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How can you help the honey bees?

The bee’s need you!

“If the bee disappeared off the face of the Earth, man would only have four years left to live.” – Albert Einstein

Honey bees exceptionally important part of our natural ecosystem. It is almost impossible to overstate the importance of bees, it’s estimated they pollinate 70 of around 100 crops that feed 90% of the world’s population. As Christopher Robin’s Winnie the Pooh said ‘what could be more important than a little something to eat’

Did no one see the bee movie? Disregard the stranger parts but essentially the plants and flowers stop getting pollinated and they die!

It is vitally important to keep bees going or we’ll end up finding out ourselves if Einstein was correct. His quote was largely in conjunction with warning about colony collapse disorder usually brought on by patristic mite varroa destructor which has led to spread of disease if left unchecked.

Beehives managed by beekeepers fare much better, as they can be treated for the disease. However, research shows there are no truly wild honey bee colonies left in England and Wales due to varroa mite.

Do your bit!

What can you do? There are some simple ways you can contribute to help bees and the planet which in the long run will benefit you too! (we won’t run out of food and die)

  1. You can plant some bee-friendly flowers, you don’t need a big garden, a windowsill planter will do! Some plants, lavender, thyme, sunflower, poppy, buttercups.
  2. Fancied your own beehive? Take up beekeeping as a new hobby! Contact your local association and they will give you all the information and help to get started.
  3. Don’t want to get messy? Adopt a beehive! Go to The British beekeepers association and you can easily adopt a beehive on your choice!

The firemizer team have sponsored a beehive at Holt Hall Apiary, a small independent bee farm based outside of Tamworth in Staffordshire. “I am very thankful to Firemizer for deciding to sponsor Holt Hall Apiary as British bees are having a really tough time. From the sponsorship, we will be purchasing the necessary equipment and medicine to treat our bee hives for Varroa mite which will give our colonies the best chance they’ve got to make it through what is likely to be another harsh winter.” – Matthew Ingram

Please, do your bit to help the bees, so we can enjoy the planet while we’re all still alive!

Have fun Beekeeping!

BBC Countryfile Live!

This past weekend Countryfile Live returned to Woodstock for the third successive year, celebrating their 30th anniversary and hosted ‘world’s biggest country fair’.

While it was The BBC’s third event, it was our first and the crowds didn’t disappoint! Even with rising temperatures, the family-friendly atmosphere enticed an estimated 120,000 people over the four days.

With activities and attractions ranging from canoeing to driving experiences and exhibitors selling their goods. A few favourites from the event were;

The STIHL Timber sports, situated not too far away the timber championships had begun and we heard more than we saw, the delightful tones of chainsaws accompanied by a classic rock soundtrack and the notable phrase ‘stand to your timber’.

Secondly, the wildlife zone, a pop-up nature reserve with beehives, butterflies and bird nests. Across from this, there were volunteers handing out paper butterflies for people to write what they can do to help the environment. Once you’d written one, you were given a pack of butterfly-friendly flower seeds. Finally the shopping village, we couldn’t resist exploring what treats were on offer and we were spoilt for choice, car merchandise, delicious food and Knick Knacks.

Over the weekend temperatures rose to 29 degrees, this normally wouldn’t bode well for selling a fire product, however, this didn’t stop us! Stood in our black gazebo armed with dragon stickers, leaflets and buckets of knowledge, we were ready!

It was great to speak to curious and some sceptical customers about the simplicity of firemizer, encouraging them to think about their fire appliances.

Around the grounds of Blenheim Palace, were stages with an assortment of entertainment and live music, including a variety of brass bands playing musical show tunes and modern classics, spreading feel-good vibes all across the event.

If you’ve already started planning to visit next year, we might see you there!

Chiminea Safety Tips!

Chiminea Safety Tips!

The fourth and final outside fire-appliance is the beautiful chiminea! Chimineas have been found in gardens for nearly half a century. Mainly used for central heating, their early designs can be traced back to Spain or Mexico. Traditionally placed near a window, the long neck of the design prevented smoke from collecting inside. Here are a few more safety tips to make sure you have safe and soothing summer evenings.

Stability

First of all, make sure the chiminea is sturdy and not likely to tip over. Three/four legged stands are available, and a foundation of brick will decrease the possibility of fire spreading.

Location

Watch out for any low-hanging ornaments or branches. The chiminea should be in its own area, and a safe distance away from your home.

