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My Summer With Plan Bee (By Jack McHugh)

Admin, August 24, 2017



Hello I am Jack McHugh and I am 16 years old and going into my last year of secondary school. Over the summer I worked for Plan Bee, part time and had a fantastic experience. I was given the opportunity to work at several festivals all over the UK, selling, meeting the public and gaining some vital experience for what I hope can assist me to a successful career in the future. At the end of June, just a month after my exams finished I went to London with a fellow employee to the Hammersmith area where we stayed for several days working at the House and Garden show in the Olympia. This show was rather challenging for my first show in England solely due to the fact that, the public at this show were very different to those I had met at food shows in and around Glasgow. I really enjoyed this show and hope I can do others similar to this one in the near future with Plan Bee.

The following month myself and the owner and founder of the company spent a week working at the Hampton Court Flower Show in what would prove to be, once again, a great experience. Being with a man who has been selling Plan Bee produce for a long time, I was able to copy and adapt to his selling techniques. This particular week in Hampton Court was extremely warm which, as you can imagine, made it very hard for me but nevertheless we met some great people from all over the world and were able to not just sell our produce to some of them but inform them of our great small business and our environmental orientated ethos.

Following Hampton Court I worked in my final show of the summer and it was Carfest in Cheshire. This particular show may have been my favourite for many reasons but I must admit, the super cars and Kaiser Chiefs playing next door wasn’t too bad! Again, the people that went to this show were different to the ones at Hampton Court and also to those at the House and Garden Show. After the previous two shows I believe I now had the knowledge to understand how to adapt to this and try my best to sell our produce and tell the public of where we come from and why this company was started. At Carfest, we brought a display hive down and this turned out to be a real attraction to not only kids but people of all ages. Overall it was a great show and a fantastic way to end the summer for myself.

To conclude, Plan Bee allowed me to gain experience in sales, see new places, meet new people and make some friends and all in the space of 2 months. I hope to work with them as much as I can over the course of the year and if so look forward to the challenges which I will face.

Black & Yellow Friday

Admin, November 23, 2016

This year we’re shunning Black Friday as part of what’s becoming a global phenomenon with like-minded companies such as REI in the US and their #OptOut campaign.

Plan Bee is first and foremost a sustainability business, an eco-innovator and the driving force behind a movement to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee populations across Scotland, the UK and beyond.

By hijacking Black Friday and ‘painting the town’ Black and Yellow we’re suggesting you join us in deserting the high street and heading for the hills…or indeed the park or garden; nailing your colours (of the bees, naturally) to the mast.



Seize back the day that’s been commandeered by consumption, spending and the horror stories of mass produce at mass discounts causing mass riots.

By opting out, or opting to #beefree you have the chance to fill your boots with the longest running sale with the lowest price possible but with the biggest consequences if it ever goes out of stock – nature.


However you opt to #beefree this Friday let us know about it by tagging us.

The Birds and the Bees

Admin, July 21, 2016


It’s a case of the birds and the bees as Surrey Veterinary practice Oak Barn Vets adopts a beehive from leading UK sustainability business, Plan Bee Ltd.

The Guildford based Vets will welcome around 60,000 new visitors to the large grounds surrounding their 400-year-old barn location in the Surrey Hills. While the team at Oak Barn look after the birds, Plan Bee’s Brett Adshead will look after
the bees.

Louise Ketteridge, Veterinary Surgeon and Partner at the practice said:

“We’re delighted to be playing our part in protecting the natural environment, and already the bees are starting to create a buzz with our customers. Many of Oak Barn’s regular pet owners have been asking how the bees are getting on and if they can try some of the honey. Our primary concern has always been the welfare of animals and that now includes helping to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee numbers. These vital little creatures are essential to all our survival, and we want do what we can to ensure they thrive.”


Environmental ambitions not just par for the course

Admin, July 18, 2016

IMG_6459This year’s Open Golf Championship at Royal Troon certainly created a buzz.

Scotland has the highest number of golf courses per head of population in the world, and with such a stunning natural environment, who can blame Scots for wanting to get out and play the beautiful game.

But with membership numbers falling, what are clubs doing to attract ethically-minded Millennials to golf, and by extension, what are golfing facilities doing to make sure they become environmental oases,
rather than just ‘green deserts’.

Reports suggest that golf clubs are in crisis, with membership numbers falling rapidly in recent years. Industry leaders want golf clubs to become more business-like, building customer experience into the overall package.

“Millennials are starting to drive spending around the world. From eco-tourism to how they spend their leisure-pound, this generation is buying from more ethical, sustainable and environmentally aware businesses. In a competitive market, every unique selling point is an advantage.

“Golf clubs need to think more about the environment. Many neighbour farmland, or are located in leafy suburbs and could do more to provide pollinator paradises, not only benefiting the course itself, but surrounding crops, woodlands and gardens. By installing managed beehives on courses across the country we could help with the pollination of thousands of acres and support Britain’s farmers and growers.”

There are many grant opportunities available for golf courses, to support their environmental ambitions and increase the biodiversity of the land. These can be accessed through:

The Scottish Golf Environment Group

The Scottish Rural Development Programme

Greener Golf

Golf Environment Organisation

There are a number of other funding mechanisms available should you be looking to install Plan Bee managed beehives on your golf course to support the biodiversity of the land. Please feel free to contact us for further information on 01698 580 572 or email buzz@planbeeltd.com.

Future’s Bright, Future’s Golden

Admin, July 15, 2016

The future’s bright, in fact for Beehive Brae, the future’s golden.

Not only has the ethical craft brewer’s signature Blonde Honey Beer been flying off the shelves in 67 Aldi stores across Scotland as part of the major multiple’s Summer Beer Festival; but it has also made the finals of two prestigious beer awards.

“It’s been an amazing summer for Beehive Brae, firstly with the reception we’ve received in Aldi, where our honey beer has flown off the shelves. Some stores even sold out 24-hours. And, being recognised among our peers with these two prestigious craft beer nominations is amazing. Having started as a crowdfunding project just two years ago, we have been on a fantastic journey.”

Beehive Brae’s Blonde Honey Beer has been nominated in the finals of the Scottish Beer Awards, which not only pits the ethical ale against other craft brewers, but also against some of the giants within the industry. While making the finals of the Great British Food awards will see Beehive Brae match up against the best craft brewers in Britain.

Beehive Brae is Great British Food Finalist

Admin, July 14, 2016

Great British Food AwardsOur Beehive Brae Blonde Honey Beer has just been nominated for the Great British Food Awards 2016.

The prestigious gongs were launched in 2014 to celebrate the UK’s premier home-grown ingredients, and to reward the hard-working people who produce and cook with them.

They aim to unearth and celebrate the very best artisan, British produce.

This year the awards gone have gone even bigger and better than before, with a number of new categories and celebrity judges, including MasterChef’s John Torode, Rosemary Shrager and Caroline Quentin

It’s fingers and toes crossed here at Plan Bee, with the winners to be announced in the October issue of Great British Food magazine, on sale September 2.

Hampton Court leaves Plan Bee buzzing

Admin, July 12, 2016

RHS 2The Plan Bee team is back hard at work following a gruelling but highly enjoyable week at the Royal Hampton Court Flower Show.

The event is the largest flower show in the world and attracted around 130,000 green-fingered gardeners. Plan Bee was exhibiting as part of the Guild of Fine Food village, in our chalet come pop-up shop.

Our Origin Honeygar and Beehive Brae honey beer performed particularly well, finding a welcoming new audience in the London commuter belt.

With seven glorious days of sunshine, the Royal Horticultural Society show is certainly one that we will be returning to next year.

Un-Bee-Lievable Honey Beer Ice Cream

Admin, July 5, 2016

Aldi_Equi's_25A new honey beer ice cream has been whipped up for summer by Lanarkshire-based brewery Beehive Brae and Equi’s in Hamilton to celebrate Beehive Brae’s Blonde Honey Beer being stocked in Aldi stores across Scotland.

Aldi tasked the team at Equi’s to create a new ice cream flavour using Beehive Brae’s Blonde Honey Beer to celebrate the local brewery making it onto Aldi shelves for the retailer’s Summer Beer Festival.

The limited edition Blonde Honey Beer ice cream will be on sale at Equi’s in Hamilton in June and July. Beehive Brae Blonde Honey Beer is on sale at all 67 Aldi stores in Scotland while stocks last (£1.79/330ml) after being hand-picked by the retailer’s ale experts for the in-store Summer Beer Festival.

Michael Whiteford, Buying Director at Aldi in Scotland, said:

“Since 2012, we’ve held in-store Scottish Beer Festivals twice a year. This year, for the first time, we’re holding three Festivals in our stores across Scotland to reflect the incredible range of Scottish craft beer on offer as well as the growing demand from Scottish shoppers.  It is very important to us at Aldi to give small breweries their first big break, allowing them a platform to showcase their fantastic craft beer. This summer, three out of four beers featured in the Festival have never been sold before at Aldi and we’re looking forward to giving our customers a taste of some delicious new drinks.

“Scotland continues to produce some of the best craft beer on the market and the Beer Festival allows our customers the opportunity to try a wide array of beers that are not all readily available. We are sure this Beer Festival will be a great success for Aldi and the brewers involved.”

Blooming marvellous

Admin, July 4, 2016

We’re taking on the largest flower show in the world this week.

Plan Bee has taken its own inimitable style of sustainability to the Royal Hampton Court Flower Show, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society.

All of our main brands including our Origin Honey range and Beehive Brae beers are on sale, alongside our salad-dressing-come-health-tonic
Origin Honeygar.

Making their debut are our Pollinator BeeBoms, the convenient little guerrilla gardening aid that can help you transform a wasted corner of your backyard or a derelict site into a pollinator paradise, filled year after year with nectar-rich British wildflowers.

An expected 130,000 people are forecast to attend the event over the course of the next week,.

For more information and photos of the event please follow us on Twitter or Instagram, or like us on Facebook.

Check out our bees, on check in

Admin, July 3, 2016

DSC00811It’s been a successful summer for Plan Bee so far, with more and more companies looking to boost their environmental credentials by joining us in beehive management partnerships. Our partnerships are now many and varied, with all different industries seeing the benefits in sustainability.

In particular, the hospitality sector is seeing such benefits. Not only are they helping visitors to offset the carbon footprint of their travel, but our beehives can provide them with natural honey with the highest of provenance, often coming directly from their rooftop or gardens.

We’re talking to some of the largest companies in Britain, and equally to some of the smallest. One of our most successful partnerships has been with the Battlefield Rest restaurant in the middle of Glasgow, where we are almost part of the family. Find out what Plan Bee can do for your company.

The show goes on… and on…

Admin, July 1, 2016

IMG_7227The team at Plan Bee have been extremely busy bees indeed this summer, with our two largest shows ever coming hot on the heels of each other.

As part of the Eat Lanarkshire stand, our Origin Honey and Beehive Brae brands were in a prime position to greet nearly 200,000 visitors who attended this year’s Royal Highland Show. We even constructed a new stand for the event, made from two recycled packaging crates.

We will greet over 130,000 visitors expected to attend the Royal Hampton Court Flower Show organised by the Royal Horticultural Society. The week-long event is the largest such flower show in the world.

Game, Set & Match for Honeygar Ice Cream

Admin, June 29, 2016

Honeygar Ice Cream smlWimbledon’s found a new love match this year, with the traditional Strawberries and Cream taking a back seat.

One of Scotland’s leading restaurant teams is adding a fresh twist to Britain’s traditional dessert, using Origin Honeygar by Plan Bee Ltd to spice up the summer. The blend of Aged Cider Vinegar and award-winning honey has been blended into a savoury ice-cream in
the Monachyle Mhor kitchen.

