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QueenB Blog

From the hive

  • There's no such thing as FREE shipping!

    For years now I've been reading "research" showing that when you offer "free" shipping your online sales increase exponentially... and for years I've been resisting because ultimately there is no such thing as free shipping, it is simply built into the cost of a product and I haven't wanted to put our prices up.

    However, we're redoing our website at the moment and I'm doing my head in a little over this one.  We either need to double Queen B sales in the next 12 months (low margin x twice the sales = covering costs) or put our prices up.  So, I thought I'd turn the question over to you guys.

    First, some facts for you to base your decision on (and please don't read this as a winge... I absolutely love what I do.  I simply think that it is helpful for those of you who don't run a manufacturing or online business to have some information upon which to base your decision/vote).

    1. Queen B is a very low margin business.  Pure Australian beeswax costs around 50 times the price of paraffin, and 20 times the price of [chemically bleached, heavy metal hydrogenated soya bean oil] soy wax.  Every Queen B candle is handmade in Australia (paying the highest manufacturing wages in the OECD).  Our packaging is printed on 100% recycled card with soy based inks.

    We haven't increased our prices across the board for over 8 years despite EVERY cost in the business going up.

    2. It takes an average of 10 minutes to process an online order broken up as follows:
    - 1 minute to print the order & process the card
    - 1 minute to prepare the invoice
    - 1 minute to write a personal note
    - 2 minutes to prepare the box (water activated arabic gum paper tape, brown tissue paper & biodegradable corn flour foam)
    - 1 minute to pick the stock
    - 2 minutes to pack the parcel carefully and lovingly to ensure you're absolutely delighted at your end
    - 1 minute to enter the shipping details into eParcel (or write the courier label & send a text for pick up)
    - 1 minute to take the box downstairs

    (that's an average! Smaller orders take around 75% of the time, larger orders may be 150%).  That means we can pack an average of 6 orders an hour and with labour costing around $25 per hour (taking into account superannuation and workers comp) that means it costs around $4.17 to process and pack an order.

    3. It's costs around $2.00 in packing materials to pack an order (we use Australian made boxes, arabic gum paper tape, brown tissue paper, educational information in with the order, a beautiful sticker &  the invoice is printed on 100% recycled brown paper)!

    4. Australia Post charge based on weight and where the parcel is being shipped to.  The average cost to ship a 1.5kg parcel (this is the average weight of our online orders over the past 12 months) within Australia is $10.50.

    So on average it costs us around $16.67 to process, pack and send an online order.

    The costs outlined above don't take into account our rent, electricity, wages (for everyone other than the order packer), telephones, furniture & equipment, EFTPOS and bank fees, tradies (all too frequent visitors to the hive), packaging design, photography, web design, accounting fees etc etc.  And remember 10% of what you pay is GST which we're simply collecting for the government and gets paid to them regardless of our profitability.

    OK, so that's a quick small business 101... now for the big decision...

    Our current shipping policy is that shipping is a flat rate of $11 for orders under $100 and 'free' shipping on orders over $100.  Basically we subsidise small orders by $6 or so, which by the time you've taken into account the cost of the product to produce and the overheads of the business makes them very marginal.  The larger orders at least contribute to the overheads.  BUT we know that when someone tries a Queen B candle, they will more often than not be converted so we can't afford to make that shipping hurdle too high or too much!

    I need you to really dig deep here and think about it honestly.  There's no point in telling us to leave things as they are if you've not gone ahead with a purchase from Queen B because of the cost of shipping.  This is a really pivotal decision for us and I'd really appreciate your vote and I'd particularly love your thoughts if you have another idea or your feedback if the cost of shipping has played into decisions that you've made in the past.

    So, how do you think we should handle online shipping in the future?

    [polldaddy poll=8841601]


    If you'd rather put your feedback in an email, please email me at thehive[at]

    Thank you so much in anticipation.  Queen B has always been an amazing community of wise individuals and I look forward to seeing and hearing your thoughts.

    Cate xx

  • Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder

    One of the fabulous things about being an Australian manufacturer is the quality control (and for a perfectionist, that's a fabulous thing)!  With all that heart and soul invested, I'm generally enamoured with everything that we brand Queen B.  Occasionally, however, we have a hand in creating something that is really special.