Preparation

When starting your fire, do not use chemicals like kerosene or lighter fluid to start the fire. In addition to the harmful gases they produce, but the fires are far more unpredictable and difficult to contain. Instead, use a firestarter and kindling, with newspaper balls to allow the fire to burn slowly downwards. Firebuilder is a firelighter and kindling-in-one, and does not use any chemicals. Made out of recycled cardboard, the unique airflow technology allows the fire to start at a quick but manageable speed.

Top-down Method

The Top-Down Method is the safest and most effective way to start a fire in a chiminea. For a step-by-step guide, refer to the Firemizer FAQs here.

Distance

Keep a safe distance between you and the chiminea as the outside surface is likely to get very hot. Also keep a watchful eye on any pets or young children that could accidentally come into contact with the structure.

Watch

Finally, don’t leave any fire unattended. Most of all, make sure the chiminea is always in view, and that you have a bucket or water or hose handy.

How to make the perfect pizza using your Pizza Oven!

This week’s focus is the mighty garden appliance – the pizza oven! If you’re lucky enough to have one of these incredible structures at home, now is the time to use it. Not only does it provide a great opportunity to invite friends over, it produces some excellent, restaurant-quality pizza. And really – who doesn’t love pizza? Make it as meaty as you like, smother it in veggies, give it a spicy kick or keep it simple. There’s a combination of pizza toppings for everyone out there. This week, we’re going to be giving you some simple steps to creating the perfect pizza with your pizza oven.

Get it hot!

Firstly, you need to make sure your pizza oven is at the right temperature to cook the pizza thoroughly, and since you’ll be cooking with wood traditionally, this could take some time. Using a Firebuilder will get your fire started easier and quicker, and doesn’t require the use of chemicals like kerosene. It differs from pizza oven to pizza oven, but generally it should be at about 300°C – 570°F.

Make the best base!

Regardless of if you’re using a pre-made base or have made your own from scratch, don’t smother it in sauce. Leave space at the rim for the crust to raise, and evenly spread the cheese and toppings. Have fun with the toppings too – try out interesting new combinations, you never know what could work!

Give it a spin!

Because of the dome-like structure of the pizza oven, a lot of the heat output is directed towards the back. While the pizza is cooking, make sure to spin the base by 180° every few minutes. This will ensure the pizza is cooked evenly, and you won’t be left with any raw dough or toppings. Make sure you’re using heat-proof gloves, safety first!

Timing is everything!

Unlike a gas oven, at the right temperature cooking in a pizza oven will only take up to five minutes. Check to see if the cheese is bubbling and slightly browned but not burned. The outside crust should be slightly brown and crunchy, but the inside should be soft and with a brown underneath. If you’re cooking multiple pizzas, make sure the oven stays at that perfect temperature. Placing a Firemizer on the base will help the wood to burn more evenly and efficiently, and keep that temperature higher for longer. It will also preserve the life of the wood inside the oven, meaning less trips back to the wood store.

Using your BBQ this Summer with Firemizer and Firebuilder!

Using your BBQ this Summer with Firemizer and Firebuilder!

Continuing our month focused on the furnishings that help enjoy the outside in Summer, this week it’s all about BBQs! Like the fire-pit, the BBQ is often the centrepiece of any outside gathering, as everybody loves party food. From burgers and hot-dogs, to corn and kebabs, and cheese and veggies, there’s nothing a BBQ can’t handle! Therefore, whatever your dietary restrictions, there’s food on offer from everyone – vegetarian, vegan or meat-lover. Here’s a list of some great vegetarian recipes if you’re interested in trying something different this summer – https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/collection/vegetarian-barbecue

Using Firemizer and Firebuilder with your BBQ

Firemizer is a really handy tool to have beneath your coal BBQ. It’ll get your coals hotter much faster, help them to burn more efficiently and last up to a third longer, and reduce any harmful pollutants emitted by 72%. Simply place it on the base of your BBQ, place the coals on top, and start it like normal and see the different. In addition, why not use Firebuilder to start a perfect fire every time? With no kerosene, the food will be free from any harmful chemicals to keep your food tasting great. Just break the cardboard brick, light the edges, place it on top of your solid fuel and let the fire burn downwards.

JustAverageJen’s BBQ with Firemizer

Blogger JustAverageJen wrote about her experiences using Firemizer in her BBQ last summer, as well as other BBQ essential tips. Cooking for both vegetarians and meat-lovers, Jen’s advice is for anyone wanting to host a perfect BBQ this summer. She evens explains that Firemizer allowed her to “cook more items than normal as [the fire] was still hot so we cooked some food for the following day!”