Head Chef, Marysia Paszkowska has taken Origin’s innovative salad-dressing-come-health-tonic and transformed it into a fresh fusion of sweet and savoury temptation for the balmy summer months.

Marysia said:

“This is an exciting new product which offers a range of possibilities. We’re constantly experimenting with it, beyond the expected salad dressing. Not only do we use it in our sour doughs, but it brings an extra dimension to tomato dishes and adds an edge to beetroot relishes, and a twist to salsas. I like to create the unexpected in my kitchen and Origin Honeygar certainly allows me to push new boundaries.”

Sweet sustainability for Abel & Cole

Admin, June 20, 2016
Abel & Cole's Dr Good Vibes, Claudia Ruane and Plan Bee Ltd's Brett Adshead

Abel & Cole’s Dr Good Vibes, Claudia Ruane and Plan Bee Ltd’s Brett Adshead

Abel & Cole is extending its ethical food adventure by joining us in an exciting new beehive management partnership.

The company will house three beehives at their headquarters in Wimbledon, supporting urban beekeeping and helping to protect dwindling honeybee numbers.

Claudia Ruane, Abel & Cole’s Dr Good Vibes said:

“Organic farming plays such a phenomenally crucial role in protecting biodiversity and, whilst we may not be farmers ourselves, we can still play a positive part in sustainable food systems. By offering a home to honeybees in our little bit of south west London, we can help educate each other and everyone in the Abel & Cole community of the important role they, and other pollinators play.

“Bees are crucial for biodiversity; they are responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat. Since 2010 we’ve run a few projects to raise awareness with customers about the decline in pollinator populations, and having bees move in here is the next really exciting step. We’re also looking to create pollinator palaces at each of our eight depots to make sure all Abel & Colers have the chance to do their bit to help solitary bees, bumblebees and other bugs thrive.”

The organic home delivery service was founded 28 years ago with the intent of doing good by supporting ethical food producers, whilst having fun. Like Abel & Cole, Plan Bee shares that ethos, working with businesses that not only care about good food, but also truly care about the environment.

Cooking with gas

Admin, June 17, 2016

IMG_4163The Plan Bee team’s cooking with gas this weekend as they play a part in bringing the buzz to the SGN family day.

The companies already work together on a successful Legacy project at Alloa’s Lornshill Academy, where a 5-year sustainability programme kicked-off earlier this year.

The weekend event will see Plan Bee deliver their unique brand of environmental entertainment with face-painting, seedbomb making, beehive painting and fun-filled

As one of the UK’s leading sustainability companies, Plan Bee has developed a successful community engagement service which is highly sought after by businesses, large and small across the UK.

Coming to KenMhor

Admin, June 16, 2016

KenMhorPlan Bee will buzz into Kenmore this weekend for the Rob Roy Challenge.

The fund raising event is now entering its 11th year, and has enabled over 5,500 hardy souls to battle the Scottish wilderness and raise almost £3million for a number of worthy charities, making it one of
the most successful fundraising events
in Scotland.

As part of the KenMhor Festival, organised by our friends at Monachyle Mhor, we’ll provide revitalising honey to restore energy reserves and for the thirsty, our ice cold Beehive Brae honey beer.

The event provides four challenging routes, from 16 miles to 72 miles following in the footsteps of mythical Scottish outlaw and folk hero, Rob Roy MacGregor.

Friends and family are encouraged to come along and support challengers at Kenmore and to enjoy the Rob Roy Challenge Festival weekend.

For more information on the event, please visit: www.robroychallenge.com

Che Guevara of Gardening


BEEBOM smlThe beehive management company’s latest product, the Pollinator BeeBom encourages flower-powered rebels to engage in ‘guerilla gardening’; transforming remote corners of backyards and derelict sites into bountiful pollinator paradises.

The Plan Bee general said:

“We want people to get the buzz about bees, and help to transform drab, boring derelict sites into wildflower meadows providing rich food sources for honeybees and other pollinators. Honeybee populations have dropped dramatically in recent decades, and while we’re playing a part to urbanise beekeeping, there’s much more that needs to be done.

“It’s simple, all you have to do is pop it, soak it, chuck it and you can watch as waste ground is turned into a lush meadow of British wildflowers. It not only provides a rich source of nectar for bees, but is also fun for the whole family, encouraging rebels young and old to get involved. It even helps to brighten up our communities and make that walk to work or school an altogether more enjoyable experience.”

The BeeBom will debut at the forthcoming Royal Horticultural Society show at Hampton Court in July. The event is the world’s largest annual flower show. Plan Bee will transform a chalet-style shed into a bespoke pop-up shop for the duration of the event, which is expected to attract more than 130,000 visitors over the course of the week (4th – 10th July).

Och aye the moo!

Admin, June 13, 2016


Heather Honeycomb web 1We’re busy bees here at the Plan Bee hive as we gear up for our biggest event yet, the Royal Highland Show.

As a cornerstone of the Eat Lanarkshire feature within the Scotland’s Larder Live tent, the team will be on hand to not only promote Plan Bee to around 200,000 visitors, but also to sell the company’s award-winning Origin Honey and Beehive Brae brands.

“This is the largest domestic event that we’ve ever taken part in, and we’re hugely appreciative to the team at North Lanarkshire Council for inviting us to take part. We’ve worked closely with the local authority over the last five years and the team and I are really looking forward to getting out there and meeting the thousands of visitors who attend the show annually.

“This is one of the milestone events in not only Scotland’s agricultural calendar, but on the country’s social calendar annually. Families from all across the UK, and from all kinds backgrounds, from the country and from towns and cities flock to Ingliston for this four-day showcase of some of the best produce that Scotland has to offer.”

The Highland Show runs between Thursday 23rd June and Sunday 26th June 2016. For further information please visit: www.royalhighlandshow.org/

Plan Bee wins prestigious


Plan Bee has lifted the prestigious Corporate Vision Most Sustainable Eco-Innovation Company 2016 at the Technology Innovator Awards.

Corporate Vision magazine is written by a highly experienced team of business experts, and provides a wealth of news,
on the corporate issues of the day.

The magazine provides senior managers with information on how to improve the way they manage their operations, staff, technology, business partnerships, and supply chains with a view to creating a more profitable and successful business.


Beehive Brae named Scottish Beer Awards Finalist

Admin, June 10, 2016

BEER webWe’re on cloud 9 here at Plan Bee HQ

We’ve just learned that we are FINALISTS in the prestigious Scottish Beer Awards!

The awards are a new national celebration for the beer business. Breweries both large and small have been given an opportunity to compete in a range of categories, assessing taste and business performance.

Our Beehive Brae Blonde Honey Beer is among only a handful of brewers in the Innovation of the Year category, recognising the development of innovative practice in any aspect of beer production, distribution, sales and marketing by a Scottish brewing company.

Business leaders raise a glass to crowdfunded beer’s success


BEEHIVE BRAE ALDI 2Business leaders are welcoming the success of Plan Bee’s crowdfunded honey beer, Beehive Brae.

The full-bodied, blonde craft beer will appear across Aldi‘s 67 stores throughout Scotland, bringing this full-bodied, artisan blonde to the attention of craft beer lovers North of the Border.

The promotion is the culmination of a two-year journey for Plan Bee, which established its craft brewery following a successful crowdfunding project in 2014. The honey beer and its stablemate Beehive Brae Mead
were created thanks to the digital
investment venture with the leading
Crowdcube site.

Plan Bee has been widely recognised as a leading example of the impact that crowdfunding can have on your business.

Stuart Patrick, chief executive of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said:

“Plan Bee is a fine example of how a company can utilise crowdfunding to enable success. Craft beer is hugely popular, and having Plan Bee’s own label honey beer stocked in 67 Aldi stores across the country is good news.

“The company is highly innovative and has helped organisations, including a number of our members, improve green credentials and commitment to the environment, while emphasising the importance of supporting a honeybee population that has been in worrying decline.”

Aldi is the first major outlet to seize upon Beehive Brae, after Plan Bee came to the company’s attention through their Next Top Product competition, in which the sustainability businesses Origin Honey was also a finalist.

Beehive Brae Honey Beer will be available at Aldi stores across Scotland from June 9th. Alternatively, if you want to find out what all the buzz is about, and get ahead of the pack, then please visit www.beehivebrae.uk

Beehive Brae gets Aldi buzzing

Admin, June 9, 2016

BB smlOne of the UK’s fastest growing, sustainable craft beers has been snapped up by leading supermarket chain Aldi as part of a major summer promotional drive.

Beehive Brae Honey Beer will appear across the major multiple’s 67 stores throughout Scotland, bringing this full-bodied, artisan blonde to the attention of craft beer lovers North of the Border.

As the label suggests, every bottle of Beehive Brae Honey Beer is brewed for the ‘betterment of bees’, with parent company Plan Bee driving the growing movement to protect and preserve Britain’s dwindling honeybee populations.

Richard Holloway, Managing Director of Aldi in Scotland, said:

“Scotland produces some of the best craft beer on the market and the Aldi Beer Festival allows our customers the opportunity to try a wide array of beers that are not all readily available. We are sure this Beer Festival will be a great success for Aldi and the brewers involved.”

2016 just got sweeter for Deli of the Year

Admin, June 7, 2016

IMG_0194(1)The UK’s deli of the year just got a whole lot sweeter, and a whole lot ‘greener’.

Petworth-based, The Hungry Guest has signed up to stock the premium Infusions range of honeys by the award-winning Origin Honey brand.
The deli will also stock the brand’s
sister label, Beehive Brae honey beer.

Both brands are produced by Plan Bee Ltd, one of the UK’s leading sustainability businesses which produces award winning honeys, mead and honey beers from their share of honey produced under their beehive management partnerships. With more than 200 beehives from Cornwall to Aberdeen, the company is working hard to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee populations, and has returned more than 10-million bees back to the natural environment, making their honey one of the most environmentally-friendly products around.

The Hungry Guest’s Retail Manager, Brett Coleman said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to be working with Plan Bee in supporting the rejuvenation of the honeybee population within the UK. Our customers know good food and it’s up to me to ensure the best is delivered to our shelves. The Infusions range is exceptional and being received well in the shop alongside the unique Beehive Brae honey beers…. something I’ll definitely be drinking this summer!”

Industry leaders welcome new labels


Origin New LabelPlan Bee’s new Origin Honey labels are receiving wide acclaim across the food and drink industry.

Last year the Origin brand picked up a total of three Great Taste Award gold stars; two for its Scottish Heather Honey and one for its British Blossom Honey. This led organisers the Guild of Fine Food
to call Plan Bee an ‘elite UK producer’.

Tortie Farrand, Marketing Director for the Guild said:

“It is wonderful to see Great Taste award-winning producer Plan Bee launching their beautiful new labels, a design which matches the quality of what is inside their jars. The honey is bound to fly off the shelves this summer!’

The Origin Honey brand carries a wide variety of honeys from Scottish Heather Honey to British Blossom Honey, Glengoyne Single Malt Whisky Honey and an exciting Infusions range which features Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla, Keralan Cinnamon and Italian Truffle Honey.

Mark McDavid, Plan Bee chairman, an FMCG big-hitter with some thirty years’ experience across the industry. He concluded:

“Already our honey is being enjoyed around the world, from Europe to Asia. We want to not only promote our own brand internationally, but also the quality of Scottish produce. We believe that the key elements of what makes Scottish food, and in particular what makes Scottish honey great is encapsulated into our new label. It is clear, and allows the product to speak for itself, which all good produce should. I’m delighted with the outcome and know that buyers, distributors and customers around the world will also be delighted with this eye-catching product.”

