wrinkle creams. Here, the small manufacturer, home-based artisan or producer may produce products as good or better than large international manufacturers. He can control the freshness and the purity of his ingredients better, can work with simpler formulations and use ingredients which the industrial producer cannot use without preservatives. This is possible since the small producer has to safeguard against less factors and can control many of them without having to change the product. The scale of production imposes more precautions at higher levels of production. Within legal and ethical limits, each producer and consumer should be able to decide how much of a compromise they are willing to make.

For practical purposes, in addition to more general and legal considerations, any cosmetic manufacturer whether for home use or retail sale on a small or large-scale should observe the following steps to assure the best possible product.

As discussed under the buying section, contaminated or unfresh raw materials not only spoil the end product or reduce its effectiveness and thus its quality, but also reduce its shelf-life.

The stability of individual ingredients in a product determines its shelf-life. Proteins, vitamins, unsaturated vegetable and animal oils (or fats), biological polymers (e.g. gels), particularly when they are suspended in a water phase are most vulnerable. These require refrigeration prior to use and after processing as well. The addition of adequate preservatives for proteins and vitamins, and anti-oxidants for unsaturated fats, e.g. propolis, further improves the longevity of the product. This is particularly important where retailers and shippers do not maintain optimal conditions for their merchandise. Alternatively, these ingredients can be replaced by more stable synthetic ones, though with some compromise in consumer appeal, and possibly effectiveness and price.

Processing needs to be done with proper equipment and the utmost care, by well trained technicians. During processing, temperatures for heating should not be exceeded nor should heating be prolonged for longer than absolutely necessary (or foreseen in the recipes). Equipment should always be kept clean and if necessary, should be sterilized. This is true for all apparatus and materials (tubes and pumps) in contact with the product - including peoples' hands. The processing room should be as clean as possible - this means much cleaner than most people's kitchens. After processing, the product should be put into clean containers which should be kept closed in a clean dry place at a suitable storage temperature as cool as possible between 5-300C. Many creams should not be bottled until 24 to 48 hours after processing.

During packaging, a high level of cleanliness should be maintained in the work place, in the bottling equipment, retail containers and among personnel. All personnel should be made aware of the need for cleanliness, which needs to be strictly observed. Packaging materials have to be clean and adequate , i.e. compatible with their contents. Packages or containers must not discolour, crack, tear or deform and neither should the product ooze through the walls or lids of the container. Lids and seals should be tight and secure to avoid any leakage or contamination by dust or bacteria, which might lead to oxidation and discolouring.

Lastly, storage and distribution have to be handled correctly and quickly to reduce damage or deterioration to a minimum.

Creating this perception of value is sometimes achieved not by larger volume, but by higher weight, i.e. a very small container of very thick glass, or by using an especially decorative container.

Not all these conditions can be fulfilled 100% of the time under all circumstances, but quality production requires the best possible efforts. If something goes wrong, each step should be checked against the list of precautions and the recipe and any mistakes should be corrected accordingly. Prevention is generally cheaper than the loss of a batch or customers. New formulations or equipment modifications should be tested with small batches before attempting full scale production.

  Very decorative bottles for honey shampoo and foam bath and other gift packages.

Figure 9.10: Very decorative bottles for honey shampoo and foam bath and other gift packages.


9.9 Packaging and presentation

For all practical purposes, the container for a product should be adequate. It should not break easily, it should protect the contents and contain them without leakage. A package is also the business card of the product. It is a way of presenting and recommending the product to the consumer. Product identification is important in a competitive market (see also section 9.10).

The requirements for an adequate container have, in part, already been discussed in sections 9.7 (storage) and 9.8 (quality control). The aspects not yet considered are those of shipping and presentation. Shipping is charged for by weight or by volume and thus, containers should be as light as possible while protected against breakage. For various reasons, this general rule is often completely disregarded when packaging cosmetics.

Because they are used in small amounts, many cosmetic creams and make-ups are packaged and sold in small quantities. This minimises problems of loss of freshness. Pricing considerations are also important. Containers would be very small. Consequently, many of the containers are double-walled, i.e. one small bowl-shaped container inside another compartment. This facilitates more complete removal of the product and better protection of the internal compartment. A much larger outside container also gives the impression of a substantial amount of product or more value. An important and understandable objective, given the often very substantial price of cosmetics. Creating this perception of value is sometimes achieved not by larger volume, but by higher weight, i.e. a very small container of very thick glass, or by using an especially decorative container. Of course, the net weight has to be stated correctly.

But apart from volume/price or weight/price considerations, a decorative or otherwise attractive package must be provided. While some may think this is deceptive, it is an important element of consumer satisfaction, relating to the high price and small volume of the product but also to one of the intrinsic purposes of cosmetics : to promote beauty and make the user feel good about him/herself.

Of course, it is possible to sell for a much lower price which most local and less famous manufacturers have to do. Many of the less famous brands are sold in simple, small tubes and cheaper plastic containers. Customers in many societies have become used to equating high price with high quality, expecting to get something better when paying a higher price. Particularly with cosmetics this is not necessarily true.

