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Using beekeeping as a catalyst to encourage businesses to be more environmentally responsible & their reduce carbon emissions



Beekeeping for Business (Bfb) enables a wide range of large and small businesses to locate honey bee colonies on their premises. Businesses are encouraged to participate in Bfb by demonstrating the financial, commercial, staff motivational, work force training, regulatory and carbon reduction compliance benefits of locating honey bee colonies on their premises. Honey and beeswax from colonies located on Bfb participating businesses is used in the onsite production of replacements for high carbon generating, high air mile using marketing and promotional items. Roof , car park fringes and other open spaces are used to create additional honey bee foraging habitats. Staff are trained, mentored and supported in all aspects of the care of honey bees and the production of honey and beeswax replacement marketing and promotional materials providing engaging, exiting alternatives to work force skills development. All for FREE.

Bfb should be considered as the first steps to engaging businesses in the longer road to fulfilling their environmental and corporate social responsibilities, and cutting their carbon emissions across all aspects of their business activities. To encourage businesses to extend their carbon emissions reduction across all of their business activities Bfb also provides free certificated environmental and regulatory compliance audits enabling businesses to access additional Government carbon reduction funding. 

Key actor

Grassroots neighborhood organizations

What actions do you propose?

During the first two years of piloting Beekeeping for Business (Bfb) in Scotland we will;

·        Using established physical and online business network organisations (Chambers of Commerce, Rotarians, Hoteliers and Restaurateurs Associations, Associations of Retail & Business Park Operators etc.) market Bfb to a representative cross of large and small businesses with the objective of signing up a minimum of 20 businesses which during the first two years we will at no cost provides businesses with everything that’s required for them to locate and care for honey bee colonies on their premises i.e.;

·        Beehives, beekeeping equipment, honey bee starter colonies (approximately 5,000 – 7,000 bees), protective clothing for staff, staff training and weekly onsite mentoring in the care of honey bee colonies, on site honey and beeswax extraction equipment and staff training in its use, workforce training in the onsite production of a wide range of corporately branded honey and beeswax marketing and promotional products - ranging from lip balms, moisturising creams, 100% hand rolled beeswax candles, confectionery, soaps, shampoos, body creams, merchandise packaging etc.

Bfb participating businesses are also afforded access, again at no cost,

·        Officially recognised full environmental/carbon emissions reduction and regulatory compliance audits opening the door to their securing additional Government carbon emissions reducing funding.

·        Free collection and disposal via community owned ‘recycling for reuse’ social enterprises of all of their business produced waste materials – including hazardous and food  waste for an unlimited period.

Having after two years ironed out any problems/issues and demonstrated/proven the effectiveness of this approach Bfb will be extended to business across the whole of Scotland and via Social Franchising to established social enterprises across the remainder of the UK.

During its third year Bfb will secure additional financing to develop partnerships with Social Enterprises/ Not for Profit businesses, national and state legislatives enabling the roll out of an amended version of Bfb adapted to the specific requirements and regulatory climates in Europe, Canada, and the United States.

At the same time an amended version of Bfb will be developed and marketed enabling it to be accessed by high carbon emitting businesses in China, India and the now independent countries of the former Soviet Union, Indonesia, Japan and Australasia.  

Who will take these actions?

Kelvin Valley Honey (KVH) - a Scottish community owned Social Enterprise (Not for Profit business) are the main drivers and deliverers behind Beekeeping for Business (Bfb).

Established in 2010 KVH has contributed to halting the rapid and continuing decline of Scotland's honey bee population by breeding over 15 million native species honey bees, contributed to replacing lost and creating additional honey bee foraging habitats through volunteer led reclamation of over 40 hectares of derelict former coal mining land, enabled the regeneration of four multiply disadvantaged communities through financing and supporting the development of replica KVH beekeeping, honey, honey and beeswax consumer products producing community owned social enterprises  and provided employment, reduced the isolation and increased the community support of people housebound through disability, long term and/orlife limiting illnesses.

