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Who are we?
34.4º is a small business with a social conscience. We donate 3.44% of all our profits to the Natural Beekeeping Trust, which promotes bee awareness.
Why? We would not be able to make our products without bees, which are in danger of succumbing to disease because of lowered immune system mite infestations. We believe this may be caused by intensive honey harvesting, with bees being fed sugar.
What about our name? Oh, we wondered when you’d get round to asking. Well, it’s the optimum temperature for a brood to thrive in the heart of the beehive.
We support the Natural Beekeeping Trust by donating 3.44% of every sale (even before profit) to them. This year we’ve paid for a Freedom Hive. Freedom Hives are insulated homes for bees to swarm to in the countryside. They are a safe haven for wild bees to be free from human interference and honey harvesting.
We are Community Interest Company (CIC)
What is CIC? CICs use their assets and profits for social good. We chose to be one because we believe a company should benefit the community it operates in as well as the people who work for it (much like the social structure and environmental impact of a bee colony). Our employees are also its members, and statutory clauses guarantee that members retain control of the company. These clauses are unique to a CIC and prevent demutualization or profits being paid to directors and members without a system of checks and balances.
Limitations on dividend and interest payments to shareholders and financiers ensure the company can make a profit, but our focus remains on benefiting the community. Our bank is the London Community Credit Union. Credit unions are local not-for-profit co-operatives that are owned by the people who use them and are run for their benefit, with any profits shared between members.
When you buy from us you can be sure that not only are you helping to preserve bees but are having a positive economic impact.
Would you bee-lieve it...?
Honeybees collectively fly 37,500 miles, roughly one-and-a-half times around the earth, to yield one pound or 500 grams of honey. And 10lbs of honey yields just 1lb of wax.
Much of contemporary bee-keeping can be compared to the battery farming of chickens. Bees’ honey is harvested by humans and replacement sugar then fed back to them, with little thought given to their welfare.
If you are interested in bees, plant bee-friendly plants, with different varieties for different seasons, so there’s year-round food. Start using the word bee-tender rather than bee-keeper. We don’t own bees; we can only try to tend to their needs. Then, if we’re really lucky, there may be a little honey left over for us to savour.
The Natural Beekeeping Trust is trying to change attitudes. This is why 3.44% of our profits go to them.
We want to be an enterprise where conscious people work and enjoy their lives. Our aim is to create a business model where everyone earns equal shares of income in line with the number of hours they contribute. This creates a product that is genuinely successful and feels good to use.
Treat skin products as you do food and only buy what you can use within two months. We’ll reuse your empty jars. For every six you post back to us, we’ll send you one full jar, product of your choice, for free.
34.4º very much welcomes donations for its work as a CiC (community interest company). Donations will help us to repay our start-up loans more quickly and in turn to provide support for social and community projects. Unfortunately, donations to CiCs are not tax deductible nor eligible for UK Gift Aid but we like to think of them as altruistic venture capital! We’ll use our skill and enterprise to help others do the same. A multiplier effect!