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Posts Tagged ‘queen bee’

Last week I opened the hive to see how things were going (very well it would seem) and I managed to get a sneaky shot of the other queen…

Queen B's queen bee

Queen B's queen bee

She’s the large one in the centre looking like she’s tired and over laying eggs!

A couple of other beautiful shots too… the one following is of a worker bee cleaning her proboscis (that’s the bee’s mouth) which is straw-like to allow her to suck nectar from the flowers.

Proboscis polishing

Proboscis polishing

The photograph below shows worker bees coming back to the hive with full pollen baskets (on their back legs).  The bees fly into a flower and, being covered in fine hair, the get covered in pollen.  They then use their front legs to tuck the pollen back into the pollen baskets on their back legs.  Amazing.  Pollen tastes a little like sweet, nutty flour and is packed with protein, amino acids and every vitamin known to mankind.  Good one nature.

Full pollen baskets

Full pollen baskets

The final photograph I thought worthy of sharing shows that even though all the bees in a hive may have the same mother, as half sisters, they bear the markings of their different drone father’s.  On the right hand side of the photograph below you can see a bee which has much darker markings than the bee below.  This is a good sign and tells the beekeeper that the queen bee mated with drones from other hives/with different genetic markers.

Front and centre in the photograph you can also see one bee passing nectar to another.  This is part of the process by which flower nectar gets converted into honey (ie by mixing it with enzymes in the bees stomach).  It is later matured in the hive whereby the bees flap their wings to evaporate moisture from the flower nectar (which is around 70% water when collected).  When the water content reaches 15 – 17% the cell is capped to signal that the flower nectar has been ripened into honey.

Half sisters and Sharing the Love

Half sisters and Sharing the Love

There endeth the lesson.  Can’t believe how much I love having bees.

Meant to be writing a eulogy for Lizzie.  I just can’t get those words to flow so easily.

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, tealight candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.

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One highlight in a Queen B day is when we receive photographs of our candles lighting up people’s lives. On this basis, and to encourage everyone to get out their digital cameras and to burn their Queen B candles, we run a photography competition drawn twice a year (Jan & July) with the winner receiving $300 of Queen B candles.

We are delighted to announce the winner of the competition for the last 6 months of 2009 was Sarah Thurrowgood from Melbourne. Below are some of her beautiful photographs…

Please share yours with us too.

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 1

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 2

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 3

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 4

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 5

Queen B photographic competition - Jan 2010 winner 6


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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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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