Special containeers made to order or purchased internationally, would have to be bought in large quantities, hardly affordable for a small part-time manufacturer. Suitable locally available containers may be available, but the practical considerations mentioned earlier must be observed. Unusual, yet still practical shapes or special cardboard packages (see Figure 9.10) can still be selected. A well designed label can also make a big difference even on a very simple container. While the decorative aspect of a label is very important, it still should supply all the information legally required for each product. For the introduction of a new product, an attractive card attached to the container or included in the package may explain the special benefits of the bee products added to it but without suggesting unrealizable medicinal or therapeutic benefits.

Printing costs for labels can be high, if only small quantities or many different types are needed. Effective black and white designs are possible and could even be photocopied. Natural health care products have different requirements for consumer appeal compared with products aimed at the higher priced luxury market. Small label printers at reasonable prices, directed at producers with a need for a few individualized or versatile labels, are marketed (see Annex 2).

Cheap plastic containers, with good sealing lids can be dressed up to look special by inserting them into well made or even carved wooden boxes, miniature woven baskets with colourful straw flowers, or fancy shaped clay pots. These could have the added attraction that their manufacture could employ local craftsmen. Here too, quality control is important. Tiny clay pots, if well closed by a cork and if glazed on the inside with low metal glazes, can also serve as very decorative containers (see top of Figure 9.3). Decorated, refillable containers with special dispensers are another possibility (see Figure 9.4). Attractive multi-shaped printed cardboard boxes can be an effective low cost alternative (see Figure 9.11).

If there is an active local tourist market, products packed in coloured containers in traditional shapes and labelled with a local name present something typical of the area and are often very attractive to tourists. Though tourists are most likely to be once only customers, they may still constitute part of a more or less regular market and they, too, are becoming more quality conscious.

 Attractive cardboard boxes

Figure 9.11 : Attractive cardboard boxes can create a distinctive presentation at an affordable price.


An alternative for some products such as soap bars, liquid soap, shampoo, foam baths or toothpaste may be packaging in small portions in heat-sealed plastic bags. These may not be as attractive for shampoos as for soaps, but since they are single portions, they can be sold very cheaply in local markets. A simple paper label with name, address, product, quantity and other legal necessities can be stapled on or inserted into a section of plastic above the product. The label can be printed with a simple rubber stamp.

For wholesale packaging of larger quantities, fewer such aesthetic concerns have to be considered. Durable, cheap and safe packaging is important. Depending on the product, various containers are available, from 1 litre wide-mouthed or screwtop bottles, through 20 litre buckets to plastic drums with well sealing lids. While new containers are better, clean reused containers can be lined with food-grade plastic to protect the product from possible odours or interaction with the container. Recycled containers which have contained toxic or strong smelling materials might contaminate the product and should not be used.

9.10 Marketing

Profit margins for producers and retailers of industrial cosmetics are usually very high, but frequently more than half of all costs incurred by large international cosmetic brands is spent on advertising and promotion. The small local producer usually has neither the budget nor the need for such advertisement, because of the small production volume. Once production capacity has increased, as a consequence of experience and dedication, the advertising aspect of marketing too frequently neglected has to be seriously considered.

Next to quality control, presentation is probably the most important aspect of cosmetic manufacturing. Attractive package and label designs are the most important considerations. Though not directly contributing to the performance of the product, being a beauty product it has to appeal to the consumer also from an aesthetic point of view. Many consumers may be more practical and not be very influenced by packaging, yet if there is competition with equal or better products, most consumers will prefer the "nicer ~, "prettier' or simply better looking packaged product. This aspect should not be neglected by any producer who has a choice in selecting from various package shapes, colours or imprinted cartons and labels.

The easier a certain label or shape is to recognize (assuming it is generally attractive) the more consumers will identify quality with this specific product (label), develop a trust and certain expectations for this brand. The reverse is of course true as well - once a bad batch or other defect is marketed with a label, the consumer will not quickly forget. The competition when introducing a new product has to overcome the positive identification of brands and products, which is why there is so much money spent on advertisement and getting consumers to try a product first.

In the beginning, discounted packages and special displays in stores are cheap and effective way of product promotion. Local fairs and shows, donating products to TV shows, raffles, charity sales, etc., are all inexpensive ways to promote a product, have people try it, see it and become familiar with its label and the name. Giving samples free or at reduced prices to beauticians and hair salons for trial, while simultaneously displaying a conspicuous sign with the product's name is yet another possibility. Free demonstrations of beauty care or make-up application using the new products may also be given. Of course, all such activities are worthwhile only if a resulting increase in demand can be satisfied with sufficient products.

Depending on the targeted market, other promotional alternatives may be chosen, such as mail order and distribution through supermarkets, pharmacies, speciality stores and speciality commercial fairs. The possibilities are many and need to be adapted to local situations, needs, capabilities and commonly used methods. Expensive advertisements in newspapers, radio and TV should be a last resort. Particularly for cosmetics including bee products, still a novelty for most people, there is always a possibility to invite reporters for a special story including stories about bees, their life and biology, other bee products, etc. Such articles and interviews are free advertisement just make sure that you, your store or the name of your product are mentioned. Those beekeepers good with a pen may actually write the article themselves for local newspapers, radio programmes, bee journals, etc. Do no expect miracles immediately.

