Carnica Bees of Cornwall
Carnica Bees is a bee keeping and eco cosmetic business run passionately by Tanya and her Partner Adrian, in North Cornwall.
Carnica Bees make the softest handmade soaps using ingredients such as lavendar, patchouli, rosemary, lemongrass and of course, honey. They also create gentle lip balms, creams and even jewellery and organic baby sleepsuits. Quite the bee empire, but always humble, conscientious, kind and proud of their Cornish roots.
How did Carnica Bees begin?
Carnica Bees first started to exist when Adrian decided one mad day that he wanted to start bee keeping. He seemed to have this sudden and quite random passion to keep and work the bees! This was long before anyone had even mentioned anything about bees being threatened. We decided to start a small business that utilised our beeswax and honey that we collect each year and we gave our business the name of Carnica Bees, because that is the Latin name for the type of bees we keep and we feel that the bees themselves deserve the recognition for the hard work they do.
What are the highs and lows of keeping bees?
Keeping bees is so rewarding but can at times be quite disheartening, as any bee keeper will tell you They are such an amazing species, I have never seen such dedication, hard work and social networking anywhere else in nature and it can be truly wonderful to be a part of their day when you go and open up a hive. They can be in very different in temperament from one day to the next. A hot sunny afternoon is generally a good time to visit them! They are not so happy for you to open up their hive when it’s cold and damp. Mind you, nor would I be very happy about that! Also, a time to be aware of, is when they are full of honey, or the queen is upset for any reason. They can become quite protective!
How do you keep your products ethical?
Our products are made with only the purest of ingredients. I have spent hours of research finding the most ethical suppliers for our oils and butters that we use in our products. They are either organic or fairly traded and when possible, they are both. I really do also try to support other UK businesses, too. I feel that by buying from people who care about our environment, it will help to create a chain reaction that can be passed down the line, right to the final sale. Helping to keep the world a better place is of upmost importance to us and we hope we can pass that message on.
What do you love about what you do?
Adrian loves what he does as he truly feels that he is helping the bees. I love what I do because I feel that we can create a passion and a way of life to something that others can share too. Everyone can play a small part in helping the bees to prosper – just by supporting a local bee keeper is a fine way to start. Making sure our gardens are not sterile of life and planting bee friendly flowers/plants/shrubs are fantastic at creating wildlife havens. Teaching our children to love and respect the environment is a sure fire way to pass our love and knowledge of the world into the future generations so that many can continue to share this truly amazing planet and its ecosystems that sustain all life.
What about living in Cornwall?
We love living in Cornwall and have both lived here since we were both four-years old. We are now in our forties and have two small children. North Cornwall is a wild and rugged, very dramatic county with harsh weather conditions, but it is very inspiring with the moors, coastline and rural way of life. I feel quite privileged to have been brought up here and hope that my children feel the same as they grow up.
What’s the future for Carnica Bees?
Who knows! We would like to expand our vision and create some new ranges and lines that we feel would complement Carnica Bees and we would like to continue to promote our ethical stance and maybe branch out in other areas with our online presence.