Down Under Dame joins Bee Boys

Admin, June 6, 2016

Maddy 1
The Plan Bee team are being joined by a new Queen Bee to help in the efforts to support dwindling honeybee populations across the UK.

Strathclyde University Masters student Madeline Briscoe is taking up the role of Business Management Intern for the summer, working across the team to develop a Marketing Events portfolio.

Designs on success


IMG_9938(Black-blur) smlLeading honey producer, Plan Bee is creating a buzz with its stunning new Origin Honey labels.

The sustainability business rebranded its honey range last year following a hugely successful crowdfunding project. The online investment project also allowed the company to develop the Beehive Brae mead and craft beer brand, which has also received acclaim for its stand out labels.

The label design is the conclusion of a long journey.

That young designer was Robert Doyle, a product of Edinburgh Napier University’s Design and Digital Arts course. Robert is proof of Plan Bee’s triple bottom line philosophy of planet, people and profit, which has helped him to develop his enviable design skills for international product development.

Programme Leader for Napier’s Design and Digital Arts department, Andrew O’Dowd added:

“We work with designers to develop their ability in both design tools but also in design thinking. Robert’s work has always demonstrated intelligence and playfulness that has the ability to connect with communities not just the individual. It is no surprise that his approach and the ethos of Plan Bee are working so well together.”


Save the Bees this Summer

Admin, June 2, 2016

IMG_6896The nation’s gardeners are out in force as the mercury continues to rise.

But the burning question is what to plant, how to bring all-year-round colour and for the more sustainable gardener, how to attract insect pollinators and particularly how best to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee numbers by providing them with a rich source of nectar in our gardens.

As a leading sustainability business we provide beehive management services for companies large and small, from rooftop hives on family-run restaurants to International household names the likes of Kellogg’s, L’Oreal and Highland Spring.

Those early spring honeybees have already foraged on Rhododendron, Berberis, Broom and Willow which provide early sources of nectar, helping to strengthen the colony for the summer ahead. Buddleia, otherwise known as the Butterfly Bush are an important summer food source for honeybees and other pollinators, along with Clematis, Honeysuckle and Hebe. While Hydrangea and Fuschia provide nectar in late summer, and Ivy is the final food source for our bees as summer turns to autumn.

Let’s not forget our great British trees. The season of planting trees has essentially passed, but there’s always next year to plan for. Plan Bee surprisingly recommended crab apples which not only are great for honeybees, but amazing crab apple jelly can be made from the fruit, and once fallen the apples provide a sustainable food source for birds, hedgehogs and other small garden animals.

British Wildflower Seedbombs can help you transform waste ground, or even a corner of your garden into a pollinator paradise, while providing all generations with a bright and colourful gardening experience.

You can check out our special Plan Bee Pollinator Beebom by clicking here

Bringing the buzz to Balquhidder

Admin, May 26, 2016

MhorHello Balquhidder!

Plan Bee is ready to rock the festival scene this summer, kicking off at the Mhor Festival this weekend.

The company will bring their own special kind of buzz to the annual event organised by renowned Scottish chef Tom Lewis and his team at Monachyle Mhor.

Crisp, dry Beehive Brae Honey Beer will feature over the two-day festival, joined by the more mellow tones of its Red Beer stablemate. Revellers can not only enjoy the uplifting taste of the beer but they can also enjoy it’s refreshing environmental credentials, with each bottle brewed for the Betterment of Bees.

The team, who will be glamping it up over the weekend, will also be keeping festival-goers sweet with our Origin Honey on sale across the event.

Will they make it back to work next week, or is there a sickie looming?

Summer breeze

Admin, May 25, 2016

It’s been an extremely busy last few months for everyone at Plan Bee.

We’ve jetted to Japan to spread the buzz across south east Asia and Australia; we’ve signed up some internationally renowned new beehive management partnerships and we’ve added to the hives we have with some old friends.

Already we’re plotting our way through a hectic summer of locating hives in resorts, placing colonies on top of iconic hotels and delivering long-term legacy projects.

This will see our education efforts increase and keep #GenerationBee educated on the plight of Britain’s honeybees and the part that young people can play in protecting and preserving dwindling colonies.

Keep up to date by following us on social media and signing up for our weekly newsletter

Helping out Hospitality

Admin, May 24, 2016

Sundial HivesIt’s not only our bees that are dusting down the hive and preparing for a busy season ahead, the country’s hospitality sector is also adding the spit and polish for summer.

We’ve been working with a variety of tourism businesses over the winter months to help improve their offering for guests during May, June, July and August aka. British Summertime.

From providing high quality British honey from beehives right on their doorstep, to their own bespoke labelling and content for websites and sustainability reports to actually offering guests an easy, low-cost way to offset some of the carbon footprint from their stay; Plan Bee is really generating a buzz across the sector.

So, as another Bank Holiday approaches and we consider long weekend breaks or jetting off to the sun, it’s maybe time to think about what more your business can do for the environment.

For more information, please email buzz@planbeeltd.com

Busy bees, busy weekend

Admin, May 23, 2016

IMG_6721It was a busy weekend for the Plan Bee team, working across a number of shows, festivals and sampling sessions throughout the UK.

While often damp and windy, the sun came out for the team working at the RSPB Big Nature Festival in Musselburgh near Edinburgh.

Our Origin Honey varieties went down a storm with twitchers and other visitors to the event, including children’s television presenters Ferne Corrigan and Rory Crawford from CBeebies’ ‘My Pet and Me’. They showed particular interest in our observation hive, which allows youngsters the opportunity to see a real beehive in action.

Our new recruit Brett returned to the double Deli of the Year, The Hungry Guest to allow their regular customers to taste our Origin Honey and Beehive Brae ranges, which the Petworth store has recently started stocking.

At Largs Food Festival those from near and far were loving our honey and Beehive Brae honey beer. It was a mixed weekend for weather, but the Sunday sunshine brought out the crowds to this popular Ayrshire event.

Working with your charity


IMG_4440Much of our work over the last few months has been to deliver an exciting and colourful community engagement product for our many beehive management partnerships and other organisations.

This service is being taken up and considered by a number of our new beehive management partners, additional to their initial beehive adoptions. But, other partners are looking to how they, and their customers can offset the carbon they’ve used.

They’re looking at our ‘Adopt-A-Bee’ initiative to allow their guests and clients to make a low-cost, one-off, easy contribution to help address the energy they may have used.

We also got involved in a great cause recently, working with international charity, WaterAid we provided 500 jars of bespoke branded WaterAid honey for that tables at their WaterAid Ball. The annual fundraiser helped to collect tens of thousands of pounds to ensure billions of people across the developing world get easy access to clean water and sanitation.

If you are interested in talking about how Plan Bee can help you to work more closely with your chosen charities, then please email at me at buzz@planbeeltd.com

Hungry for more…

Admin, May 19, 2016

Hungry GuestBrett’s back at double Deli of the Year winner, the Hungry Guest this weekend with another popular sampling session.

The Petworth fine food store’s latest Origin Honey and Beehive Brae craft beer range went down so well with customers last week that they’ve invited Plan Bee back for a further showcase this Saturday morning (21st May) between 11 and 12.

Our West Sussex beekeeper will be on hand to answer any questions on beekeeping and the plight of the honeybee, but will also be providing honey samples and tastes of our full-bodied blonde, artisan Honey Beer and its chocolatey, red beer stable mate.

For more information follow @planbeeltd on twitter or like us on Facebook.

Heading down the coast


BEEHIVE BRAE BOTTLES 1 smlPlan Bee is heading to the seaside in what is an epic weekend for the team.

There’s no knotted hankies and relaxing on deckchairs as the company features its Origin Honey and Beehive Brae brands at the bustling Largs Food Festival.

Held on the promenade the event was a major success for Plan Bee last year, with thousands of food lovers heading for the Ayrshire Riviera.

Alongside its stunning Scottish Heather Honey and classic Blossom Honey varieties, the multi-award winning Origin Honey will feature its prestigious Infusions range, with Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla and Keralan Cinnamon.

Fresh from the Valnerina Valley in Umbria our truffles will raise the eyebrows of even the most experienced ‘foodie’ when they try our Italian Truffle Infusion Honey.

With the summer months approaching, there’s also our very popular Honeygar, a blend of Aged Cider Vinegar and Honey. While this is ideal as a salad dressing such as balsamic, it is growing in popularity as a health tonic, with a number of potential benefits.

And, ahead of a major announcement for the brand, the team will provide the flagship Beehive Brae Blonde Honey Beer. This full-bodied artisan blonde is rapidly becoming a favourite with craft beer lovers across the country and internationally.

Honey tops Scotland’s Super Foods list


honeygar smlWe were delighted with a recent article in one of the country’s widest read tabloids naming our Origin Heather Honey and Honeygar as among Scotland’s leading super foods.

Sales of Honeygar have been going well, with not only salad enthusiasts snapping it up as a welcome new dressing; but also those looking for the potential health benefits from the Aged Cider Vinegar and honey mix.

To find out about the potential benefits of our Origin Honeygar, why not watch our new video.

For more information on Plan Bee Ltd and how we can help your business please take a look at our brochures and case studies, or visit us at www.planbeeltd.com

Joining #GenerationBee

Admin, May 18, 2016

Lornshill 4 picThings are really starting to buzz here at Plan Bee, and that’s not just the 10-million honeybees we have in partnership hives from Aberdeen to Cornwall.

We’re seeing a growing number of large businesses connecting with the company and most satisfying is that they already get what we’re about. Word of mouth, social media and building the buzz are all helping to engage with companies keen to play their own part in supporting the environment.

What is best about that is perhaps that these companies are not only looking to be one hit wonders, but they hope to educate their communities and in particular younger members of their communities on the vital role that honeybees play in the environment.

Creating this environmental Legacy has been an important part of our work over the last 5 years, with over 18,000 young people taught curriculum-based sustainability lessons.

We’re adding to that, showing kids the waggle dance, squishing recycled newspaper together with wildflower seeds and painting hives with communities across the country.

This community engagement offering is a growing part of what we do, in fact the future’s bright, the future’s… golden.

Plan Bee come close with Queen’s Award


queens_award_logoIt’s been a time of celebration and mild disappointment in the last few weeks.

While we have been receiving praise from a number of new partnerships (more to follow), we also received news that we had been unsuccessful in our bid for a much-coveted Queen’s Award.

We were greatly pleased to have been nominated for this prestigious accolade, which is awarded for outstanding achievement by UK businesses.

There’s always next year!

Checking in with Hilton Hotels

Admin, May 17, 2016

BEEHIVE BRAE BOTTLES 1 smlEveryone at Plan Bee was delighted with a certificate we received in the post recently.

Leading international hospitality chain, Hilton Hotels has added the company and our Origin Honey and Beehive Brae products to their procurement list.

This will allow the company to not only house our beehives, but to also stock our amazing honey beer and use our Origin Honey products on their menu.

We are grateful to Hilton for providing us with this opportunity and look forward to working with them closely in future.

If you work in the hospitality sector and are interested in working as a beehive management partner with Plan Bee Ltd, or in stocking our award-winning Origin Honey and Beehive Brae ranges then please contact buzz@planbeeltd.com

Cover story

Admin, May 16, 2016

IMG_9938(Black-blur) smlWe were delighted to be asked provide imagery for the front cover of the prestigious Lanarkshire Food Map recently.

The map is the product of the close working relationship between North and South Lanarkshire Council, Scotland Food and Drink and The List Magazine.