    Our new Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder is in this category.  It really is just extraordinarily beautiful.  Made from solid brass, it is weighty and substantial.  It is designed to be used with our Bee Lights or Thins in to top or you can turn it upside down and use 12cm Beeswax Tapers in the bottom.

    A sculpture on it's own.  A paperweight when required.  A little bit of bling when shone.  A holder of bee created light.  The only luxury it doesn't deliver is a martini!

    Solid brass egg shaped candle holder for beeswax tapers and dinner candles Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder
    Reversible egg 2 low res Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder with Bee Light burning
    Reversible and elaborate egg low res Elaborate egg & Reversible Brass Egg Candleholder



  • Colourful new glass candleholders to brighten your day

    As the weather turns, the sleeves lengthen and the windows and doors close a little we've been injecting a little colour into our lives at the hive with these gorgeous, colourful, glass tealight candleholders.

    If you've been with us for a while you may remember that we stocked them years ago.  We moved on and now we've come back.  There simply isn't anything on the market quite like them and we've had many requests to get them back in.  So, they're back in a whole lot of new designs.

    You can find our colourful, glass tealight candleholders on the Queen B website here.  It's a whole lot cheaper than flights to Africa, India, Amsterdam or Moscow and may be the only way you're going to enjoy the beach in the next few months"! :-)

    Colourful glass fishbowl candleholder with African sunset depiction Africa
    Escape to Amsterdam without the price of an air ticket with this colourful glass telaight candleholder Amsterdam
    Transport yourself back to summer with this colourful beach house scene on this glass candleholder Beachhouse
    Dandelion glass tealight candleholder for beeswax tealight candles from Queen B Dandelion
    Colourful tealight candleholder - Lionface wordpress Lionface
    Colourful tealight candleholder - Sydney Harbour wordpress Sydney Harbour


    Glass tealight candle holder featuring a depiction of gustav limpet's iconic art Klimt
    Transport yourself to India with this colourful, glass tealight candle holder Mumbai
    Looking for a special gift, an australiana gift colourful glass tealight candleholder Day at the Beach
    colourful glass tealight candleholder for beeswax tea light  candles from Queen B Kremilin
  • These are a few of our favourite things

    I was tossing up between that title (which started the song playing in my mind!) and "I'm getting started with beeswax candles, but I don't know which ones would be best for me" or "I love burning beeswax candles and love a discount"!

    We've recently created new "Beeswax Bounty Boxes" to add to our range, packed with some of our best sellers.  If you want to venture beyond Queen B beeswax tealight candles, but you're not quite sure where to start, these are a great place to start.  And because we can pre-pack them in quiet times and do 50 at a time, you're buying at a discount to the RRP and they all come with free shipping within Australia.

    beeswax candle discounted box of Queen B's best selling pure bees wax candles $100 Beeswax Bounty Box

    $100 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes a $10 discount & free shipping)

    1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)     $ 20.00         36 hrs
    1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                            $ 25.00       48 hrs
    1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                 $ 25.00       40 hrs
    1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                        $ 25.00       40 hrs
    1 x Sweetness and Light                                                        $ 15.00        10 hrs
    Total value = 17 Queen B beeswax candles                $110.00      174 hrs


    Buy cheap beeswax candles in this discounted box from Queen B - maker of the world's finest beeswax candles $135 Beeswax Bounty Box

    $135 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes a $17 discount & free shipping)

    1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)        $20.00        36 hrs
    1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                               $25.00       48 hrs
    1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $25.00        40 hrs
    1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                         $25.00        40 hrs
    1 x Sweetness and Light                                                         $ 15.00       10 hrs
    1 x Jam Jar Tealights (2 jars + 8 candles)                                $25.00        32 hrs
    1 x Votive in clear glass                                                           $10.00      15 hrs
    1 x Votive refill                                                                         $  7.00      15 hrs
    Total value = 27 Queen B beeswax candles                   $152.00      234 hrs



    samples of best selling candles from the Queen B range of pure beeswax candles $165 Beeswax Bounty Box

    $165 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes $30 discount & free shipping)

