I met Ed Nowek at the Qigong Retreat, other than the sharing obvious interest in health and wellness through the practice of Qigong and Meditation, I’ve discovered that we also shared a passion for healthy natural skincare products. Ed’s biggest passion is the bee’s world and that was what lead him into the creation of his successful business Planet Bee, a Honey Farm created in 1997. But Ed’s passion for bees started back in his teens during a summer job. After working with bees in the 70s and 80s, Ed decided to create his own business to not only work with something he was passionate about, but also to leave a green footprint in the world, making his life commitment to share the ecosystem of bees and to sensitize people for their incredible skills and gifts! You can read the complete fascinating story of Ed’s path and how Planet Bee came to life here!
Planet Bee’s line of products has expanded and other than the regular bee’s derived products such as honey, royal jelly or propolis, one can also find a skincare line and candles (beeswax candles are the only healthy candles in the market, unlike paraffin candles, which are made with a petroleum-based wax, beeswax candles are non-toxic while burning and produce negative ions). And yes: I asked and Planet Bee does ship to a wide variety of locations!
I felt deeply blessed to have come across Ed. This is one of the most amazing things about travelling: people are the journey! Through Ed, I also had the pleasure of meeting and interviewing Olivia Nowek, founder of One Earth Consulting. It always brings a deep sense of wholeness to see how we are all connected and how we can all interact to preserve our home, the Earth, and all its creatures. It is, therefore, a great honor for me to bring you this inspiring interview:
1 – From a summer job into a successful life project! What is so fascinating about honeybees and what makes you so passionate about them?
I guess I have always been intrigued by the structure and organization of the bee hive. All bees know how to contribute to the good of the colony right from the day they’re born. No one bee considers itself better than another or more deserving of the food stored by the colony. An example of this is that if the colony was on the verge of starvation they would share every last drop of honey right to the end and then all starve together if it came to that. It may bee that on the last day that the weather changes, and new food sources are discovered, and the entire colony is still alive.
I love to share about the bees with interested people, the products of the hive all so natural and good for us. Easy to sell to people and recommend for their health. And over the past 10 years there has been a greatly increased interest in bees and their value to food production on the planet.
2 – When (and how) did you feel it was the moment to step forward and make turn the dream of working with honeybees a reality?
What’s the role of intuition in this decision? When my kids were turning of age to begin school, looking for a rural community, going back to work in the industry of my passion and turning it into more of an educational experiential attraction that was open to tourists and learning groups etc. When you are providing good service, good quality natural products, in a comfortable learning environment, then you can easily earn a good living doing what I love to do.
3 – What advice would you give to young entrepreneurs when it comes to take action upon their vision?
Do your research, do up a good and realistic business plan, bee passionate about your goals and hold your vision.
4 – Educating has a major role in awareness. Why is educating one of the most important things in life and a key investment for any business?
What’s the impact of education on our Planet Earth? I have always believed that curiosity is one of the best attributes to living a successful and passionate life. To share your learnings, to always be open to learning more, take the word “failure” out of your vocabulary, being a good listener just opens up the educators. Experiential / Educational Tourism became a buzz word for me about 15 years ago and I recognized it as a path to business success especially with honey bees. Hopefully it will be through education that we save our planet for the generations to come.
5 – How did your product lines were born, especially the skin care products? (Do you also produce your own essential oils?)
I guess that some of the most key components to the development of the skin care were natural, containing products of the bee hive, locally made and marketed, branding and affordable. We are not producing our own essential oils but have a few choices for quality manufacturers and sources.
6 – The collapse of honeybee colonies has been a major concern in this field. What are the main threats to honeybees and how we can prevent further collapse?
I’ll try to keep this short as it often leads into several paragraphs. In many ways it is similar to dwindling populations and extinction of many species of plants & animals. We are generally just not doing a good enough job of protecting our planet and preserving the natural eco systems that have thrived here for thousands of years. Greater populations to feed, greater demands on agricultural production, as well as the rapid spread of pests and plant diseases. Things we can do are provide natural habitat for bees and other pollinators, planting bee friendly plants, eliminate the use of insecticides and pesticides, share with others your understanding of the importance of bees to our survival on this planet.
7 – “Honeybees prove that together we can achieve much more than as individuals.” This concept shaped your business plan and probably the direction of your life. What do we as human beings can learn with honeybees in order to develop more sustainable societies and happier individuals?
I think I covered some of that in question #1 about the sharing of the food, everyone contributing to the betterment and survival of the colony. Even the queen bee is all about what is best for the long term survival of the colony. If the colony wants to raise a new queen to go forward with, then she will always cooperate and provide the fertile egg that the workers can develop into a new queen. It’s never about “staying in power” as long as she can.
Even in my business now I firmly believe that we are much more capable and successful when building a business with a team of cooperating players than trying to do it all ourselves. The combination of bee products, (honey, pollen, propolis & royal jelly,) taken together are said to be synergistic or more powerful than they are individually.