Not only does our Origin Honey Madagascan Bourbon Vanilla Infusion take the front cover, but our other honey products also featured on promotional banners for the launch event.

Plan Bee’s in-house Digital Marketing team also provided a short promotional video of the event for North Lanarkshire Council.

To watch any of our videos please visit: www.youtube.com/planbeeltd 

No Bees, No Christmas

Buzz, December 10, 2015

ChristmasBeeTableLandscape web

We’re all rushing about like busy bees preparing for Christmas. But without those busy bees there wouldn’t be a Christmas as we know it, and certainly our Christmas Dinner would be pretty grim.

Many of the yuletide staples and trimmings that we have come to expect as part of the great Christmas feed would cease to exist if it wasn’t for the humble little honeybee and its friends. Honeybees are responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat. And without them, your big family feast would be greatly depleted.

The team have extensively promoted the extent to which our dinner tables, fridges and supermarket shelves would be effected without this tiny little creature.

University of Reading research found that honeybee populations had declined by around 50% in the last two decades through climate change, poor pesticide management and man’s negative impact on the environment. University of Bristol research has also found that honeybees and their pollinator friends are responsible for 80% of all plant species in Europe including both fruits and vegetables.

Plan Bee works with businesses big and small, from family-run companies to global brands to install and manage beehives. Working with dozens of companies, they’ve helped to preserve and protect more than 10-million honeybees in over 200 hives stretching from Aberdeen to Cornwall.

The eco-innovation business has attracted a number of new ‘partnerships’ in 2015 including Kellogg’s, L’Oreal, Low Carbon and British Gas, as more and more companies realise the importance of protecting honeybees and extending their sustainability reach. With one colony of honeybees capable of pollinating 4000m2 of fruit trees, Plan Bee’s partnership colonies could pollinate an area of agricultural land more than 110 times the size of Wembley.

Mark McDavid, Plan Bee Chair and experienced FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) Managing Director added:

“Plan Bee is about helping people to realise the importance of these tiny creatures in protecting the delicate balance of our ecosystem. They play a huge part in the UK’s £96Bn food industry and its time that across the sector we all supported them more. Just looking at our Christmas dining table both with and without bees should be enough to spur us all into action. This is the most precious meal of the year, but it has a much wider reflection that hits home the impact we are having on these tiny creatures and our wider environment.”


Bee Biz Gets High-Tech Buzz

Buzz, December 7, 2015

Low Carbon web1Leading sustainability business Plan Bee Ltd is going high tech in its mission to save endangered honeybees.

With honeybee populations virtually across Europe having been decimated in the last two decades alone, UK beehive management business Plan Bee Ltd is turning to technology in a bid to gather greater evidence.

The eco-innovator is working together with renewable energy partner Low Carbon to install unique monitoring systems that not only measure hive temperatures and humidity, but also hive acoustics.

As well as the effects of climate change, poor pesticide management and man’s impact on the environment, honeybee colonies are also being hit with ‘hive rustling’, where commercial hives are stolen from farms and sold on for their valuable contents. Monitoring can also help to track any such stolen hives.

The data monitors not only collect information on conditions within the hive, but also map the daily flight information, fanning activity and access the efficiency within the collection and processing of the colony’s nectar.

Most importantly, the system studies the major influence played by the external environment on various colonies. The initial instrumentation will be hosted at Low Carbon solar parks across the south of England, from Cornwall and Dorset to Suffolk.

Quentin Scott, Low Carbon’s Marketing Director added:

“Our solar parks, as well as providing a source of clean, renewable energy, can also provide a safe, biodiverse home for honeybees. Already they offer a protected habitat to a number of species. We welcome the development of this innovative monitoring technology and we’re only too happy to assist Plan Bee in their pioneering efforts, particularly if it helps to safeguard bees now and for the future.”

Hive monitoring can provide the greatest reliability and consistency in environmental monitoring. All data collected is time-stamped to the second, and isn’t reliant on manual operation. Locating on relatively isolated solar parks, adjacently located to agricultural land provides a unique location to monitor impacts away from man-made influences. It could also provide valuable information for farmers.

Beer biz launches Christmas Kickstarter

Buzz, December 4, 2015

Kickstarter ImageBeehive Brae is a brand new British honey beer produced for the Betterment of Bees.

We use only the finest British honey from our sustainably managed, ethical beehives, in fact, we have already helped to protect and preserve 10 million honeybees.

That’s why we’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign to not only promote the issues around dwindling honeybee numbers, but also to raise vital funding to protect and restore millions more valuable bees to the environment.

Beehive Brae is urging everyone with even an inkling of interest in the environment to support the spirit of Christmas future:

“Can you imagine what Christmas might look like without the valuable little honeybee? They’re responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat. Around the Christmas dinner table that would mean no cranberry sauce for your turkey, no sage for the stuffing and certainly no parsnips, carrots or Brussel sprouts.

“We’re doing everything we can to restore millions of honeybees back into the British environment and ensure that we continue to enjoy all the foods we’ve become accustomed to, not only at this time but all year round. We know that this is a concern for millions of people and we’re urging them to give just a little bit of their time and money to support our Kickstarter campaign.”

The campaign has a dual purpose. Not only will supporters help to protect honeybees, but they will also support a great new British beer and mead. The growing craft beer movement is now worth more than £225million annually to the UK economy and Beehive Brae is finding its own, independent niche within that. The Great Taste award-winning Elderflower and Rose mead also helps to support honeybee populations. Popularity of the honey wine has increased markedly over the last few years through shows like Game of Thrones.

Beehive Brae Chair, Mark McDavid who is a veteran of the fast moving consumer goods market and has led companies the likes of Hallmark Cards and Aunt Bessies, added:

“Beehive Brae is truly a pint with purpose. I was delighted to join this ambitious sustainability company earlier this year, and to give them some of my 30 years’ experience. This is about not only supporting bees, but small British businesses, British beer and British workers. The team have a real social conscious, as well as a great tasting honey beer. Beehive Brae’s smooth taste is matched only by its refreshing environmental credentials and I would encourage anyone who thinks similarly to back them.”

If you like your beer fresh, like your beer British, like your beer with strong notes of independence, but most importantly if you like your beer with a full-bodied flavour of doing what is right for the planet, then please donate what you can and join #GenerationBee:


Honey hits alcohol’s sweet spot

Buzz, November 27, 2015

Glengoyne webHere at Plan Bee, as eco-innovators we’re always tracking up and coming trends. Already this has helped us to identify a number of new products such as our exclusive Keralan Cinnamon Infusion variety. This strong south Indian spice permeates through our award-winning honey to leave a spicy after note, which tastes like Christmas in a jar.
One area where such flavour trends are more marked is the alcohol industry. Already numerous bourbons and whiskies are turning to a cinnamon infusion.
But we wouldn’t be earning our ‘eco-innovator’ tag if we weren’t pushing the boundaries and turning these trade reports on their head. At the very end of last year renowned Swiss flavouring and fragrance manufacturer, Firmenich came out with its proclamation for Flavour of the Year 2015, and that flavour was (drum roll)… Honey. Tick.
Jack Daniels and Jim Beam had blended it with their bourbon, and Irish whiskey maker Bushmills produced their Irish Honey whiskey. But what could we do as an elite producer of award-winning honey? Turn it upside down, work with one of Scotland’s most sustainable distilleries and come up with Great Taste award-winning Blossom Honey blended with Glengoyne 10-year old malt whisky.
Over the last few months the product has proven extremely successful, with visitors to the BBC’s Good Food Show and other recent events snapping up the product. Most notably our whisky infusion is now being sold in Japan and in Switzerland’s exclusive Globus department store.
To find out what all the fuss is about visit our Origin Honey website: www.originhoney.com

Creating a buzz on Aldi catwalk

Admin, September 5, 2015

Heather Honeycomb web 1Plan Bee Ltd’s premium honey brand has sashayed into the final of Aldi’s Next Top Product awards.

The Lanarkshire sustainability business has been asked to present their products Scottish Runny Heather Honey, Scottish Set Blossom Honey and Whisky Honey products to Aldi’s Scottish Buying team who will support the winner through the process of getting their product on the shelf.

Richard Holloway, Managing Director of Aldi in Scotland, said:

“Our business model in Scotland has always been about working with the best local producers to bring top quality products to our customers at everyday low prices. We want to help give a local business their big break by offering them access to our knowledge and expertise to help get their product off the ground.”

The event has been launched to coincide with the Year of Food and Drink Scotland 2015, celebrating the country’s outstanding natural larder and produce. The Scottish Government initiative is led by VisitScotland and supported by Scotland Food & Drink and Think Local. It is designed to capitalise on the momentum created by the previous Year of Food and Drink in 2010 and Homecoming Scotland.

Scotland Food & Drink Chief Executive James Withers commented:

“Aldi is placing a strong focus on sourcing locally and the resultant relationships with Scottish suppliers are great to see. This approach is invaluable for the continued growth of our sector. The Scottish food and drink industry has been enjoying sales growth year on year and there is good reason for us to be recognised as a Land of Food and Drink as we offer quality products with a strong identity. This hunt for the next best product will be good exposure to new or as yet undiscovered products in the market.”

Building on Scottish Food & Drink Fortnight, September’s Year of Food and Drink theme is Celebration with a focus on events and products that celebrate provenance and the produce on our doorstep.

Health & Safety boss embraces bees

Admin, September 4, 2015

Kellogg's HeatherBefore we begin beehive installations with our clients we like to carry out health and safety checks.

Health and Safety officers, particularly those working for large organisations are extremely cautious people by profession and often by nature.

That’s why when we received this lovely blog from Kellogg’s safety advisor Heather Gaskell, we thought it would be appropriate to share it:

I’ve been safety advisor at the Kellogg Manchester Plant for nearly 3 years.

So instinctively you would think I would have been slightly twitchy about the thought of bees on site. It would almost be so easy to say no, were not having them its not worth the risk!

Possibly a part of me did think that, however when the opportunity arose to go and look at them closely and inside the hives I jumped at the chance. Surprising as even the thought of a money spider within ten feet of me would usually be enough to make me sweat!

I’ve always been very passionate about gardening and flowers and bees being a big part of this means I’ve always had a vague interest in them. I wasn’t really sure what to expect when I got geared up in the bee suit to go and look inside the hives.

It wasn’t what I thought anyway! The bees didn’t care about me being around. They just busily carried on doing what they do. The gentle hum of the bees was actually very calming and put me at ease.

I think my view now is that the fear of bees is fairly irrational. It surprised me how much I enjoyed the experience.

I would urge others to get involved in any way they can with bees, they are beautiful creatures that do nothing but good! I think businesses can be put off by the health and safety aspect of keeping bees but really there is not a lot to it! A simple risk assessment, PPE and basic training is all you need. Keeping them also has the added reward of a pot of honey. It’s a win win situation! I’m definitely a true bee convert!

Heather Gaskell

Honey Bees Travel to Warmer Climes for Winter

Admin, January 16, 2015

In the winter, California receives many visitors travelling there to escape cold temperatures – over 54 billion or so. Alongside regular tourists that escape to the warm, sunny state for winter, around 1.5 million hives carrying billions of honey bees from all over the United States travel there by the truckload.

An earlier article detailed what bees do to keep out the cold but the honey bees here are coming to California from states such as those in the Midwest, where harsh winter storms and below freezing temperatures would destroy many of the colonies. Their owners need to move them somewhere warmer and California’s central coast is the ideal, but also for other reasons.