    1 x Jam Jar Talights (2 jars + 8 candles)                                 $ 25.00       40 hrs
    1 x Reversible Beehive candleholder (brass)                               $ 30.00
    1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)       $ 20.00       36 hrs
    1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                              $ 25.00       48 hrs
    1 x Pack of 10 x Bee Lights                                                   $ 25.00        30 hrs
    1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $ 25.00       40 hrs
    1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                        $ 25.00       40 hrs
    1 x Box of 5 x 8-9hr beeswax tealight candles (clear cups)     $ 20.00      42 hrs
    Total value = 38 Queen B beeswax candles                  $195.00       276 hrs




    Discounted bees wax candles at cheap prices with beeswax tealight candles, tapers, honeycomb rolled pillar candles and dinner candles $200 Beeeswax Bounty Box

    $200 Beeswax Bounty Box (includes $255 discount + free shipping)

    1 x Squat beeswax pillar                                                         $ 25.00     40 hrs
    1 x Box of 9 x 4-5hr beeswax tealight candles (metal cups)       $ 20.00     36 hrs
    1 x Box of 4 x 20cm beeswax dinner tapers                              $ 25.00     48 hrs
    1 x Pack of 10 x 30cm Bee Lights                                              $ 25.00     30 hrs
    1 x 15cm solid beeswax pillar                                                  $ 25.00     40 hrs
    1 x Box of 5 x 8-9hr beeswax tealight candles (clear cups)       $ 20.00      42 hrs
    1 x Reversible Beehive candleholder (brass)                                $ 30.00
    1 x Jam Jar Tealights- box of 2 jars with 8 candles                     $ 25.00      40 hrs
    1 x Honeycomb-10cm narrow hand rolled candle                       $ 25.00      30 hrs
    1 x Honeycomb-15cm narrow hand rolled candle                       $ 35.00     50 hrs
    Total value = 40 Queen B beeswax candles                      $255.00     356hrs

    I can't even begin to describe the process we went through trying to work out what to include and what to leave out.  I feel as if I'm setting up many of the candles for years of therapy!  Rest assured that if something doesn't look incredible and burn beautifully it isn't part of the Queen B range.  You may well be able to find cheaper beeswax candles, but there's a money back guarantee from me that the look and burn quality will not be up to a Queen B standard.

    I think the best way of honouring the extraordinary gift from bees that is beeswax, is to strive to be as precise, as fastidious and (almost) as hard working ... with the added benefits of human creativity and consciousness in the candles we make.  It's one of the major reasons we continue to hand make every Queen B candle.  The work of an artisan is always superior to something churned out of a machine.

    Looking forward to lighting up your days and nights.

    Cate, Sarah, Kath & Maria (the worker bees)!

  • A fitting occasion that our first post for 2015 would be about love

    It may appear that we're making a slow start to 2015 here at Queen B, but nothing could be further from the truth... our gracefulness belies the busy paddling under water!  And there's nothing keeping us busier this week than sending Valentines Day orders.

    Some lament the rampant commercialism of Valentine's Day, I've always appreciated the reminder to tell the people who I love how grateful I am to have them in my life.  No matter how mindful a life I try to live, I find that oftentimes my busyness gets in the way of wanton acts of love and gratitude.

    For the past 7 years I've used Valentine's Day as an occasion to show a special thanks for our volunteer packaging angels whose generosity has kept us afloat, retailers whose passion for supporting Queen B has gone above and beyond, our worker bees other assorted lovelies who have contributed to the cause.  This afternoon we've been busy writing love letters to go to our various very special friends with a pack of Bee Lights.  At $27.95 including shipping it's the perfect little gift that packs a loving punch without breaking the bank.

    Pure beeswax taper candles to send to say thank you or i love you this valentines day Last minute Valentines Day gift - send a little light to someone who lights up your life

    It seems as if the word has also got out about our hampers (only took 10 years!) - so we've been tailoring beautiful hampers to various budgets.  The most popular hamper this year has been a $100 Valentines hamper (including courier delivery in Sydney) packed full to the brim with our beeswax Tealights, Bee Lights, honey nougat, Sweetness & Light and, of course, Burning Love!!

