The Garden Bee Solar Update – August 2018

Solar Installation 15

Here is another solar update on the progress of our panels. The panels have been installed and generating for 9 months now. The overall output has improved and we are hitting forecast results. We are pleased!

Conservation Efforts

We are tracking our generation and usage on a daily basis. Being more mindful has enabled us to reduce our consumption significantly. Below are some of the ways we have been able to save energy.

  • Reducing energy consumption can be as simple as being mindful of lights being left on. If they serve a purpose leave them on, if not, turn them off.
  • Upgrading all light to LEDs. We had already gone to CFLs so the improvement was incremental.
  • Put timers on lights that need to be on so they will shut off when they don’t. A timer on our sign, yard and parking area lights make sure we don’t forget to turn them on and off.
  • Without the B&B our electrical consumption went down as we aren’t doing multiple loads of laundry and the need for hot water for showers evaporated.
  • Our commercial wax melters are still in use and they take 24 hours to heat to temperature so a little planning goes a long way to keeping consumption to a minimum. The plan is to do multiple days of production when required to get the most value out of turning them on.
  • Our kitchen appliances have been updgraded to the highest EnerGuide rating to keep our overall foot print to a minimum.
Heat/Humidity Wave

This past 4 weeks have been very humid and we have had the air conditioners on for the whole 4 weeks. The solar array still managed to push a significant amount on to the grid for our neighbours to use during this period. As it was explained to me, electricity flows like water via the path of least resistance. What that means here is that those nearest neighbours are using our extra power. It is so cool to know that we offset (at times) as much as 1 or 2 house holds of electricity so Nova Scotia Power doesn’t have to produce it with fossil fuels.

Production

To date our panels have produced more than MW (9,000 Kw). Check out our solar update in our FAQ on our production history below:

What is your Solar Production?

Sign House Panels August 2018
Panels gleaming in the sun!

The Move is Complete, YAY!

No we didn’t change our physical location, just the host for our website. There seemed to be a lot of delays in getting our domain name released from the old provider. For something, that at most is a 5 day turn around, it took 24 days. It was quite painful as we tried to keep a web presence afloat while awaiting an administrative entry to be completed. I guess we were such good customers our old provider didn’t want to let us go.

But we are here now with a new look and offering some new services. Over the coming days our website will be expanded to include some new features. Stay tuned! Click through the menu at the top of the page to see what we have done and what is new. We would really like to get your feedback.

Moving image

Our Beeswax Candles light the stars!

It was so cool to get the call for each movie requesting our beeswax candles. While it wasn’t the leading star doing the requesting, we know a guy who knows the guys. To make a long story short, they wanted our pure beeswax candles for their environmental properties as well as for ambiance and direct set lighting. Below are the key points why they used them.

  • Beeswax candles don’t pollute the air when they burn and in fact they remove toxins from the air. This makes the air on the sets much better for cast, crew and the props.
  • Beeswax candle emit a golden glow made up of the full spectrum of light. Providing a more natural light for the set.
  • They required that the candles burn brighter than regular candles as in some scenes they are the only form of lighting for the set. These double wicked candles burn brighter, but not as long as single wicked beeswax candle.

These are the resulting candles we developed for the 2014 Lizzie Borden Took an Ax movie. (Note the $7.00 price tag. lol) 

They are available at our online store.

Our Lizzie Borden Double Wicked 10" Beeswax Taper Candles

 

Lizzy Borden Took an Ax

(TV Movie 2014)

Watch for our beeswax candles in Lizzie Borden Took and Ax

This was the first movie that we developed the candles for. At that time we had never considered a double wicked beeswax candle. It seemed wasteful considering the relative costs for beeswax in comparison to other non-natural waxes.

Once we had determined the right wick to meet the specific characteristics required, the building process was the same as usual. While these are dipped tapers are 1″ in diameter, only 1/8″ larger than the standard 7/8″ diameter, you would be surprised at how much wax is added to a 10″ taper. Here is a link to Rosemary finish dipping Red Tappers. The tapers are different sizes but the process is the same.

 

The Book of Negros

(TV Mini Series 2015)

Watch for our beeswax candles in Book of Negroes Movie Poster

The second movie, as pictured above, was used for all the same reasons as Lizzie Borden. These both were period films in which burning candles was the general source of lighting. In those days the slaves would have made candles using fat of any kind while some slave owners would have used beeswax candles.

