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Archive for March, 2011

O.K., so I’m trying something a little new this time…

Today we launch our newest offering… Bee Lights.  They’re stunning.  Couldn’t be happier with them if I tried!

Bee lights - beeswax nutrition for the soul

… they are an irregular size (around 7-8mm)… so you can have a lot of fun with making your own candleholders.  [We'll have a competition on that one shortly].

With Earth Hour coming up on Saturday, 26th March, I thought we’d do a little promo to get the word out.

So, here’s the deal:

For every 50 packs of Bee Lights sold between now and 17th March 2011 (that will give us & Australia Post 9 days for delivering before Earth Hour), we’ll take $1 off the Earth Hour special price (to a minimum of $14.95)Click here if you just can’t wait to order.  Yes, that’s right, you have the opportunity to get up to 40% off.  Just this once.  Won’t happen again.  If I weren’t making them, I’d be buying lots of them while the special offer is on.  I’d also be telling everyone I know! (well, actually I already am).  And I’d be stocking up the pantry because soon pure beeswax candles from Queen B are actually going to be cheaper than using electricity.  Oh, and I’d also be stocking up the pressie cupboard because even if the price does end up being $25, they’re a wonderful gift, and if it’s cheaper, then that’s even more wonderful (for you)!

Just to be clear, you don’t need to buy 50 packs to get $1 off… I’m told that what I am doing is “crowdsourcing”.  So we need a crowd of people to buy Bee Lights.  The final price will only be determined at close of business on 17th March 2011.  Basically the RRP of $24.95 will drop by 2c for every pack sold to a minimum price of $14.95.  EVERYONE who orders as part of the promotion gets the minimum price, so don’t stress about what your order says.  If you want to see what the final price was (before you get your parcel in the mail), just come go to the Bee Lights page on the website and it will advise the final price.

A pack of 10 Bee Lights will normally retail for $24.95.  On 18th March 2011 the price will be $24.95.  So, you have a limited opportunity to buy a pack of Bee Lights for as little as $14.95.  We just need to spread the word and get 500 packs pre-ordered.

ORDER NOW. We won’t charge your card until the 17th of March, when the price will be determined by how many have been sold at that time.

Bee lights - candleholder display

Why am I doing this (apart from to sell lots of candles)?

Business 101

There are 2 really good business reasons for doing this promo:

1. We have a lot of fixed overheads (rent, wages, vehicles, all the equipment etc etc).  By choosing to use only 100% pure beeswax and to manufacture in Australia, we also have low margins (otherwise we wouldn’t sell any candles).  So, that means we need to do volume.  We know that once someone burns a Queen B candle, they understand the difference.  So, we need more people trying (& loving) Queen B candles.  If we could double or triple our customer base, we’d not only have a happier, healthier nation (and planet), but we’d also be able to cover our expenses EVERY month and do more to support the beekeeping industry.

2. Worker bees… we do about 50% of our revenue in the last 3 months of the year.  That makes things a little quiet for the remainder of the year.  And yet, it take at least 2 years to train a candle-maker properly, and I have to give them consistency in working hours in order to keep them.  So, running a promotion like this keeps them busy.   In fact I’ve already assumed it is going to be a roaring success (we usually get a huge reaction to 10% off, so I am anticipating meltdown with up to 40% off) and we’re already in production on bee lights.

So, please help us spread the word.

These are truly one of my favourite candles and are going to be a bargain at their RRP of $24.95 (for 10 candles).  With this promotion, if we do it right, you have the opportunity to buy at up to 40% off.  Order now knowing that we won’t charge your card until the 18th March when we know what the price will be set at.  That’s no downside and lots of upside.

Cheers

Cate xx


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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Oh dear… this post is a little delayed.

Delighted to announced that the very talented Elke Ploetz (I think that she is the ‘Ploetz’ in Torkos Ploetz Design based in Black Rock) is the latest winner in the Queen B design competition.

 

Photographic competition winner - Elke Ploetz - Queen B tapers

 

How divine are those oranges with the cloves poked into them?… as Elke said “The aroma is amazing… honey, clove and orange.”

 

Elke Ploetz 2 - Queen B photographic competition winner

Elke Ploetz - Queen B Photographic Competition winner

 

Thanks for sharing Elke… and thank you for your beautiful note.  OMG there are some talented and creative people out there.

Cate xx


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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Part of the problem with soy wax candles is that the vast majority of soy beans grown (93% according to the latest figures – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soy) are the Monsanto, Roundup Ready, genetically modified soy beans.

I recently became aware of an organic farmer in WA, Steve Marsh, who has recently been stripped of his organic certification because 70% of his property was found to be contaminated by the GM soy grown on the property next door.   I decided to stand up and be counted.  I have donated to Steve’s legal fighting fund.  I am sharing this information with you because it matters, and because we can each in our own small way make a difference with the decisions we make.  You can read more about Steve’s case here.  You can also donate to his fighting fund on that site, and find information about the concerts and rallies being organised (in WA) to bring attention to the cause.

For those of you who love the occasional scented soy wax candle (yes, Seb, thinking about you), please consider this:

  • the description of soy wax as “natural” is misleading.  It  is actually chemically bleached, hydrogenated-with-heavy-metals soybean oil.  You can find out more about the hydrogenation process and additives here and here.
  • the vast majority of candles are scented with synthetic, petro-chemical fragrant oils.  (plenty of online references to that if you do a google search).  You could also re-look at our previous post on Fragranced Candles: The Hidden Risks.
  • there is enormous environmental damage caused by clear-felling virgin rainforest to make way for soy plantations.  You can read more in the WWF report by Jan Maarten Dros.  Or reading the Greenpeace article.  Or even on CorpWatch.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  This was actually supposed to be a rallying cry for Steve Marsh – to bring attention to his cause, hopefully donations to his legal fighting fund and perhaps some of our WA customers at his rallies.