    Valentines Day hamper with candles, honey nougat, honey Valentines Day hamper of sweetness and light

    If you're wanting your gift to arrive before Valentines Day, please place orders prior to 9am tomorrow (thursday, 12th February).  Please note that courier delivery is for Sydney only - for all other areas we use Australia Post and can't guarantee delivery prior to Valentines.

    Speaking of gratitude, we're trying to get a better profile of our customers...

    [polldaddy poll=8648570]
  • Shipping update for Christmas orders

    My phone has been ringing all day with customers wanting to know whether they'll get their orders if they order today, so I thought I'd just let you know the current state of affairs.

    We're dispatching orders within 1 day of receiving them (often quicker).  Based on past experience, delivery times are as follows:

    Sydney - generally overnight (feel free to order any time until next Monday - the sooner the better)
    Melbourne & Brisbane - generally within 2 business days (feel free to order until say Wednesday or Thursday - the sooner the better)
    Regional NSW, VIC, QLD - generally within 3 business days (feel free to order today or tomorrow)
    SA, WA, TAS - generally within 5 days (i.e. please order TODAY for deliveries wanted prior to Christmas)

    We use Australia Post for parcels and always put your email address in so that you get a tracking number and can track your parcel.  We are also happy to send parcels Express Post and we charge at cost (i.e. we don't make money on shipping).  If you would like your order sent Express Post please write that in the comments field and we'll call you with a shipping quote PRIOR to charging your card for the order - so you can cancel it if you want to.

    We are open at the hive in Brookvale until 4.30pm on 24th December and would LOVE to see you there if you're in Sydney.  For all of our Eastern Suburbs, Southern Sydney and North Shore friends, it is really NOT THAT FAR to the Northern Beaches, I promise.  And we even have good coffee!!

    Sending love and light on this craziest of crazy days.


  • Porcelain house candleholders

    I read today that there are only 11 days until Christmas... not sure what I thought the date was, but I certainly didn't think it was that close.  [The world seems to be rotating faster this year.] 

    We've got loads of lovely things in at the hive that I haven't found the time to tell you about yet.  I'm aiming to get that fixed fast.

    First up are these stunning porcelain tealight houses

    Porcelain tealight house, porcelain candleholder, tealight holder, tlite, bees wax tea light candle holder



    The Small Porcelain Tealight House candleholder is 15cm H x 7cm W and retails for $16.50.

    Porcelain tealight house candle holder for pure beeswax tea light candle for festive table decoration Small Porcelain Tealight House Candle holder


    That Large Porcelain Tealight House Candle holder is 18cm H x 10cm W and retails for $22.00.

    Porcelain candleholder house for tealight candles made from pure bee wax Large Porcelain Tealight House Candle holder


    I try not to buy things in that are too "occasion specific" because the last thing we want is things gathering dust in the cupboards for the majority of a year.  I must say though that I'm always happy when something is great for an occasion and also perfect year round.  I think these would make an absolutely stunning festive decoration with the lights from the beeswax tealight candle twinkling through the windows, but they'll also look great any time of year (particularly in winter)!

    I'll be back in the morning to tell you about some other great goodies!

    Cate xx

  • La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Glassware

    Among the clever folk in our local small business community are Bertrand and Craig who, amongst other things, bring a range of La Rochere glassware in from Bertie's homeland, France.  You may be thinking that I've lost my marbles stocking their wares given my passion for Australian manufacturing but I'm also passionate about things with provenance and any quality good that is designed to last and doesn't end up in landfill within 12 months because it is so well made.  And, of course, their "Abeille" or bee range gets my vote simply for celebrating the sisterhood!

    La Rochere French glassware, tableware and dinnerware – tumblers, wine glasses, water glasses, candleholders, plates, bowls and carafes – are for living each day as if it were your last.  It is made at very high temperatures and is famous for its uniquely clear glass and hardiness.  Made in France since 1475, the La Rochere factory is the oldest operating glass factory in Europe.

    We've got some of their bestsellers and we've got them in cartons of 6 with a 10% discount.

