Thursday, 11 July 2013

Featuring... The Little Honey Bee Company

Hi everyone,

Am just loving this weather at the moment, I hope it lasts!

This is a featured interview that I have been meaning to post for a while and things got a bit too hectic.  I find this crafter fascinating, so without further ado, here is The Little Honey Bee Company....

Ok, so let’s start with a little bit about you…

What inspired you to start The Little Honey Bee Company?

The Little Honey Bee Company came about by accident quite literally.  A few years ago I had a bad accident and was housebound for the best part of a year.  To suddenly find myself stuck in a second floor flat when I was used to being out and about was a bit tough.  I decided that I could either sit and be miserable or I could do something.   

I had always wanted to have a go at making soaps, salves etc and as honey and beeswax was something I had plenty of I decided to see how many different products I could make for Christmas presents.  I was really pleased how everyone enjoyed their presents and the lovely comments I got so I just carried on making from there.  I thought selling a few honey and beeswax soaps would be an ideal way to pay for my beekeeping hobby so I had my products safety assessed so I could sell them.   

The Little Honey Bee Company grew out of that hobby.

What does a typical day look like for you?

There's no such thing as a typical day for me!  Weekends I usually have events and so I'm up at silly o'clock to load the car and drive to events – I do love getting out and meeting people at events.

Weekdays always start with a nice long dog walk, a quick check on the beehives and feed the chickens.  Then it really depends what needs doing.  Some days it will be making more products, other days I might have talks to give or candle rolling sessions to host, or I may be trying out some new products, or I might have a large candle order for a wedding, .  

During the summer there's always the checks on the bees to be done and sometimes swarms to collect.  You never know when you might get a call to go and collect a swarm so that's always fun.  Late summer there's the honey to extract and jar, then autumn is very busy for me once everyone starts buying their Christmas gifts.   

After Christmas its cleaning and preparing beekeeping equipment ready for the year ahead.  This year I used the quieter months to set up my website.  Because there's always something different to be done I never get chance to be bored.

It’s amazing how many products can be created from honey and beeswax, what’s your personal favourite?

I love all the products I make and its difficult to choose a favourite, but I think it would have to be the soap.  I love making the soap using the traditional cold process method.  As this creates a long lasting bar of soap that lathers and retains the naturally produced glycerin and the moisturising properties of the oils used it can also be used for shaving with and as a shampoo bar (with no need for a conditioner) so one bar replaces lots of products for my family.

Honey and soap - what a great combination

What are the benefits from using these natural products?

Honey has been referred to as “nature's golden healer” for its many benefits.  Both honey and beeswax have antiseptic and antibactieral properties.   As honey is hygroscopic it draws moisture from the atmosphere, making it a great moisuriser.  Beeswax is waterproof and will help to create a barrier locking moisture in.  Mother nature really knew what she was doing when she gave us beeswax and honey.

Am I right in thinking that there is a decline in the number of honey bees?  What can we do to help them?

Things have been a bit tough for bees in general, and honey bees suffered with the wet summer and the long winter just like the rest of us.  From speaking to other local beekeepers colony losses this winter have been a lot higher than usual which is a worry.  However, as bees have been around longer than we have I'm optimistic that all will be well.  One of the best things that people can do for all bees is to plant plenty of bee friendly plants in their gardens, allotments, balconies etc, especially those that are available to bees earlier or later in the year, such as crocuses which provide lots of early pollen.  Lots of people have heard that bees can be fed a sugar syrup and ask me about leaving out either sugar syrup or honey for bees – please don't.  This could help spread disease.

Gorgeous handmade beeswax candles

I find myself drawn to so many crafts, are there any crafts that you would like to have a go at doing?

I'd love to be able to sew.  I've made the odd cushion cover or two, but I've seen some gorgeous things on some of the craft pages I'd love to able to make.  I love handmade rag dolls and teddy bears as well as patchwork quilts.

What does 2013 hold for The Little Honey Bee Company?

Oh I've got lots and lots of events booked for this year which I'm looking forward to.  I've also got lots of ideas for new products that I'd like to make, but mostly I'm looking forward to lots of time spent beekeeping over the summer months.

Add some buzz to your bath!

And finally, where in the world would your dream holiday be?

The only time I've ever been abroad is a school exchange trip to France and a couple of day trips!  I can't really say I have a yearning to go anywhere in particular.  However, if my dream holiday involved anything I wanted I think I'd like to visit beekeepers in other countries and see how beekeeping differs there, the different seasons and climates and the different styles of hives.

So there you have it, who would have thought that you could get so much from those cute bees!  To find out more and to buy some of these gorgeous products you can visit The Little Honey Bee Company via the following:

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