The Buzz - Episode 1, May/June 2022

Welcome to The Buzz. A place for updates on all things Mili Bees.

Here we will share what has been happening behind the scenes with our bees, introduce our new products, enlighten you on things we are working on, share general facts about our beloved bees as well as recipes and more!

There has been a lot going on recently as we head into winter and ensure all our hives are healthy and well supported to get through the cooler months. This process includes inspecting each hive to ensure there are no diseases or pests present who can take a strong hold throughout the winter, checking the strength of the colony by checking presence of brood and an active queen. We also ensure the colony have enough food stores for the season and make sure the boxes are the appropriate size. 

Once we have completed this process for all our hives we "close down" until the warmer weather returns. We wont open our hives again until September when the next honey season starts.

The apiary is growing beautifully with the support of our extraordinary Hive Hosts. Currently we have six hosts working with Mili Bees with more joining us all the time. We are a small business but it would not be possible to continue to do the work we do in hive management and urban agriculture building without our incredible hosts. We have a wait list for hosting opportunities so if you would like more information please head to the Host A Beehive link or send us an email.

Image of brood frame with bees tending to the cells.

You may have also noticed a few changes to the brand in recent months. We are so excited to be launching our new branding and packing in the coming weeks, it has been a soft launch with some products like our squeeze bottles and soaps already displaying our new logo and look. The reasons behind the re brand are multifaceted. Firstly when we started Mili Bees it was purely to share incredible honey with others. The pandemic had not yet hit and we were setting the business up as a side hustle with no major plans of growth. Fast forward almost two years and we have grown our apiary four times its original size, we have established new hives, rescued and re-hived numerous swarms and created a Mili Bees product line using the incredible renewable resource our bees provide.  We needed a brand that resonated with our philosophies and purpose; to create luxury products that honour our bees and our planet.

We have worked closely with Chelsea Jane Co, an Ecopreneur who has a passion not only for sustainable products (and owns one herself) but also for eCommerce and assisting small businesses like ours find their foot hold.

Once we had the branding aligned we needed to look to suppliers who could support our wish to minimise waste as much as possible, offer recyclable materials and be efficient and easy to deal with. We have had all our new candle packaging printed and supplied by New Directions Packaging and all our stickers from our honey to our lip balms are created by the team at OzStickerPrinting - the experience has been extraordinary. There is so much to navigate when you start to do a re brand and all of these companies have made the process less daunting and delivered on exceptional product. 

When you receive your Mili Bees products you can be assured that every effort to minimise the waste, reduce on non reusable or recyclable elements has been taken while keeping a beautiful and functional product for your use.

Mili Bees Milk and Honey Bath Bar with cream coloured label with new branding on it.

In more exciting news, we have new products available this coming month. The launch of our Mili Bees Creamed Honey is here and we are so excited for you to try this unique, luxuriously creamy honey. Perfect for eating straight from the jar, for gifting, on top of steaming toast on cool winter mornings or in your favourite tea. Our unique Sydney honey with that creamy finish is so good, if you're anything like us, once you start eating it, you wont be able to stop!

Jars of golden creamed honey lined up with a teaspoon overflowing with delicious honey on it.

Finally I want to share a bit of exciting news on an upcoming product. In January we shared on our socials that we were looking to establish a recycled candle program. We have been working tirelessly for our candle fans on this program to ensure it works for everyone. The best way forward with this was to create a candle refill. So that is what we have done. Once again every element of this process has been created here at Mili Bees HQ and we could not be prouder of that (as seen in the photo below of me holding up our freshly made mould!). We are still in formulation and moulding stages but it is looking so exciting and we cannot wait to launch these refills. 

We can share that refills will be made to fit the size and shape of our re branded glassware and will be available in our 8 always and forever fragrances. Watch this space!

Lexie holding up the refill mould she has created

As winter approaches I thought I would share one of my all time favourite recipes to use with our honey. It's a family favourite with the children, the taste is fantastic and is an excellent rainy or cold day activity to share. 

Mili Bees Honey Gingerbread Men

Ingredients:

  • 150g butter, chopped
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, sifted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger, sifted
  • 1 tsp mixed spice, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder, sifted
  • 3 cups plain flour, sifted
  • Choc chips and lollies to decorate

Royal Icing:

  • 1 egg white
  • 1 1/4 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
    • Place butter, sugar and honey in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil. Remove from heat. Stir in bicarbonate of soda. Transfer to a large, heatproof bowl. Cool.
    • Stir in egg, ginger, mixed spice, baking powder and flour until combined. Divide dough in half. Shape into discs. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until firm.
    • Preheat oven to 180°C/160°C fan-forced. Grease 3 baking trays. Line with baking paper. Roll 1 dough disc between 2 sheets of baking paper until 3mm thick. Using a 7cm gingerbread man cutter, cut shapes from dough, re-rolling dough scraps. Place, 2cm apart, on prepared trays. Repeat with remaining pastry disc.
    • Bake, 1 tray at a time, for 8 minutes or until just firm to touch. Stand on trays for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
    • Make icing: Using a fork, beat egg white in a bowl until foamy. Gradually beat in icing sugar until combined. Stir in lemon juice. Spoon icing into a snap-lock bag. Snip off 1 corner. Decorate gingerbread men with icing and milk chocolate bits. Set aside for 20 minutes or until set. Serve.

     

    Warm golden gingerbread cool on a cooling rack

    Thanks for stopping by and catching up on the Buzz! 

    Lexie 

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