 

The Lighthouse

(2019)

Sorry, no images available for this yet. I think lighting and shadows will play a big part in this production. My understanding is that it a story of guys telling ghost stories. I can’t wait!

The Garden Bee Website Changes

Our logo

David Profile Pic Hi Folks! I have an update for you. You may have noticed a few odd posts coming from us in the past few days. I am in the process of redoing our website under new hosting and well … there has been a learning curve. Needless to say there have been and will be a few more disruptions until everything is settled down. Our new site is up and running and is available via www.thegardenbee.ca  The new site will soon be available via our usual link www.thegardenbee.com once the domain is transferred.

With the closure of the bed & breakfast there has been a change in my routine and available time to do other things. New things are always on the horizon with me. Our website change is just the most recent step in formalizing my web development and consulting activities. Stay tuned as this new segment of The Garden Bee takes shape.

David

The Garden Bee Bed & Breakfast is Closed

TGBBB Logo

I would like to announce that after 4 great seasons The Garden Bee Bed & Breakfast has closed it’s doors. To all those supporters and guests over the years I say, “Thank You!”. Our lives have been enriched by all and deeply touched by a few.

The Garden Bee Beeswax Candles will continue to grow and prosper as it is in its 14th year and continues to be a recognized Nova Scotian brand.
Who knows what is next for The Garden Bee.
Stay tuned!

What’s in Bloom Now? The Bottle Tree of Course!

The bottle tree (aka Stella cherry) is just beginning to bloom. The bottles are used for weights to bend the branches down for easy picking. Underneath spring bulbs bloom delighting the eye with colour and form. Hyacinths, daffodils, silia, tulips….which is your favourite spring bulb?

Enjoy the sights and sounds of a beautiful spring morning alive with life in our front yard.

Our Neighbour the Pileated Woodpecker

The laughing, raucous call of the Pileated Woodpecker greeted me this morning as I stepped outside to the garden. Everything about this beautiful bird seems overstated…size, colour, calls.

Did you know, a Pileated Woodpecker’s wing span can reach 66 to 75 cm (26 to 30 in)?

We feel blessed to have had a pair nesting near us for many years.  –   Rosemary

Burntcoat Head Gift Shop Opening 18 May 2018

Low tide at Burntcoat Head

For anyone who hasn’t grown up on the Fundy Shore of Nova Scotia, Burntcoat Head is a must see. Check out this link for what Burntcoat Head Park has to offer. Watch this very dramatic Tide Time-lapse video to see just how impressive the tide can be!

We, at The Garden Bee, are very pleased to have our beeswax candles available for purchase again this season at the Burntcoat Head Gift Shop. We are proud to support local and be locally supported.

The Garden Bee Solar Update

I thought it was time to keep you folks updated on the progress of our solar panels. The panels have been installed and generating for 6 months. While the output is not stellar, we are pleased.

These were the worst 6 months of the year for generation due to shorter day and lower angle of the sun. They are also the worst for consumption as we supplement our wood stove with heat pumps. However, just tracking our generation and usage on a daily basis makes us more mindful and we have reduced our consumption significantly.

Maintenance is low. The only thing I do is to clear the snow off if there is more than 5 cm on them. I only had to do that 3 times this past winter but every winter will be different, I am sure.

To date our panels have produced more than 3 Mw. 🙂

Simply Perfect Biscuits

This would have been the place the picture of the biscuits would have been but they are always eaten before we can get a picture, LOL!

It has been our pleasure to serve this biscuit recipe to hundreds of guest over the years. They are awesome:

  • Hot out of the oven with butter and molasses
  • Cold with butter and a spot of jam
  • Split and topped with fresh, sliced strawberries with whip cream

You can also use the dough for:

  • Dumplings – drop by the spoonful on to the top of a boiling stew and steam unopened for 10 minutes
  • Lay the entire dough over a casserole of hot stew and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes

What do you do with your biscuit dough?

Yummy Biscuits

The Journey Begins

Thanks for joining me!

Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

post

The signs are everywhere!

Rubber boot season, lol!

Folly Lake
Spring has sprung!