    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Highball dessert or sundae glass

    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Carafe 1L La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Carafe - 1L
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee 600ml bowl La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Bowl (600ml)
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Mug La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Mug
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Red Wine Glass La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Red Wine Glass
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee White Wine Glass La Rochere Napoleonic Bee White Wine Glass
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Lowball glass tumbler La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Lowball Glass Tumbler
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Highball glass tumbler La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Highball Glass Tumbler
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Highball dessert or sundae glass La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Dessert or Sundae Glass
    La Rochere Abeille Napoleonic Bee Highball dessert or sundae glass La Rochere Napoleonic Bee Champagne Flute


    Historically each King of France (yes, they were all kings) chose something as their emblem. For instance Louis XIV chose the sun. Napoleon chose the bee for its industriousness and to signify that through unity you achieve strength. It was a rallying cry for his army.

    The bee design is no less relevant today. Whether you like to feast as Kings and Queens or whether you simply admire the industry of our bee comrades, the elegance and simplicity of the Napoleonic Bee range from La Rochere is fitting. And, like its namesake, the La Rochere glassware goes the extra mile by being dishwasher safe.

    Happy to bring you more great quality, bee goodies!


    Cate xx

  • Simple festive table decoration

    If you're looking for a very simple to make and yet extraordinarily beautiful, festive table decoration take a look at what Julie Hall from The Black Hen has created.  Julie and I had a conversation a while back about all the simple ways people could make a candleholder for our Bee Lights candles and voila, she sent me these images today to share on our blog.  I get to meet some really creative, generous, warm, grounded and brilliant people in my life as a maker of bee created light and none more so than Julie.

    Whilst I've called it a "festive" decoration, if you removed the festive adornment you could use it all year around.

    What you'll need:
    * a fallen tree branch
    * a drill
    * festive adornments if you like
    * Bee Light candles
    * common sense

    * Find a beautiful branch (you want one that is stable and won't wobble... if required you could use a belt sander to sand the base so that it sits flat and stable on your table)
    * Drill holes where you would like to insert your Bee Light candles (I'd suggest using a 6 or 7mm drill bit).  While our Bee Lights candles are often wider than that, you want a snug fit and it is easy to warm the base of the candles with your fingers and simply massage it to a narrower diameter at the base)
    * Insert Bee Lights and fire them up!

    A word about the common sense required:
    * you're putting candles (ie a flame) into timber (ie a flammable holder), so you either need to pay attention and blow the candles out when they are say 1cm above the branch OR you could drill your holes wider (say 10mm) and then put some blue tac or something similar around the base of the candle including underneath it and coming to a level slightly above the branch (ie something that is non flammable) and that way the candles will put themselves out when they reach the blue tac rather than setting the branch on fire!  Well that's my theory anyway.

    Simpl DIY festive table decorations for a rustic, country feel

    Simple DIY festive table decoration idea with bees wax candles from Queen Bee

    Nothing says festive table decorations like pure bee wax candles a brand and holly

    Table decoration idea with this rustic branch candleholder for pure beeswax candles

    Festive table decoration 6

    If you love this, you decide to make one and or you just think Julie is the dogs bollocks for giving us this simple idea, please pop over to The Black Hen facebook page and show her some love or pop a comment below.  And if you do make one, please, please send through an image.  For creatives, there is nothing more wonderful than seeing an idea take hold and be loved and appreciated.


    Cate xx

  • Gift Guide for the Special Women in your life

    I've been asking around a few of the special girls in my life in the past couple of weeks about what their favourite candles in our range were and all I can say is that I have a very diverse friendship base in terms of candles loved!!  So these are just a few of my faves and all 10% off until 1pm 06/12/14

    Gift Guide for Special Women


    1. Mini Marilyn Candleholders (RRP $29.95) - available in Nickel or Brass.  Add a pack of 10 Bee Lights to go in the holders (RRP $24.95)
    2. Casablanca - available in 5 different sizes (from RRP $29.95)
    3. Jam Jar Tealights (8 jars + 8 candles) RRP $24.95
    4. Personalised candles - we've got 10% off the personalisation for 24 hours only
    5. Dinosaur Designs - Atelier (3 different designs in 3 different sizes) (from RRP $29.95)
    6. 45cm Tapers (RRP $24.95)

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