Honey Bees Travel to Warmer Climes for Winter - Plan Bee Ltd

In addition to the temperature, apiarists now mainly choose California for this purpose over other warm states such as Florida due to the greater rate of pest infestation in the latter state, which has led to the increased use of pesticides – bad news for bees. California is also a main producer of almonds and the bees arrive in winter before almond pollination season begins. During the last ten years the honey bee relocation has occurred, almond acreage has doubled in California, so the bees aren’t the only ones who benefit.

Propolis – A Possible Cure For Baldness?

Admin, January 12, 2015

Propolis has long been used to treat various human conditions but researchers in Japan have recently discovered a previously unknown benefit of this natural remedy – they found that it can stimulate hair regrowth.

Propolis is a resinous compound derived from tree and plant sources and used by honeybees as a sealant to repair and coat their hives. Pictured is some propolis that Plan Bee Ltd took from our hives and you can see it is a rather tarry, waxy substance. Its antiseptic properties are harnessed by bees to inhibit fungal growth and bacterial growth in the hive and latterly by humans as a natural medicine for wounds, tumours and inflammation.

Propolis - Plan Bee Ltd

While more testing will be necessary, propolis was found to promote the growth of cells responsible for the production of hair follicles. Studies were conducted on mice, showing that those that had received a propolis treatment grew their fur back faster than those that were untreated. Inflammation is one of the main reasons for hair loss in humans and the scientists behind the research hope that what works for mice can work for us too. Expensive and painful hair transplants like Wayne Rooney’s and fooling nobody comb-overs may be a thing of the past thanks to this natural remedy that the bees knew about first!

Customer Recipe Ideas are Positively Encouraged…

Admin, January 7, 2015

We previously talked about valuable feedback that local producers get from their customers. Sometimes, customers tell us how they used one of our products in a way that we hadn’t thought of or that we’d tried ourselves.

Such as this one from Mazika Li, who ordered some of our blossom honey, bespoke branded by us with the name of her fantastic food blog – ‘My Drool Factory’. Mazika used our blossom honey in a chicken based recipe (a meat and honey pairing that goes very well together) in her ‘Honey Soy Sticky Drumsticks’ Try the recipe here.

Mazika Li - Honey Soy Drumsticks - Plan Bee Ltd
Mazika finds our honey works very well with her cooking as its free from additives, minimally filtered and cold pressed – keeping the honey’s natural goodness and flavour in. She finds it preferable to many supermarket honey’s which she finds taste ‘artificial’ We thank you for truly appreciating our honey Mazika and providing us with a tasty new recipe. We invite anyone else to send us a honey based recipe that we will publish here on the website, just send to buzz@planbeeltd.com for our chief tasters!

Cosy Bee Colonies Keep Out the Cold

Admin, December 16, 2014

We have previously mentioned that our bees are not working over Christmas to produce their lovely honey – but what are they actually doing without it and how do they survive the drop in temperature?…by getting rather cosy…

Cosy Hive - Beehives in the snow - Plan Bee Ltd

Honeybees form a complete colony by collecting themselves into a deep cluster and keep warm by vibrating their wing muscles. They use the honey they have generated as a source for energy to fuel this – which is why they produce honey in summer and autumn months in the run up to winter. But if beekeepers harvest these honey reserves, what do they use instead?

Cosy Hive - Plan Bee Ltd

Beekeepers will replenish their hives with a sugar solution substitute derived from beet or cane sugar which is mixed with water. The bees drink the sucrose and through a process called inversion, they produce essential glucose and fructose for fuel – similar to how they convert nectar to honey. The beekeeper will return in January and February to check how his little charges are doing and if they need more of the substitute – lifting the lid very quickly so a minimum amount of cold air gets in. The bees will remain in this state until fresh, local pollen starts to be released from trees and plants which is when they will leave their hives to seek springs new blossom.

St Ambrose, patron saint of beekeepers

Admin, December 7, 2014

The Advent ofSt Ambrose - Beekeeping - Plan Bee Ltd the feast of St. Ambrose occurs today. St. Ambrose is of particular significance to Plan Bee as he is the patron saint of bees, beekeepers and even candle makers! In his iconography, he is often depicted with bees or a beehive – symbols that also indicate wisdom.

He would lend his name to the Latin term for honey ‘ambrosia’ also used in Greek and Roman mythology to describe the food of the gods. St Ambrose is still referenced today by modern beekeepers, using the term ambrosia to describe the mixture of nectar and pollen prepared by worker bees to feed bee larvae.

Legend has it that when Ambrose was an infant, a swarm of bees settled in his mouth, said to be a sign he would become a great orator. His preaching was reported to ‘sound as sweet as flowing honey’ which earned him the alternative moniker of the ‘Honey-Tongued Doctor’

Introducing our new Online Shop…

Admin, December 3, 2014

If you haven’t already had a peek, our new online shop has opened, where you will find our award winning Scottish honey, fantastic fudge and our range of pure beeswax candles. And as it’s coming up to Christmas, the elves at Plan Bee have been hand-packing these natural and sustainable products into an attractive selection of gift boxes and hampers, complete with wrapping and dainty wee tartan bows, so you don’t have to tie yourself in knots to make things look pretty!

Christmas Wicker Box - Plan Bee Ltd

It may also be that you need some honey to glaze the Christmas ham or want to harness the health giving and restorative qualities of honey to add to lemon (and possibly a wee dram) as a seasonal cure for the cold. Our candles also make an atmospheric and sweet smelling addition to the home or dinner table during the festive season and come small enough for a stocking filler.

As an introductory offer, we would like to give customers a 10% discount of all orders up until the 17th of December, so they can make some bee-savvy savings on treats for yourself or on thoughtful, eco-aware gifts for family and friends. Simply go to and www.planbeeltd.com/shop type in the discount code ‘environment’ to fill up your hives (not your trolleys!) and we will be sending our naturally good products out to you soon.

Heather Honey Fudget and Scottish Heather Honey - Plan Bee Ltd

Highland Titles and Bee Keeping Boys and Girls

Admin, November 28, 2014

We previously told you about our partnership with land management and conservation company – Highland Titles, when we published this article back in August. They have a unique approach to land and nature conservation in the Scottish Highlands by offering areas of land to members of the public who are passionate about preserving the beautiful scenery and biodiversity of the Scottish highlands and becoming a lord, laird or a lady while doing so.

The hives we placed in Glencoe wood, courtesy of Highland Titles are strictly to boost bee populations and contribute to the biodiversity of the area around them – we don’t take any honey from these hives to use in our products. Highland Titles also welcome children from schools in local areas to be part of a sustainable project; the children take a hands-on role by painting these hives around a number of themes, such as the children of Kinlochleven Primary School seen here in this recent article:

Kinlochleven Schools a Hive of Activity - Highland Titles - Plan Bee Ltd

The painted hives could be there on the same spot for decades, allowing these children to return to them over the years and possibly bringing their own children to see them and to learn like they did – true sustainability and involvement with the land and these amazing creatures.

Children from Ballachulish Primary School also sent us their lovely drawings and letters of thanks after Plan Bee visited there to tell children about the importance of honey bees to our food and their critical role in the eco-system.

Highland Titles - Plan Bee Ltd

Can you hear the buzz from the Great British Entrepreneur Awards?

Admin, October 8, 2014

Plan Bee has made it through to the final short-list in the Eco Entrepreneur of the Year and Rural Entrepreneur of the Year Categories in the Great British Entrepreneur Awards.

The Great British Entrepreneur Awards, taking place on 19 November at Old Billingsgate in Central London, have become the recognised standard of excellence amongst entrepreneurs.

Great British Entrepreneur Awards 2014 - Plan Bee LtdSimon Burton, founder of the Great British Entrepreneur Awards, said: “The entries we have received for the Great British Entrepreneur Awards can only be described as awe inspiring. The quality has been outstanding. The judges have had the extremely difficult task of whittling the great and good of the entrepreneurial community down to the very best and we are delighted by the companies that have made the short-list. The Awards Ceremony itself in November will be a night to remember, with VIPs from the worlds of business and entrepreneurship gathering to celebrate entrepreneurial spirit in the UK.”

And the North Lanarkshire School’s Legacy Project is a go!

Admin, October 2, 2014

This morning we went to Kilsyth Academy to introduce the school project and talk about sustainability and the essential role of insect pollinators.

The pupils, will decorate an empty bee hive it according to different themes (Bannockburn 100, World War One, Scottish book or author, and one of the Commonwealth countries) will also write and produce a bee related song as well as create a yearlong photographic journal of the experiences. The project that runs throughout the academic year will give a huge opportunity to the pupils to get closer to understanding nature!

This project that is fully supported by North Lanarkshire Council through the Education Department will run in 6 schools for the first year , one of which is a primary school and will see more schools involved in the following years.

We’d like to thank the 200 pupils who attended our presentation this morning as well as the teachers at Kilsyth Academy for their help and enthusiasm for the project!

We look forward to sharing their progress with you…… next week we visit Braidhurst and Coltness Secondary schools.

NCS Group Ltd have strengthened its contribution to the environment!

Admin, September 25, 2014

NCS Group Ltd are the latest company to create a buzz by installing their very own bee hives and colonies through the efforts of Plan Bee.

Perhaps through their line of work the office solutions company feel an affinity with these organised and efficient creatures or maybe they simply wanted to do their bit for the environment but either way, their Rodney Street offices and garden of Managing Director Tom Nolan’s home, are now a hive of activity.

NCS Group Ltd - Bee Hives - Plan Bee Ltd

Founded in Glasgow in 1988 the company now have a total of 7 branches spanning across the UK and Northern Ireland. As well as striving for commercial success they are committed to being an active and supportive member of the community and work hard to ensure that their investments have a sustainable benefit; working with Plan Bee was a perfect fit with their environmental ethos.

Speaking about the newly introduced hives Tom said “We’re always looking for new ways to improve our sustainability and strengthen our contribution to the environment so having recently read an article about Plan Bee Ltd and the ramifications of what they, the bees do for our environment, I felt NCS could contribute and help them along”.

NCS Group Ltd - Bee Hives - Plan Bee Ltd

“We are always delighted when any company decides to come on board with Plan Bee but when corporations like NCS take their environmental impact so seriously it really gives us a buzz. To know that many others are as committed as we are and to have them want to improve their sustainability through our services really gives our company message credence

“Working with NCS and the MD Tom Nolan has been a pleasure and we are really looking forward to watching their hives thrive.”

Plan Bee has teamed together with Stalled Spaces

Admin, September 24, 2014

Plan Bee has teamed together with the award winning Stalled Spaces in its attempt to help regenerate Glasgow.

By hosting two bee hives on the roof of Glasgow City Chambers, together we hope to make a positive impact on Glasgow’s biodiversity whilst helping ailing bee populations in Scotland.

The danger bees are in is widely publicised and despite the vital role they play in our eco-system there is a distinct lack of government initiatives to help combat the problem.

That’s why, when Glasgow City Council based initiative Stalled Spaces contacted us, we were thrilled to help.

The Stalled Spaces scheme provides funding and ideas for local people to turn unproductive land into a community asset, such as a play areas, green gyms or pop up parks.

As well as creating new greenscape in the city, Stalled Spaces also wanted to help the existing environment thrive with the help of some Plan Bee hives.

Plan Bee has teamed together with Stalled Spaces - Plan Bee Ltd

Discussing how the staff have been getting involved with their new team-mates, Frazer MacLeod, Project Lead said “The feedback I’ve had from the GCC beekeeping volunteers has been positive, they have all learned a lot.

“Plan Bee were professional and very knowledgeable on everything about bees.”

