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Posts Tagged ‘bee’

 

The rest of my “Highlights from Tassie” posts appear in no particular order.  They were all equally magical in their own way.

The one I’m sharing today is about my favourite work of art at MONA (the Museum of Old and New Art) in Tasmania.  I am confident that it was not a curated part of the exhibition, but if art is something that provokes an emotional response, that makes you stop and ponder, that is visually grabbing and that inspires you, then this was, hands down, the highlight for me.

OK, so I’m not going to win any cinematography awards, the resolution is dodgy and whatever I was doing that makes the click, click sound is a little annoying, BUT these are my highlights and unfortunately that is the best that I can do to share with you what was a completely profound and beautiful moment, indeed one of the 4 most profound and beautiful moments in 2 ½ weeks in Tassie… which is only a reflection on my camera skills, not on the rest of my time in Tassie.

Hopefully it will inspire you to look for more bees in your day and watch with delight as they go on their merry way.

 

[BTW the building is also striking and stunning and the rest of the art was, I thought, variable but entertaining].  MONA request on their website that photographs of the art not be published without permission… so we’ll just stick to the building and my favourite work of art.  I really hope you enjoy it too.  There is something so delightful about seeing nature in all its glory and loving itself sick!  The garden was pumping like a mardi gras dance floor.  Flitting here and there.  Sequins and tiara’s.  Bum waggles.  A touch of pink.  And oh so beautiful to watch!

[No, I'm not outing myself, I love a gay man as much as all of us other single Sydney chicks too terrified of getting hurt!]

MONA Gallery, Tasmania

MONA Gallery, Tasmania

I only realised the irony of this photograph later... I wonder if he chose the t-shirt specifically?

I only realised the irony of this photograph later... I wonder if he chose the t-shirt specifically?

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One of the many things that I love about going to work is opening the door and smelling that lovely honey aroma.  I also love that in spring and summer, scout bees come by to check out why it smells so good (looking for a source of nectar).  They have a good fly around and smell of the candles, but we’re usually too busy to capture it.  This week I had my camera at hand just at the right moment…

 

Bee certified Queen B tealight candles

Bee-utiful beeswax tealights - Queen B style

I put in the one with the bee flying just so you didn’t think that it was a bee pin or something like that!

 

[A little lesson: In a hive of say 50,000 bees (which would be average), there is 1 queen, perhaps a hundred or so drones and 49,900 odd female worker bees.  The worker bees work from the moment they are born.  One role they take on in life is scouting for sources of nectar and pollen.  Several hundred bees may perform this task in a hive.  When they find a good source, they go back to the hive and do a 'waggle' dance or 'bum dance' to tell the other bees what direction to fly, how far to fly and how many bees should go.  NB Because beeswax has neither harvestable flower nectar, nor pollen, Queen B is not a good source, so thankfully whilst we have bees, it is rarely more than a dozen or two in a day.]

 


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.

Quality control supervisor of Queen B candles

 

 

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Apart from being passionate about beeswax candles, I am also passionate about educating kids about the wonderous world of bees and honey.  To that end we have a lot of educational information in the shop ranging from big content and picture rich posters I designed to fabulous children’s books about bees.

To be honest, it is seldom used.  I’ve reflected on that a lot wondering whether there was a better way to present the information to make it more compelling.  Whether I needed to do more signage.  What more I could do to encourage that educational aspect of what we do… but ultimately our calls to over 70 schools have gone unheeded, and people rush in and rush out of the store.

Imagine then my delight this morning when a mum and dad came in with their two sons.  They did a honey tasting with the kids, and then while I was engrossed in conversation with the dad about forestry (it’s a fascinating subject), this happened.

Queen B Education Department

When I turned around, I actually got goose bumps.

What a wonderful sight.


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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Last weekend Sydney City Council had the official opening of the new Town Hall replete in solar panel splendour.  As part of the celebrations, the Live Green House was on location as were volunteers from the WWF Earth Hour team.  We were approached to ask if we could send along someone to teach beeswax candle-rolling.  With over 20,000 candles rolled, we sent in Ade (bung knee and all) and from all accounts it was very popular.

Queen B candle-rolling class at Live Green house

Earth Hour is traditionally one of our busier times of year thanks to the ‘naturally carbon neutral’ status of pure beeswax candles (according to the organisers themselves).  Of course it makes sense that pure beeswax, made by bees to store honey WOULD be more earth friendly than petro-chemical candles (paraffin) or hydrogenated/bleached soya oil or palm oil candles.  Then again, based on our sales, about 99.99999% of people are turning off their lights and lighting environmentally damaging (not to mention the damage to your health) candles.

