Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reflections on 2011

With 2011 nearing it’s end, we would like to take some time to reflect on all of the exciting changes that have happened in the Hive. Thanks to all of our customers, dedicated staff, and supportive community, we’ve been able to accomplish some pretty remarkable stuff. We’ve worked tirelessly to improve and grow in many ways this year.

We started the year out with the goal of finding a bigger and brighter space for the hive. In May we found the prefect new home to set us up for success heading into the busy summer season! Once we found a place with growing room, grow we did! We expanded our customer base and with that it became apparent we had the need to bring more bees into the hive. Check out all the Bees profiles.

The new office has opened so many doors we never imagined. The space has provided room for more Bees to be in the office. We now have space for a Quality Control and Training Team, Event Coordinators, and Customer Profile Manager. We also have an awesome new in-house bookkeeper. We have been able to do way more blogging and Facebooking, and we’ve been putting some serious effort into our marketing, with LOTS more to come in 2012.

In July, we lost our long term Office Manager, Erin. A death in her family inspired her to pursue her dreams, and we’re so happy we got the chance to work with such a powerhouse of a woman. Though it was a total shock to our system to see her leave, we took the hand we were dealt and have been made better and stronger company.  Courtney, a half decade old Bee, stepped in to be the new Office Manager. She’s brought so much to the table and we’re so excited to now be fine-tuning our systems. Other Bees have stepped up in so many ways to help delegate tasks and create room to expand our company.

Amidst all the changes, we didn’t forget about commitment to positive change in our community. We were able to support the local organization Care Housing at Provincetowne by participating in their welcome fair and we even gave away a cleaning during the event. We’re looking this coming year to work with even more local organizations, and we’re more than open to suggestions about organizations you’re into.

Our Climate Wise partnership is as strong as ever, and we are proud to have attained Silver status.  We’ve earned it! Climate Wise has provided us with tons of resources and opportunities to become a business that can take ownership and be environmental stewards.  We participated in the City’s Bike to Work Day, and even hope to sponsor a station for the Spring 2012 Bike to Work day.  We’re setting our goals high in 2012- Gold status is in the works. This means we’re working on finding a Climate Wise partner Mentor and we’re doing some serious brainstorming about projects we can take on as a company.  Wish us luck- we’ll keep you posted.

Cheers to 2011. Cheers to Clean Bees for being so committed to our goals and making stuff happen! We’re beyond excited to see what 2012 brings us.


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bikes & Beehives

Bikes and Beehives

Being members of the Fort Collins community and having the opportunity to participate in such a progressive lifestyle gave us a couple of great ideas for our company gifts this holiday season.  Riding our bikes around town, it’s awesome to see other Fort Collins residents pedaling away, in rain or shine or snow. And we love seeing people take sustainability into their own hands by building chicken coops for fresh eggs and beehives for pollinating gardens. So, we decided to take these concepts we hold near and dear to our hearts and spread the love to other communities where these simple ideas can make some big changes.

Fort Collins has an awesome bike-centric mindset. People young and old are able to unite over the simple pleasures of bikes for recreation and transportation. As a company we encourage our employees to ride their bikes everywhere, to and from school, to work, and even when they are out and about on the weekends. We hunted high and low for a way to share our love for bikes. World Vision provided such an opportunity. Through this non-profit dedicated to working with children and their families to tackle issues of poverty, exploitation, and injustice we donated a bike to a young girl in need. This donation of a bike will allow a young girl to continue her education by offering a speedy way to get to and from school. After learning that many girls quit school because of lack of transportation and safety fears, we knew this would be the perfect gift.

Reflecting on the things we value about our city, mainly our efforts to keep things local and sustainable, we looked for organizations that provide ways to share our community values with others. Our searching brought us to Heifer International, a non-profit with the goal of providing a sustainable living lifestyle all over the world. Through this forward -minded organization we gifted a beehive to a community so that they would be able to provide an income to the family tending the hives through the sale of honey and other bee related products. This gift will also help their community as a whole by increasing crop yields through pollination by the bees!

We let our love for the community and all that makes living in Fort Collins great inspire us to find holiday gifts. What inspires you?


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Tips to Keep Your Vacuum in Good Working Order

In our line of work, vacuums are definitely a hot topic. I started doing some research and as I suspected, determining the best and worst vacuums is not as black and white as we all might have hoped.  So, to address the great vacuum dilemma we all face as homeowners and housekeepers, I have decided to do a little mini series of blogs addressing some different tips and tricks for maintaining vacuums as well as purchasing them.

Let’s start with the basics. How do you maintain the machine you already have? It really does not require too much effort to keep a vacuum in working order. Here are some simple tips:

*    Change bag/empty dirt cup often. A bag that is half full may even be too full to produce optimal suctioning! If you have a bagless vacuum, you should also clean the dirt compartment often.

*    Change and or clean filters often. About every three months will do for average use.

*    Check belt often and replace if necessary. (The instruction manual for your vacuum should be helpful with this step).  Many vacuum owners don’t realize that its recommended to change the belt BEFORE they break.

*    Do your vacuum a favor and don’t vacuum up just anything and everything! Pick up obvious pieces of trash by hand rather than relying solely on your vacuum. Sucking up things such as paper clips and coins can really take a toll on the machine, and avoiding these objects can prolong the life of your vacuum.

*    Take vacuum in for routine maintenance about once a year. Vacuums are expensive and should be treated like an investment to really get the most for your money.

Let’s face it though... No matter how much love we give our vacuums, sometimes they just bite the dust. Unfortunately, I experienced some serious vacuum overload while trying to sort through all the reviews out there. So, hang tight. I am working on compiling a few different links to help guide you in your research if you’re in the market for a new vacuum. This way you can decide which qualities are best fitting for your needs and find the perfect vacuum for your home!

Until then, I’ll leave you with these comics, courtesy of Mark Parisi, to add some humor to the vacuum quandary.

Squeegee (aka Emily)