The Stalled Spaces bees will work hard to pollinate Glasgow’s trees, plants and flowers, contributing to the cities biodiversity, carbon intake and general buzz.

Plan Bee has teamed together with Stalled Spaces - Plan Bee Ltd 2

Winner of the BBC Good Food Show Producer Awards

Admin, September 23, 2014

We are ‘beeyond’ happy to announce that we are a winner of the BBC Good Food Show Producer Awards!

Winner of the BBC Good Food Show Producer Awards - Plan Bee Ltd

Selected by the panel of Good Food Show judges, we were described as an “outstanding producer” of Scottish food and drink and have been invited along as an exhibitor to the BBC Good Food Show in Glasgow next month!

With winners held as exemplary artisans the bursary looks to award small companies like Plan Bee for their passion and dedication by giving them the opportunity to grow their business by reaching more consumers, trade buyers and industry professionals at one of the BBC Good Food Shows nationwide.

Winner of the BBC Good Food Show Producer Awards - Plan Bee Ltd 2

We are incredibly excited to be one of the winning exhibitors at the Glasgow event and are looking forward to a fantastic weekend full of tasting, sampling, shopping and networking with acclaimed Scottish food heroes.

Plan Bee will also be joined by a host of celebrity chefs including TV stars Mary Berry, Paul Hollywood, James Martin and Scottish superstar chef Tom Kitchin, at the SECC from the 17th till the 19th of October.

We would absolutely love to see some of our incredible supporters there and hope that you will be able to make it along to this tasty event.

Plan Bee honey is par for the course – Ryder Cup


Plan Bee is thrilled to announce that we are an official honey supplier for the Ryder Cup!

Plan Bee honey is par for the course - Ryder Cup 2014 - Plan Bee Ltd

For the first time since 1973, and for the second in the history of the prestigious golfing tournament, Scotland will proudly play host to the Ryder Cup at the magnificent Gleneagles Hotel in Perthshire.

Ryder Cup Gleneagles 2014 - Plan Bee Ltd

The Cup joins the incredible list of Scottish events that have taken place this year and what better way to welcome its guests than with some bespoke Scottish honey!

Our blossom and heather honey is a firm favourite with our clients and we are certain that they will satisfy the taste buds of the golfers and spectators alike in the Jamie Oliver’s Fabulous Feasts tent.

If you are lucky enough to be attending this exciting event, why not pop by and say hello and have a chat about his ‘driving ambition’ for bee hives on golf courses or learn about how a bee hive could benefit your local golf course? He truly is an Ironman.

Sorry, please don’t let the golfing puns drive a wedge between us!

Heralding the rise of two new queens in Windsor!

Admin, September 22, 2014

This month we went to the Macdonald Windsor Hotel to deliver two brand new bee hives to the hotels roof in the prestigious buildings attempt to become more environmentally friendly whilst helping decreasing bee populations in the UK.

Beverley Molmans the hotel’s General Manager was on hand, bee suit and all, to welcome the bees who include not one but two, brand new Queens.

“Our decision process behind getting the hives was that we wish to be greener, we are trying to implement the Room 15 approach here at Macdonald Windsor and we want to be more sustainable and wish to protect the bees in an urban environment.”

The hotels Room 15 sustainability program aims to have a more sustainable and ethical approach to the hospitality industry by 2015 and their new bee hives are just one of the many methods to be implemented.

The hives will be accompanied by bee keeping lessons and ongoing support allowing the hotels staff to become involved with the everyday life of the bees, creating a tangible point of ethical interest on site. The hotel also hopes that the roof top haven will provide an area for staff to unwind from their days work whilst helping the bees along with their own daily tasks.

The new Queen Bees, who share the same postcode as Queen Elizabeth will also work hard to produce honey which the hotel will then gift to its VIP guests and clients, showcasing their commitment to their local environment in an unusual yet delicious way.

Discussing the process Beverley laughed that the hardest part was “getting into my bee suit today” and that the hotel was extremely excited about its new “BIP” guests and can’t wait to see the new hives thrive.

Beverley Molmans from Windsor Macdonald hotel - Plan Bee Ltd

Honey make powerful antibiotic!

Admin, September 19, 2014

Next time you’re feeling a bit ill, you may want to turn to your local bee hive before reaching for the medicine cabinet.

At least that’s the sweet solution put forth by researchers at Sweden’s Lund University, who found that the special bacteria in honeybee stomachs may prove to be a valuable alternative to antibiotics.

Honey make powerful antibiotic - Plan Bee Ltd 1

The group, who based their research on the incredible results of honey being used as a poultice for injured horses, determined that the lactic acids found in honey straight from the bees stomachs, produce powerfully active antimicrobial compounds that can fight some of the most prevalent strains of human bacteria.

Don’t go reaching for your average store bought honey just yet, the scientists emphasised that these lactic-acid bacteria aren’t found in store-bought honey because of the processing that goes into making it.

Honey make powerful antibiotic - Plan Bee Ltd 2

Now, don’t panic just yet but far from trekking into the woods to find a swarm of honey bees, raw honey can be found relatively easily. There are a whole range of artisan producers – Plan Bee included- who produce a range of unpasteurised, unfiltered honey to suit your every well-being need.

As well as defeating everyday common infections and complaints these recent findings have huge potential in worldwide humanitarian efforts as well, Tobias Olofsson, of the Medical Microbiology Department of Lund University says that the findings could have huge benefits to developing countries that don’t have access to antibiotics and that if results are as effective in human testing, bees worldwide will well and truly be put to work.

Honey make powerful antibiotic - Plan Bee Ltd 3

New Scottish queen at Buchanan & St Ambrose High School

Admin, September 18, 2014

When two colonies of honey bees descended on Buchanan and St Ambrose High School, the teacher’s first reaction was not one of concern for the pupils but of excitement….

The bees, living in hives supplied by Lanarkshire based bio-diversity champions Plan Bee, are part of the Green Legacy Schools project to teach pupils about the importance of the environment and get involved in the various ways to improve Scotland’s biodiversity.

New Scottish Queens at Buchanan and St Ambrose High School - Plan Bee Ltd 2

Back in May, Plan Bee arrived with the hives -happily sponsored by construction giants Balfour Beatty who built the school- and along with the pupils and teachers enjoyed a thoroughly rewarding first season at the school.

‘I love watching the baby bees coming out of the cells. It’s awesome!’ – Mhairi McKinnon
‘It’s good to see how the number of bees in the hive grows each time we look in’ – Connaire McClinden
‘I like smoking the bees.It calms them down so we can have a close look.’ – Alex Oldham.

The pupils have been incredibly enthusiastic in learning about the bees and bee keeping and Plan Bee were thoroughly impressed with their lack of fear.

The pupils have been engaging in lessons about the various stages of bee-keeping and will be involved in a competition with other North Lanarkshire Schools to come up with their own bee related song or poem as well as using their entrepreneurial skills in harvesting and marketing their very own honey by early next year.

New Scottish Queens at Buchanan and St Ambrose High School - Plan Bee Ltd 3

The involved teachers have also been wonderfully supportive, Christine King and Elizabeth Denton happily admitted that they were often-times more keen to get into their bee-keeper outfits than the pupils!

This season also saw a new Scottish queen, ‘Queen Christina’ rather fittingly introduced to the hive, giving the pupils the unique chance to see such an event but Elizabeth wasn’t too left out, after all we already have one Queen Elizabeth!

The new additions have certainly created quite the buzz on campus and Buchanan and St Ambrose as well as the other five North Lanarkshire Schools about to embark on the project, are very much looking forward to seeing their hives thrive.

New Scottish Queens at Buchanan and St Ambrose High School - Plan Bee Ltd

Plan Bee at Eat Drink Discover Scotland

Admin, September 5, 2014

Plan Bee is going to Eat Drink Discover Scotland!

Hailed as the ultimate celebration of Scottish food and drink, from Friday 12th to Sunday 14th September, we will be one of hundreds of food and drink companies drawn from every region of Scotland – giving you the chance to taste all of Scotland, in one day, under one roof.

TEat Drink Discover Scotland 2014 - Plan Bee Ltdaking place at The Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh, Eat Drink Discover Scotland offers something for every palate, preference and price range, and, in addition to eyeing, trying and buying Scotland’s rich and diverse larder, you’ll see celebrity chefs running master classes and demonstrations throughout the weekend. There will be a variety of fantastic educational activities for children, and a host of skills demo’s and talks by Scottish food experts.

Plan Bee will be located in the Eat Lanarkshire section of the event along with seven other wonderful food and drink companies from the Lanarkshire area.

As well as Plan Bee badges, balloons and bee face painting we will also, of course, be selling our delicious honey as well as our brand new honey beer and mead for you to take home!

Honey Beer & Mead - Plan Bee Ltd

We are offering a special discount code for our friends that will get money of your entry prices and we would be thrilled if you could make it along to see us at this exciting event and cement Scotland’s reputation as a true Land of Food and Drink!

Opening times:
Fri ………12pm – 8pm
Sat……….10am – 6pm
Sun……..10am – 5pm

For more information please contact Lauren.
Use discount code EXHIB10

For a discount on our products, use secret word “Scoobidoo” at our stand!

Bees warning gauge for human health

Admin, September 2, 2014

Here on planbeeltd.com we have often discussed the dangers of pesticides and how they are thought to play a huge part in the colony collapse disorder phenomenon found increasingly in bee hives. However, research conducted by Harvard University has recently suggested that pesticides could have harmful effects on human’s health too.

Honey bee on a finger - Plan Bee Ltd

According to the head of the research Dr Lu, as well as resulting in a drop in pollination and most of our diet ceasing to exist, long term exposure to a group of pesticides called neonicotinoids could potentially be an attributing factor in many brain disorders such as autism and ADHD and that’s not all, another research has also determined that pesticides are a huge factor in increasing male infertility rates. With all these apparent side effects it is a wonder that these huge corporations such as Monsanto or Bayer continue to use neonicotinoids at all.

Lu conducted pioneering research on the impact of these neonicotinoid pesticides on honeybees. In a study published in 2012, he replicated colony collapse disorder, feeding bee’s sugar water laced with different levels of neonicotinoids, eventually leading to the collapse of 15 of the 16 hives, even those treated with the lowest dose.

Dead Honey Bee - Plan Bee Ltd

The work has been noted for providing a concrete link to neonicotinoids, which are the world’s most widely used group of insecticides to CCD.

Lu has continued to investigate the possible links among neonicotinoids and both bee and human health, announcing the honeybee as a good model organism for the impact of pesticide use.

“The [phrase] ‘bee-line’ is no longer valid,” Lu said. “The question … is do these things also apply to human health?”

Green People are Green Champions!

Admin, September 1, 2014

Green People, the most famous UK organic beauty brand, is a company that values and supports the planet as well as local communities. As a company who’s principles mean that product performance is never sacrificed for profit, it is important that their green credentials match up to their ethical practices.

For a number of years, the company and its staff have supported Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice through different donation campaigns. Chestnut Tree House is the only children’s hospice in East and West Sussex and cares for over 280 children and young adults with progressive life-limiting conditions in Sussex and South East Hampshire.

Green People - Decorated Beehive - Plan Bee Ltd

In September 2013, the Green People team donated clothes, books, games and toys to the association ‘Bag it and Give’ initiative in order to raise money for the hospice. This time, Green People wanted to create a project which would involve the children, providing them with a sense of achievement and act a source of distraction from their everyday problems, while also improving their own green credentials.

Green People - Decorated Beehive and Honeybees at work sign - Plan Bee LtdSince getting in touch with Plan Bee, the hospice has been provided with an empty beehive for the children to decorate using their imagination. The hive is now returned to Plan Bee and sited at one of their many locations within Scotland and fully managed by the company’s expert beekeepers.