Initially financed through Scottish Government and Charitable Trust grants KVH now generates over 40% of its income from the sale of honey and beeswax based wholly natural, largely organic skin care, cosmetic, bathing, decorative household and confectionary consumer products and is on track to become wholly self financing and profitable by 2015.


Where will these actions be taken?

The pilot stage of Beekeeping for Business (Bfb) will be delivered in 2014/16 to 20 businesses across Central Scotland.

In 2017 Bfb will be rolled out across the whole of Scotland with arrangements being made for its Social Franchising (replication) across all other areas of the UK in 2017.

Throughout 2017 partnerships will be developed with established environmental Social Enterprises, Not for Profit Organisations, NGO’s and Governments across Europe, Canada and the United States with a view to Bfb being rolled out in these regions/countries in 2018/19.

Partnerships will also be developed with governments, NGO’s and business networks in the high carbon emitting nations of Brazil, China, India, and now independent countries/states of the former Soviet Union with a view to Bfb being rolled out between 2018 – 2020.

How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

At this stage it is impossible to reliably estimate the overall carbon reduction levels that will be achieved through Beekeeping for Business (Bfb).

Our 2012 survey of a cross section of 40 Scottish businesses demonstrated that none had any awareness of the C02 emissions generated via their marketing campaigns let alone the amounts. . Interestingly our asking the question has prompted 15 businesses to undertake an environmental audit of all of their marketing activities.As part of demonstrating the effectiveness of Bfb KVH will conduct an across all marketing activities environmental and C02 producing audit of a participating businesses – the first such audit to be conducted in Scotland. The results of these audits together with the additional photosynthesis carbon capture levels of increasing honey bee foraging habitats will provide the baseline for gauging the carbon reducing impacts of Bfb.

What are other key benefits?

Each participating Beekeeping for Business - business has the realistic potential of;

·        contributing to halting the continuing decline in the world’s honey bee populations by increasing the number of honey bees by a minimum of a quarter of a million annually

·        increasing honey bee foraging habitats by a minimum (averaged across the board) by 0.15 hectares

·        increasing the environmental awareness of a minimum of 25% of its workforce and increasing positive environmental conservation, carbon reducing activities and other C02 reducing positive actions by a minimum of 10% of its workforce.

·        Over the next 10 years Bfb has the realistic potential of increasing the world’s honey bee population by a minimum of seven billion bees, creating an additional 1,500 hectares.


What are the proposal’s costs?

The following costs are based wholly on piloting Beekeeping for Business (Bfb) across 20 participating business in Scotland. These costs are likely to be similar for replicating the project across the UK, Europe, Canada & North America PLUS the additional administrative costs incurred by Not for Profit organisations delivering the programme in these countries. Note: Kelvin Valley Honey (KVH) will absorb any costs incurred in establishing non UK partnerships via funding from the UK Government’s department of Overseas Aid, The British Council and a number of UK and International grant making/philanthropic organisations.


1.      Costs are quoted in UK Sterling (pounds)

2.      Costs are based on providing each business with four honey bee colonies, associated equipment, training and mentoring staff, marketing product replacements production, branding, packaging etc.





Hives, Clothing, Equipment etc.


Honeybee starter colonies x 20 @ £250 each


Staff Training & Mentoring plus KVH staff weekly travel & colony care costs


Disease prevention treatments


Additional natural &/or organic ingredients/materials required in marketing/promotional products production and packaging


KVH project management costs


Total in UK £ Stirling


KVH Costs per participating business in UK £ Stirling




Time line

0 – 2 yrs: Pilot Beekeeping for Business (Bfb) to 20 Scottish Businesses

3 – 6 yrs: Roll out Bfb across the UK, Europe, Canada the United States, Brazil, China and India

7 – 20 yrs: Extend the roll out of an amended version of  BFB to all other countries

0 – 50 yrs: Reduce the CO2 emissions and climate damaging activities of businesses across the world.

Related proposals



None available at this time. We are completing an analysis of a previous project which will demonstrate the 25 year carbon capture levels of planting additional flowering fruit tree saplings.

We are also completing analysis of a further project completed in January 2013 estimating the C02 reductions of businesses moving from print media to online media marketing.