Read the rest of Jen’s advice here at https://www.justaveragejen.com/2017/06/bbq-week-my-bbq-essentials.html, and read her blog for more excellent lifestyle and dietary advice.

Fun things to do around the Fire-pit this Summer!

 

Fun things to do around the Fire-pit this Summer!

Fire-pits are quickly becoming the centrepiece in any garden – just like the hearth, the fire-pit becomes a centralized meeting point. Now that the weather is beautiful once again, spending the days and evenings outside seems far less discouraging. An afternoon relaxing with a book, dinners outside, a drink with friends, the garden has much more room and ambience to offer than any inside room. If you’re planning a gathering of friends and family, try some of these fun activities to make the night memorable.

Sweets and Treats!

When hosting an outside activity around a fire, the go-to activity is usually centred around food. Hot dogs make a great savory treat when accompanied by ketchup and mustard, a BBQ classic! Nobody wants to wait around for food, so getting your fire started quicker and stronger is crucial. Using a Firebuilder makes starting your fire easier than ever – simply break the cardboard brick, light the edges, place it on top of your solid fuel and let the fire burn downwards. As a kindling-and-firestarter-in-one (with no added chemicals like kerosene) your fire will be roaring before you know it.

If you’re looking for something on the sweeter side, there’s no fireside food better than the S’more. Here’s a simply recipe from Hershey’s themselves to make the perfect S’more this summer – https://www.hersheys.com/en_us/recipes/smores.html

Sing-alongs!

It might sound cheesy, but sometimes there’s really nothing better than a good group sing-along around the fire! Grab your guitar and strike a few chords, you’re bound to find a song that everyone knows the words to. You can even bring out some kitchen objects and get a full DIY orchestra going!

Stories and memories!

Whether it’s a spooky ghost story, or an embarrassing memory, stories by the fireside are a time-old tradition. With the added help of Firemizer, your solid fuel will last up to a third longer, meaning less interference and more time to share. Simply place a Firemizer at the base of your fire-pit, place your fuel on top and let the unique steel-alloy grid help your fuel to burn more evenly and efficiently (whilst also reducing any harmful pollutants by 72%).

 

Get the most out of your fire-pit this Summer with the help of Firebuilder and Firemizer, and make those summer nights last as long as possible.

Chimney Sweep FAQs

How often should I have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

This week’s blog topic is the importance of keeping chimneys well maintained and clean after continual use. A good rule of thumb is to have your chimney cleaned by a certified professional at least once a year. If it is more often than not the prime source of heating in your house, you might want to consider having it swept more. Ask your chimney sweep for their advice on how often it should be serviced. Do not ever attempt to clean the chimney yourself – you could end up doing causing damage to your chimney. It’s important to call a certified chimney sweep as they know the typical signs of creosote build-up and nesting wildlife.

 

Why is it important to have my chimney cleaned and maintained?

The continual maintenance of your chimney is central to its efficiency and heat output. The chimney sweep aims to remove all the creosote build-up on the inside of the chimney to prevent chimney fires. Creosote is a highly flammable substance that results from the regular burning of certain types of wood (especially pine). Using Firemizer with your solid fuel is proven to reduce creosote by 57% and helps your fuel burn 38% longer. By having your chimney properly maintained, it ensures that you’re getting the most out of your fireplace or stove. There’s no fear of chimney fires, a release of harmful gasses or any unexpected wildlife nesting inside. Animals like birds, squirrels or small insects can also cause long-term damage to the structural stability of the chimney.

 

When should I start thinking about servicing my chimney?

A year between each service is recommended, and the best time to get it serviced is before the burning season. Anytime during the summer or early autumn is ideal to make sure your chimney is in perfect shape once the weather turns colder. Seek out your local chimney sweeps and book in early to ensure you’re getting the most out of your chimney.

5 ways to get the most out of Father’s Day this year!

Father’s Day

This Sunday marks every Dad’s favourite day of the year – Father’s day! The one-day that he can put on his favourite films, fall asleep on the sofa and nobody can complain. Father’s day is usually a very quiet Sunday, so why not surprise him and do something a little different? Here’s a list of five ideas to help get you started on making this year’s celebration a little different.

Go-Karting

Does Dad love a bit of speed and the smell of burning rubber? Go-karting is the perfect opportunity to get him on the track and unleash his inner-speed demon! It’s an activity the whole family can get involved in too – start a family tournament and find out once and for all who the fastest in the family is!