“It’s fantastic to be involved in a project with these two organisations who are both, in their own way, doing so much to improve the well-being of their local communities and the environment. I’m very confident that the bees will thrive in their new home, the decoration and design is so vibrant and colourful, how could they not love it?”

A motivational speaker for the bees!

Admin, August 29, 2014

Monday evening we attended the home of motivational speaker Chris Moon to deliver one bespoke Plan Bee hive.

Chris is, put simply, an incredible human being, after losing his lower right arm and leg in a landmine explosion he has used his skills as a previous army officer and humanitarian to motivate and inspire those around him.

With a ‘passion for the process of achievement’ as he puts it, everything Chris does challenges the concept of limitation and through this partnership we certainly are one step closer to achieving our goal of helping bees overcome the challenges they face in the modern world.

Chris’ beehive will have an incredible impact to their surrounding environment and Scotland’s biodiversity within days as well as working hard to produce honey completely unique to the area they forage in.

Motivational Speaker Chris Moon - Beehive - Plan Bee Ltd

Glencoe Wood now has beehives!

Admin, August 26, 2014

Over the weekend we delivered some brand new bee hives to the Highland Titles Nature Reserve in Glencoe Wood and wow what a treat!

The ten bee colonies will have plenty of foraging ground and a wide variety of different flowers and heather to snack on. We are incredibly excited to share their progress with three of the reserves neighbouring schools to help the pupils understand the importance of the honey bee within our environment.

Highland Titles - Bee Hives - Plan Bee Ltd

Not only were Stewart and the rest of the staff incredibly enthusiastic about their new additions but the scenery was absolutely breath taking, made all the better by the lovely, albeit rare Scottish sunshine.

We are honoured to partner up with the reserve through this project, working incredibly hard to protect Scottish wildlife- which you can watch via the reserves infra-red motion sensitive cameras- Glencoe Wood makes an incredible contribution to Scotland’s biodiversity.

Highland Titles is a novel way of managing a conservation project, originally conceived by Dr Peter and Laura Bevis, a biologist and accountant, who realised that to really make a difference, they needed to buy land which had the potential to be restored and conserved.

Highland Titles - Bee Hives - Plan Bee Ltd

The organisation has grown from there and now has thousands of supporters turned land owners around the world. Highland Titles are completely committed to Scottish conservation and in this respect they are not alone, here at Plan Bee we love when any company wants to make a positive contribution to the environment but when we work with companies who are committed to Scotland’s biodiversity as Highland Titles it is always a pleasure.

We cannot wait to see the hives thrive and pay another visit to this wonderful Scottish setting!

When did bees last send you an invoice for pollination?

Admin, August 25, 2014

It’s the end of the month and you’re sitting down to pay your bills, electricity- paid, gas- paid, TV- paid but, have you ever thought about how much you owe the humble honey bee?

Yes, these iconic insects not only enhance their surrounding environment but they also have an input into around a third of all our foodstuffs through their pollination efforts, contributing over £400 million a year to the agricultural industry, all whilst producing delicious honey and bees wax.

And while the European Union values insect pollination at £134 billion (153bn Euros) it misses the point that pollination is priceless; to say that every company, city, family and person is 100% dependent on nature and the biosphere is both indisputable as well as banal.

Fruits and Vegetables Pollinated by Bees - Plan Bee Ltd

Despite our dependence on these little creatures, bees worldwide are disappearing at an alarming rate due to habitat loss often attributed to the use of pesticides by the very farmers who rely on bees for their survival.

As Pavan Sukhdev from The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity puts it “Not a single bee has ever sent you an invoice. And that is part of the problem – because most of what comes to us from nature is free, because it is not invoiced, because it is not priced, because it is not traded in markets, we tend to ignore it.”

Honey Bee pollinating flower from apple tree - Plan Bee Ltd

When we consider how intricate the eco-system is, the value of bees and other insects is obvious. Not only are they pollinating much of the food that we eat, they are also ensuring the future generations of all kinds of plants that support many other species. For this reason reducing emissions and recycling is not enough, we must positively contribute to the ecosystem and attempt to help our bees cope with modern life.

The expense of low bee hive activity has already been seen in countries like China where crops are having to be hand pollinated just to yield a harvest and the plight of the honey bee is regularly seen in our news headlines.

For now pollination is free in the West but if the bee does die out there will be much bigger costs to pay than missing your monthly phone bill.

How many of you know how honey is made?

Admin, August 22, 2014

While we all enjoy the tasty results of the honey bee’s hard work, how many of us actually know how honey is made?

Well fear not because the wiz kids here at Plan Bee can explain all.

First of all it’s important to understand that different bees have different jobs, there are the various worker bees who feed the larvae or go out ‘scouting’, looking for flowers and collecting nectar – a sugary liquid used to make the honey- as well as the drone bees who mate with the Queen whose purpose it is to lay eggs and raise hive morale.

Worker Drone Queen Honey Bee - Plan Bee LtdA: Worker Honey Bee – B: Queen Honey Bee – C: Drone Honey Bee

When a forager bee sources a flower they will drink the nectar using the extremely long tongue and store it in their ‘crop’ or specialist honey stomach, when they have drunk their fill they will fly back to the hive and pass their loot on to a ‘processor’ bee at or near the entrance of the hive before heading back out to source more nectar.

Honey Bee Tong - Plan Bee Ltd

The processor bee then transports the nectar to the honeycomb, where it transfers it into the hexagonal wax cells. Here the processor bee adds an enzyme called ‘invertase’ to the nectar in the cell and the nectar consisting mainly of sugar and water – or for you science boffins out there, sucrose- is broken down by the invertase into glucose and fructose.

A small amount of the glucose is attacked by a second enzyme, glucose oxidase, and converted into gluconic acid and hydrogen peroxide. The gluconic acid makes honey an acid medium with a low pH level that is inhospitable to bacteria, while the hydrogen peroxide gives short-range protection against these same organisms when the honey is ripening or diluted for larval food.

Processor Honey Bee filling cell with honey - Plan Bee Ltd

The bees then ‘dry out’ this sticky mixture by fanning their wings to evaporate any moisture within the honeycomb.

When the nectar has ripened into honey it contains so little water than microbes cannot grow in it, which is the reason why honey is practically immune to funghi and bacteria, however this only applies when the honey is sealed, which the bees do at this point by capping the honeycomb.

Honey Bees capping the honeycomb - Plan Bee Ltd

It is at this stage where bee keepers know that the honey is ripe and ready to be harvested where it is then jarred and delivered to the breakfast plates of millions of people worldwide.

Honey Bees landing at Hamburg Airport

Admin, August 21, 2014

Hamburg Airport now has even more air traffic, in the form of its very own resident honey bees!

The hives, managed on behalf of aviation giant Airbus, produce honey which is then used to measure emission levels around the airport grounds. The collected honey provides information regarding any chemical or metal deposits in the area allowing the airport to constantly monitor its environmental impact. The honey is then taken home by Airbus employees and clients to enjoy!

Airport - Carbon Footprint - Plan Bee Ltd

Honey bees and other pollinators are one of the most important species within our eco-system, in addition to influencing over a third of our food produce they are also absolutely crucial for the survival of most of our animal and plant populations.

While all insect pollinators are incredibly industrious, perhaps the humble bee is the hardest worker of all. In addition to pollinating hundreds of thousands of flowers in a lifetime and contributing to the beauty of our countryside and urban jungles alike, they also work exceedingly hard to produce delicious honey.

By introducing bee hives, airports can now easily monitor their emissions and overall carbon footprint, allowing them to assess their environmental impact whilst making a positive contribution to their surrounding biodiversity.

Aiport - Honey Bees - Plan Bee Ltd

Whilst it may be surprising to some, modern airports thoroughly understand the importance of ethically managing their environmental and social impact and by housing bee hives on site the airports in question are going one step further in showing their customers how much they care, whilst creating a wonderful opportunity for customer and community interaction.

Some organisations have even implemented the use of small cameras within the bee hives, allowing customers and staff alike to watch with growing interest the bees organised comings and goings, creating a unique point of interest and calm in an otherwise stressful environment.

As the Hamburg hives have shown, the collected honey proves an incredible source of natural data regarding the airports carbon emissions and air pollution allowing them to adjust their actions accordingly and ultimately help improve their surrounding environment and biodiversity in a natural sustainable way.

Such a commitment to the environment is something that we here at Plan Bee would certainly love to see from our own airports here in the UK and we would be delighted to provide our services to help them increase their own sustainability whilst making a positive impact to the environment.

Source: Airbus

Mexican Bee-keepers win court battle against Monsanto

Admin, August 18, 2014

A group of Mexican bee-keepers have won their fight against bio-tech giant Monsanto.

The company’s plans to plant over 625,000 acres of genetically modified soy-beans were thwarted by a Judge convinced by the arguments of thousands of Mayan farmers and bee-keepers backed up by the likes of Greenpeace and various ecological bodies.

Mexican Bee-keepers - Monsanto - Plan Bee Ltd

The decision, made on the basis that Monsanto modify their crops to be resistant to glyphosate, an active ingredient in many pesticides found to be potentially harmful to humans as well as crops and wildlife, means that the agricultural giant is no longer able to go ahead with its multi-million dollar plans.

With over 25,000 Mayan families being involved in the honey industry, the court judged that co-existence between bee colonies and GM crops was not possible and with Mexico relying heavily on the exportation of honey products, (in 2011 the EU imported £32 million worth of Mexican honey) and the EU and other parts of the world having strict no GMO rules the decision to produce genetically modified crops on such a mass scale could have devastating effects on the economies of countries who choose to do so.

Source: Global Research

Bee venom has been confirmed as a potential cure for cancer

Admin, August 14, 2014

Bee venom has been confirmed as a potential cure for cancer this week.

The results of previous research by scientists around the world have shown bee, snake and scorpion venom to have remarkable effects on cancer cells but now research by the American Chemical Society has devised a way of introducing the powerful proteins found in insect stings and reptile venom to malignant cells without damaging healthy ones.

Honey Bee Venom - Plan Bee Ltd

Venom from bees, snakes and scorpions contain peptides which adhere to cancer cells, potentially preventing any further growth or spread of the disease and whilst merely injecting a patient with such venoms could have harmful side effects, scientists have now found a solution.

“We have safely used venom toxins in tiny nanometer-sized particles to treat breast cancer and melanoma cells in the laboratory,” says Dipanjan Pan, Ph.D., who led the study.

“These particles, which are camouflaged from the immune system, take the toxin directly to the cancer cells, sparing normal tissue.”

He says that in the honeybee study, his team identified a substance in the venom called melittin which keeps cancer cells from multiplying.

And whilst bees make so little venom that it would not be feasible to extract it in mass quantities, the scientists have managed to recreate synthesized melittin in the lab.

Dr Pan added that whilst tests were currently at a laboratory level it was expected that a patient trial would be possible in the next three to five years.

Source: American Chemical Society

SETN featuring Plan Bee Ltd

Admin, August 13, 2014

A huge thank you to SETN (Scottish Environmental Technology Network) for featuring us in their company magazine this month.

Discussing our already impressive array of awards they showcased our most recent accolade, ‘Small Business of the Year’ which we were awarded at the Business Green Leaders Awards in London earlier this month.

SETN - Plan Bee Ltd

The Business Green Leaders Awards celebrates the top innovators in the eco-industry and we were honoured to have our efforts in improving the UK’s biodiversity recognised, winning awards like this one is incredibly important to the team here at Plan Bee and as SETN suggested we may even have to buy a bigger awards cabinet soon…..