These alternative sales and promotion methods are really not that different from those that can be used for all the other bee products as well, including of course home sales and signs at the road side. Small village communities often do not need any other promotion than the good reputation of the manufacturer.

Once all this effort has been spent on promoting the product line, special attention must be devoted to maintaining standards. Mistakes, including inadequate attention to quality, missing, damaged or delayed shipments, lack of regular communication, difficulties in collecting payments, late delivery and late or inadequate responses to orders can all contribute to loss of customers faster than the advertising can provide them. Reliability is a very important factor in marketing, and development of customer relationships. If he wants to remain in business, the producer has to have suppliers and transport at least as reliable as he himself wants to be. This is, potentially, one of the most difficult and expensive problems to overcome, but it is a basic requirement for success.

Though marketing and advertising are special professional fields, much can be done by the small entrepreneur himself. With some ingenuity, common sense and imagination, attractive presentations and displays can be designed. Marketing approaches or "strategies" can be developed by watching how other successful competing products are distributed and sold, and asking people why they use them, how they came to know about them and why they prefer one product over others and how they are distributed. Most of all, successful marketing requires active interaction with customers and continuous improvement.

If the product has a short shelf-life, emphasis should be put on improving production methods, in particular temperature and mixing controls and quality assurance of raw materials. If these improvements cannot prolong product durability, smaller batches should be manufactured and distributed more frequently. Several sub-distributors who have refrigerators for proper storage may have to be selected. After that, more complex formulations using preservatives and incorporating more synthetic products may be the next alternative for those who do not want to continue with natural products.

It is plausible that customers with a preference for cosmetics with bee products might also show interest in products made with other natural ingredients. Herbal cosmetics and traditional medicines or food supplements could complete a product line, thus by reducing marketing-related costs per item and reaching a larger clientele, product diversity can provide better security. Having one's own retail stores may increase the profit margin, but may also limit the market volume. A combination of direct retail and distribution is a solution for many circumstances, particularly for small, part-time or growing enterprises.

Most present beekeeping/cosmetic lines include a product range of 5 to 20 items in 3 or 4 types, such as creams, soaps, shampoos and depilatory waxes. The products usually require similar ingredients and production equipment. In addition, other items such as food supplements or sweets, containing one or more primary bee products are usually offered. Many of the producers involved have grown from small, home sale operations.

Beekeepers becoming involved in and thinking about cosmetics production in order to increase the marketability of their primary products will soon notice that the cosmetic side of their business requires increasing attention. Since good cosmetics are good business and produce considerable income, producing them may quickly become a major activity.

9.11 Caution

Once again it should be mentioned that cosmetics with one or the other bee products can cause allergic reactions in some people. Most commercial, highly processed products have been tested for allergic effects. However, each skin reacts differently and people's sensitivity changes due to internal and external influences. Additions of propolis or pollen increase the chance of someone having an allergic reaction. Though rarely required by law, consumers should be advised of such possibilities. A test which may be suggested to the consumer is to apply a small quantity to skin on the inside of the underarm. If the subject is allergic to the preparation, this very sensitive area will usually show a reaction within 24 hours. Pollen extracts can reduce the risk of allergic reactions.

The preferred use of propylene glycol in cosmetics for pollen and propolis extractions is due to its non-polar properties, which means it mixes easily in water and oil phases. Unfortunately, its extraction of active ingredients from propolis and pollen is not as complete as that of concentrated ethanol. However, it must also be remembered (see Chapter 5) that glycol is toxic when ingested and 1.5 g per adult per day is the maximum safe limit. External application is not toxic. Doses of glycol in toothpastes have to be low enough to avoid danger to children accidentally consuming larger quantities.

Since natural cosmetics are perishable, their freshness and special storage needs to be closely guarded. cleanliness in all processing and packing steps and quality raw materials are of the utmost importance in order to avoid spoilage.

9.12 Market outlook

From an economic point of view, cosmetics are probably the most versatile and most profitable, easy to produce and easy to market value added beekeeping products. Product value is generally very high and the product has both regular market and health market appeal. There are many small enterprises, most of them recently started, entering the market and occasionally there are exceptional multi-million dollar success stories, such as that of a Thai woman entrepreneur reported in Asiaweek (July 26, 1991).

The market for small entrepreneurs appears to be open, since the high priced international market leaves a large enough economic niche for local producers with good quality products. The product type is well suited for small-scale, self-taught starters. Quality and marketing are easily adapted to increasing experience and increased business size.

Markets with growing numbers of consumers and increasing buying power of consumers who are becoming aware of health products, offer opportunities for many producers. In the author's opinion, there are plenty of opportunities in many countries for successful cosmetic producers with special lines based on bee products. Competition is growing though, and this makes product choice and marketing, but most of all quality ever more important.

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