On a positive note, none of the beekeepers we buy from have their bees on soy (or any other GM crop for that matter).  So you have a completely natural, non-toxic option available to you at any time by burning Queen B candles.

Cate xx


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

There are two daily blogs that I look forward to reading in my inbox each day… one from Seth Godin (touted as a “marketing guru” but I think he goes MUCH further than that, and the other from The Design Files.  One stimulates me mentally and the other gets my creative juices flowing… could there be a better way to start the day?

Today’s post by Seth was particularly thought provoking – Seth’s Blog: Initiators #1 [PTB].  Well actually it was the guy that Seth wrote about, Sasha Dichter, and the manifesto that he wrote ostensibly about Fundraising (but I read it more as being about believing wholeheartedly in what you do).

Whilst Sasha is writing about charitable fundraising, I found reading the manifesto interesting because on some level, as a small Australian manufacturer, I feel as if I am always trying to ‘fundraise’ to survive.  Sure, you get an amazing product in return, but it still involves me essentially asking for money.  And clearly, somewhere along the line I have picked up a belief that it is wrong to ask for money no matter how important or good the cause.  And yes, for the record, I do think that supporting Australian beekeepers and being an Australian manufacturer are both good causes.

What I realised in reading the manifesto is that have always felt ‘guilty’ about our pricing.  Sure, as the person who does the books, I have a better understanding than anyone that our pricing is actually below where it needs to be, but still, on some level, I know that people are thinking that I must be absolutely raking in the profits and living in the lap of luxury when nothing could be further from the truth.  I think part of my journey is to not worry so much about what other people think.  That’s what I got from Sasha’s manifesto.  And just incase the word “manifesto” is putting you off reading it, it is only 5 pages and will take 5 – 10 minutes to read (but much longer to ponder).

I’m still working out what this blog is about… ie whether it should be exclusively about bees & candles or whether it is a broader theatre to share a little about what makes Queen B tick and what we stand for.  At the moment I am erring on the side of the latter.  If you have any thoughts on the types of posts you particularly enjoy reading, let me know.

Cate xx

 

 



Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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Lovely to see a friend creating something extraordinary and to it being well received.

Fantastic review of the Greenhouse in today’s Good Living.  As another friend who is a chef said to me “15/20 is the equivalent of 1 hat”.  That’s not bad for a 24 year old chef and his florist mate who built the building!

You can read the review here.

 

Joost distributing Queen B light at the Greenhouse

 

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

I thought long and hard about the headline because ultimately I need every person I can get (male & female) to read this post, get outraged and take action.  The reference in the headline was a tip of the hat to the billions of female worker bees in beehives around Australia that tirelessly go about their work daily ensuring pollinated veggies on our table and their sweet amber liquid… honey.

I’ll get to the point…

In a move that beggars belief, the Federal Government have declared the Asian bee (apis cerana) endemic to Australia and used that move as reason to stop funding the program to rid our shores of these invaders. This is a threat to food security in Australia, Australian native bees, flora and fauna and to our beekeeping industry.

A little background

In May 2007 a nest of Asian bees was found in Cairns.  They are thought to have reached our shores on a boat masthead.  Since that time a dedicated team of beekeepers and scientists have worked tirelessly to find and eradicate swarms/hives.  Why the worry?… in short, because Asian bees are ineffective pollinators, don’t produce honey, are prone to swarming (ie unmanageable), compete for floral resources and disrupts queen rearing in honey bee hives.  They also destroy european honeybee and Australian native beehives.  In the Solomon Islands where they invaded recently, the honeybee population was decimated from 2000 hives to just 5.  Please take a moment to read the document below which goes into the issue in a little more detail.

Asian Bee Fact Sheet

It has been estimated that it will take $10 million over 2 years to eradicate the Asian bee.  I would have thought that this was a no-brainer investment considered in the light of the fact that bees in Australia are estimated to do more than $4 billion worth of food pollination PER ANNUM.  However, rather than dedicate the resources required, the Federal Goverment declared the Asian bee endemic on 28th February 2011 cutting the pittance of funding that was going to try to eradicate the problem.

So what are we doing about it?

The beekeeping industry, National Farmers Federation and Australian Food & Grocery Council are all galvinising forces and marching on Canberra today and tomorrow to highlight the issue.  The campaign calls for 3 outcomes:

1. Immediately allocate $10 million over two years to eradicate the Asian bee in Australia

2. Implement the recommendation of the 2008 Parliamentary Enquiry into the beekeeping industry (More Than Honey) by allocating an additional $50 million annually to maintain a healthy beekeeping industry and pollination services

3. Provide funding for the establishment and operation of the Co-operative Research Centre for Bee Research and Food Security.

What can you do?

Firstly, stop feeling powerless.  I know that in the face of so many stupid decisions made by our government it is easy to just sit back and do nothing, but that is not an option here.  We can’t have them selling off all of our food bowl land to overseas investors (in whose countries we are no allowed to buy land) and now further threatening food security barely trying to eradicate the Asian bee.  We at least need to throw some resources at it.

You can visit www.securefoodsavebees.com to learn more about what is happening and use the very easy tool to send an email to the Minister, Joe Ludwig.

You could also send a letter/email to your local, Federal Member of Parliament.  You can find your local member and their contact details here.

 

Asian bee vs European honeybee

 

 


Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

Read Full Post »

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