Car Show

It seems like every Dad loves a good old car show – a chance to gaze at some Porsches or Ferraris. It might be boring to some, but to others it’s a chance to marvel at some iconic vehicles seen in films like James Bond or Back to the Future. Sometimes, you might even get a trip down memory lane about cars once owned and the wonderful memories that accompany.

Golf

Okay, bear with us one this one – especially if the weather is nice, it could be a prime opportunity to dust off Dad’s old golf clubs or that shiny new pair he got for Christmas that year and hit the links. Traditionally a very relaxing game that could take up the whole day, it’s a great way to enjoy a sunny Sunday.

Cooking

If you’re hunting for something indoors (if the weather isn’t up to scratch), a cooking class could really help dad hone his culinary craft. Buy your ingredients from a local store and have a fun time creating one of his favourite meals! Be cautious though, the more fun you have, the more mess there’ll be to tidy up afterwards…

Camping

This one could encompass the whole weekend, but it would be a fantastic way to spread Father’s over the Sunday. It’s another great way to get involved, Dad might even teach you a few tricks – like starting a fire! For those who struggle to light the perfect fire every time, there’s Firebuilder. The unique draught technology of Firebuilder ensures that the airflow of the fire produces a fuller flame and faster heat production without the need for any extra kindling or the intrusion of chemicals like kerosene. That means there’s less time spent starting the fire, and more time to enjoy Dad’s stories by the fireside.

Weather

Weather

We’re officially halfway through the year – we’ve left behind the winter, and things are starting to brighten up. This doesn’t necessarily mean scorching temperatures and blues skies however; we might still have to deal with some rain. We can still make the most of the weather, wherever we are!

Nottingham vs. Columbus

The Firemizer team is split between the U.K. in Nottingham and the U.S. in Columbus OH, 6000 kilometres apart. We decided to take an average temperate and weather forecast and compare them at the end of the week. Amazingly, the temperature on one of Nottingham’s sunniest days was the same as a Columbus’ night – 18°C (or 65°F)! The typical temperature during Columbus days was around 82°F (27°C), a heat Brits won’t see until August, if at all. The weather itself remained very similar; overcast with bursts of sun, and of course the U.K. received far more rainfall.

Brighter Days Ahead

Though this week might have been a wet and miserable one for some, there’s still sunshine and holidays to come. BBQ weather is approaching, and if you want to get the most out of your solid fuel, consider Firebuilder! Entirely recycled and kerosene-free, this fire-starter will get your coals or logs burning without the need for any kindling. Placing a Firemizer underneath helps your fuel to burn evenly and more efficiently, meaning they’ll last up to 38% longer. Whether it’s for a BBQ feast, the home’s wood-stove or a glass of wine by the fire-pit, let Firemizer and Firebuilder fuel your summer.

Competition

And don’t forget to watch out for our pre-summer competition that could win you a FREE Firemizer and Firebuilder combo! Keep checking your emails for further details on how to make the most of your fuel this summer.

World Environment Day

The United Nations’ World Environment Day (held on June 5th) is a worldwide call to arms for environmental protection. Started in 1974, it has since gained global recognition and now involves the participation of over 100 countries. Instead of attempting legislative change in defence of the environment, World Environment Day is the ‘people’s day’ and encourages everyone to do something.

2018’s theme is concerned plastic pollution.

The recent ban on microbeads in toiletries and the plastic-bag charge are just some of the ways that the UK is contributing, whilst the US has announced a nationwide plan to reduce plastic straws. Microbeads (found in cosmetics and toothpastes) could slip through treatment plants and cause damage to the UKs rivers and lakes. The UK and US use around 550 million plastic straws a day (and they take 200 years to break down). Alternatives like paper, bamboo and reusable metal straws are available instead.

Collectively, we waste enough plastic every year to circle the earth four times. This means that recyclable and biodegradable products are more important than ever in the battle against plastics. Firemizer and Firebuilder are both completely plastic-free and entirely recycled products in cardboard packaging. Also, Firebuilder is even biodegradable too whilst Firemizer will reduce harmful air pollutants caused by burning fuel by up to 72%.

World Environment Day also has a different host country every year.

2018’s host is India. The country will engage in activities like local community plastic clean-up drives to national forest and beach cleaning. India sets a precedent for the world to follow. It takes the same time for Indian cricketer Hardik Pandya to bowl just one over for four rubbish trucks of plastic to be dumped into the ocean.

Organise a clean-up drive with your local community or simply pledge to cut out plastic straws for good. With everyone pitching in, we can make a significant difference in the fight for our planet’s health.

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