For more information on the toxicity of candles, read our post on the article I wrote for Living Wisdom.


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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New ideas for beeswax candles come thick and fast at Queen B… the issue with launching them is typically sorting out the production process, investing in the required equipment, the cost of having our packaging printed in Australia and where to house the range given the cost of rent keeps our premises snug!

Tiffany does...

Sometimes we hit on a design that insists we find a way.

On this occasion we decided to do a limited edition run.

With no further ado, we welcome (for a short time) Tiffany does Casablanca and Tiffany does Marrakech!.. “Tiffany”… well that’s that lovely teal blue colour they individually painted in, and Casablanca and Marrakech are two of our most popular designs!

Individually painted in very short runs, we’ve only made 20 of each in the 20cm narrow and the 20cm fat pillar sizes.

While we had a long chat internally about the additional labour cost of doing a short run product, we’ve decided to price them at the same price as our normal rolled pillar ranges.  If you want one, get in fast.

To see the range, go to http://queenb.com.au/shop/index.php?cPath=166_220.


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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A few months ago I was approached by Living Wisdom magazine to write an article about the toxicity of candles.

Living Wisdom magazine - Candles that Kill

Agreeing to write the article represented an opportunity for me to share some of the research that influenced my decision to only make 100% pure beeswax candles at Queen B.  Given the financial challenges involved with running a business making pure beeswax candles – ie beeswax costs 20 – 50 times the price of paraffin, soy or palm wax – it is not a decision made lightly.  It is, however, a decision made after extensive research.

With only 1500 words, it is necessarily a summary, but nevertheless, it is a starting point for anyone who wants to know more about the toxicity of candles.  Unfortunately on the other side of this debate are the petroleum refining companies who sell paraffin, and the billion dollar soy and palm industries.  I know that in penning this article I may be getting some people offside.  Having said that, I think that everyone has a right to make their own decision… to have research at their fingertips and to make an informed decision.

This article also briefly touches on metal core wicks – and why we choose to only use 100% pure cotton wicks at Queen B – and fragranced/scented candles – and why we don’t scent Queen B candles.

To read the article, go to http://www.queenb.com.au/candles-that-kill.php.

Please feel free to post your feedback below.


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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We are usually blessed to received lovely emails in response to my (newsy) newsletters, BUT after our last one, I received some negative feedback.  It read:

“Your email was way too confusing and LONG.  And the last one was too and I didn’t read it. Don’t expect people to read through all of it.  We’re too busy doing other things than read a long, windy emails spruiking products. Just a casual comment to help with you further marketing.”

Very to the point!  As it doesn’t happen often, and it was from a customer who actually purchases our pure Australian beeswax candles (ie someone who I can assume likes what we do generally) I gave it a lot of thought. On most points, I think his comments were probably true – yes, my newsletters are long.  This is because I like to share what we are up to.  To share the journey (so to speak).  I also don’t expect people to read through all of them… although I am absolutely touched and delighted to hear back from people who do.  I think that is a real privilege.  It is one reason why they end up being too long… because there is so much to tell you.  Perhaps boring to some, but real.  What I want people to know is that small business, and particularly running a small business hand-making 100% pure Australian beeswax candles, is incredibly rewarding, but a tough road.

The part of the feedback that hurt was that he thought they were ‘long, windy emails spruiking product’… which firstly proved to me that he hadn’t read most of my emails (as indeed he said), but made me worry that that is what people think my newsletters are.

To me, newsletters generally have a couple of goals:

1. Share a story/our journey, give an update, tell an anecdote etc; and/or

2. Try to sell product

In my own (biased) mind, I have always tried to err heavily on the side of the first goal.  Ultimately I feel that if people appreciate what you’re trying to do, appreciate your product, understand all of the thinking and integrity that goes into creating it, they will support you… ie buy product.  I don’t think that people buy product because you tell them to in a newsletter.

That said, whilst this business has survived on love for a long time, that won’t keep paying our commercial rent, beekeepers, wick manufacturers, Australian printers and wages for much longer.  So, yes, I do try to sell product… but I always try to do it in a way that is gentle and encouraging and relevant, rather than spruiking.

Having said all of that, I have decided to make some changes to our newsletter…

If you do read our newsletters, you will know that I have lots to say!  I will now say a lot more of that on my blog.  So, if you want the gory detail you can read things in detail on the blog.  If, however, you want the highlights of what’s going on in our world, you can just read the newsletter which will keep you up to date (briefly) with what we’re doing and what’s new.

If you have any thoughts on our newsletters, please post a comment below.


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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