Stay Tuned!

What comes to mind when you think of your local golf course?

Admin, August 12, 2014

Do you picture a tranquil landscape of sporting promise? Or a green desert, providing nothing but dead wasteland requiring masses of chemical interference to maintain its manicured façade?

Here at Plan Bee we see golf courses as so much more. Already providing acres of greenery, with just a few minor changes, golf courses across the UK could become a safe haven for our many forms of plant and wild life.

Golf Course - Beehives - Plan Bee Ltd

By introducing native flowers and plants in out of play areas, golf courses can provide a ready-made habitat for bees, other pollinators and many other forms of wildlife.

With bees being one of the most important creatures in our eco-system, not introducing a hive to your golf course at this point would be a wasted opportunity and your golf course could reap the benefit of its new hive within days.

With the new ‘eco-machine’ in place it is absolutely crucial not to ruin all of the new resident bees’ hard work by continuing the use of pesticides and herbicides, which reduce both the diversity of the foraging available, as well as the wildlife.

Golf Course - Honeybee Pollinating - Plan Bee Ltd

As well as helping to enhance Scotland’s biodiversity and improving their own sustainability, UK golf courses open up many exciting business opportunities through the introduction of hives.

Inviting local schools or organisations along to monitor the hives’ progress can showcase golf clubs as active community members while of course opening up the possibility of golf memberships to a much wider audience.

While improving their social responsibility, the hives will also produce honey, which can be used either in food preparation at the club or sold to members and staff to take home!

Hives offer many benefits to the landscape that they live in as well as many low cost business revenue opportunities to get golf courses buzzing!

Bee themed family fun day at Amazonia

Admin, August 11, 2014

Plan Bee went to Amazonia (M&D’S Theme Park) last Sunday to participate in a bee themed family fun day!

With plenty of bee themed activities on offer, including face painting, balloon modelling, flower planting and honey tasting we felt right at home.

Bee themed family fun day at Amazonia - Plan Bee Ltd

As well as showing off the brand new bee hive at Amazonia, Plan Bee discussed the importance of pollinators with the kids, probably convincing more than a few to be future bee-keepers!

We really enjoyed speaking to everyone about all that bees do for us in our environment and would like to thank the very friendly staff at Amazonia, you made our day!

Bee themed family fun day at Amazonia - Plan Bee Ltd 2

Let the bees get to work at Amazonia!

Admin, August 5, 2014

Last April, the Plan Bee team went to Amazonia, Scotland’s Largest Indoor Tropical Forest, to give lessons about bee-keeping and the importance of honey-bees and other pollinators within our eco-system.

As well as this unique learning experience, the kids had the amazing opportunity to paint the beehive that Amazonia was going to place in the park!

With the decoration of the beehive complete, the team at Amazonia had to get to work in creating the perfect place for the bees to feel right at home.

The Plan Bee team returned to the theme park last weekend to populate the hive and were very impressed with the effort Amazonia has made in creating such an amazing space for the bees.

Beehive at Amazonia Theme Park - M&Ds - Plan Bee Ltd

With planted wild flowers around the beehive and educational signs the new hive will help adults and kids alike understand just how much bees do for us and how they make honey.

All that’s left now is to buzz off and let the bees get to work!

Beehive at Amazonia Theme Parl - M&Ds - Plan Bee Ltd 1

One country, one beehive! (Kenya)

Admin, August 2, 2014

Bee-keeping has been practised in Kenya for centuries now in the savannah, mountain and coastal regions.

Using both Langstroth and Kenya Top Bar hives (originally developed in Canada) we can now estimate that there are almost 2 million beehives in the country thanks to the techniques of generations of bee-keepers.

Beekeeping in Kenya - The Michis - Plan Bee Ltd 1

Despite being more fragile than its Canadian counterpart, the Kenya Top Bar hive is extremely popular with small farmers in developing countries due to it being cheap and easy to build.

As you can see from the picture below, there are no wooden frames surrounding the Kenya Top Bar Hive comb causing it to be more fragile than in standard hives.

Beekeeping in Kenya - The Michis - Plan Bee Ltd 2

Thank you very much Rembrant and Nina for sending these pictures!

One country, on beehive! (Pakistan)

Admin, August 1, 2014

During the Commonwealth Games we have been showcasing various forms of bee-keeping from the countries participating in this thrilling Glasgow event and today we want to show you some beehives from Pakistan!

Bee-keeping was introduced in Pakistan during the 20th century and has seen huge developments since the 80s in local production and international exportation.

Beehives in Pakistan - Paul Snook - Plan Bee Ltd

Not only is honey and related produce a huge source of revenue for the country but Pakistan’s bee-keeping is now also helping farmers deal with unreliable crop harvest, irregular rainfall and drought through the exportation of bee products.

The bee-keeping industry in Pakistan also provides work for many women in the Middle Eastern country, offering multiple training and job opportunities proving that the severe employment discrimination previously suffered by women is steadily improving.

Beehives in Pakistan - Paul Snook - Plan Bee Ltd

Thank you very much Paul Snook for sending us these beautiful pictures!

One country, one beehive (Uganda)

Admin, July 30, 2014

As you have probably noticed, the Commonwealth Games are happening in Glasgow just now and the city is buzzing! Here at Plan Bee Ltd, we have been recognised for its contributing to the local community in the host city through our School Legacy Project.

We recently introduced our Commonwealth beehive designed by Lourdes Secondary School but we also wanted to show you some pictures of beehives and bee-keeping in various Commonwealth Countries.

Today, we would like to present bee-keeping in Uganda! Beehives like this are traditionally constructed from timber, bamboo or woven from forest climbers and honey is usually harvested twice a year between March – June and the secondary season in August – October.

Beehive in Uganda - Adam Cohn - Plan Bee Ltd

Bee-keepers produce honey and other bee products such as a brew named “Enturire” (second picture) which is very popular. The straw supposedly helped prevent ingestion of the bees and according to Adam Cohn (www.adamcohn.com), who kindly gave the pictures, the brew was actually pretty tasty!

Honey Brew made by beekeepers in Uganda - Adam Cohn - Plan Bee Ltd

Kiki’s last day at Plan Bee

Admin, July 29, 2014

Today is the last day of Kiki’s internship at Plan Bee. Here’s what she had to say about her time with the company:

“I am really proud of the research on Chinese social media and e-commerce, and the work on digital marketing in both the UK and China I’ve done for the company.”

iki with honeycomb frame - Plan Bee Ltd

Before my internship started I wasn’t so sure if I would be ok with honey bees, I had never really been around bees before I started my job. Now I feel I am closer to nature and more eco-friendly. Plus, bees are not scary!”

We really enjoyed her enthusiasm, positivity and input to the team and we wish her all the very best for the future.


We’ve crossed the £100K mark!

Admin, June 6, 2014

We’ve crossed the £100K mark! We’re delighted to announce that we’ve raised £100,860 of £60,000 target (168% funded). Thank you so much for supporting this great cause! If you haven’t invested in Plan Bee yet or want to give an extra to your first investment, you still have a chance to support us on our crowdfunding platform Crowdcube DEADLINE TODAY 11.59pm UTC +1!

Quick reminder of what your investment will enable Plan Bee to do:

What's the value of something we can't live without? - Plan Bee Ltd

Plan Bee TV News presented by lead anchor Dexter #BeeDog

Admin, June 2, 2014

Watch Plan Bee TV & its lead anchor Dexter #BeeDog presenting the news of last week (26/05/2014)! #awards #biodiversity #generationbee #education #community #bees #schnauzer @BeeSchnauzer

Top stories this week:

Invest in your future!

Admin, May 29, 2014

Did you know that the total deficit of honeybee colonies across Europe amounts to around 13.4 million colonies? That adds up to about 7 billion honeybees! This deficit affects us directly as bees and other insect pollinators are the underpinnings of a successful agricultural economy. Without their free pollination services our supermarkets would have no strawberries, apples, pears or lemons to name but a few.

The good news is that here at Plan Bee, we’re doing all we can to help reduce the shortage of honeybee populations and the best thing is you can help! By investing as little as £10 in your future and Plan Bee via our crowdfunding platform Crowdcube, you too can own a slice of this planet-saving, bee-boosting business! Have a look at our e-catalogue below to see all the great incentives that come with an investment in Plan Bee.

We’ve raised so far £81,120 of £60,000 target! Funding closes on the 6th of June, so don’t hang about!

Plan Bee Smashes Crowdfunding Target

Admin, May 21, 2014

We have now achieved 119 per cent of our original Crowdfunding target, almost three weeks ahead of schedule.

“It’s amazing, we were always very focussed on achieving our target but didn’t expect to reach it quite so quickly. We decided on a more ethical approach to funding our business, selling shares through pioneering crowdfunding site Crowdcube, and it’s certainly paid off. Now we can move forward with our plans to push the business to the next level, fund around a hundred more hives and look to take on more employees.”

“Our philosophy is planet, people, profit. Our main business aim is to help protect the planet we all share, while as a business supporting our employees; and our clients and at the end of the day as a business it is important that we make a profit. Our clients share our philosophy of putting something into the environment up front, rather than simply trying to put something back after you have made an environmental impact.”

Crowdcube-badge GIFShares in the burgeoning business are still up for grabs, with potential investors able to grab their slice of Plan Bee for as little as £10 per share. The Crowdcube funding page will remain open for a further 17 days (closing 7th June 2014), with numerous options and benefits available for those investing at a variety of different levels.

Plan Bee continues to take the sustainability industry and business start up sector by storm, scooping a number of prestigious awards and gaining nominations in related ceremonies. The company will battle it out with the likes of Virgin Atlantic at the renowned 2degrees environment awards at Wembley later in the summer. This is on top of a top ten finish in the BBC’s Food and Farming awards and success at the Glasgow Business Awards.

The honeybee dwindling syndrome

Admin, May 19, 2014

Most people have heard that honeybee colonies are in decline, sometimes through a condition called Colony Collapse Disorder (or CCD). Few people understand the concept and even fewer realise that CCD is but one of the challenges facing apiarists and that it has multiple causes.

A highly specialised parasitic fungus, otherwise known as a microsporidial pathogen, exists as spores that honeybees can pick up. Once digested the spore grows a filamentous tube into the gut wall of honeybees, causing dysentery, weakness and flight inability, with subsequent reduction in life expectance, ultimately leading to colony depletion.

Bees at the entrance of the hive - Plan Bee Ltd

Two species of Nosema are known to affect honeybees: Nosema apis originally the only microsporidial pathogen in western honeybee colonies and Nosema ceranae a recent introduction to western honeybee colonies from Asia. These tiny micro-organisms cause a condition known as Colony Dwindling Syndrome (CDS).

This is not a new phenomenon, but it results in a gradual but progressive loss of honeybee workers from the colony leading to a decline in colony productivity. Weakening of the colony leads to other issues, such as brood loss and further disease. Too few bees will finally lead to colony collapse.

So the question is raised, is CDS at the root of CCD? The answer is that probably not on it’s own, as scientists have grown to realise that CCD is a complex array of issues, resulting in the demise of hive colonies. Invertebrate Iridescent Virus, or IIV6, is also found in hives that have suffered CCD and it would appear that neither Nosema alone nor IIV6 alone result in CCD, but together, they sometimes do (although the ability of IIV6 to infect honeybees is also debated). Even so, this co-infection is unlikely to be the only cause of CCD.

Bee on the floor - Plan Bee Ltd

Dealing with Nosema alone is an important issue, so how do we control Nosema infection? Well, first and foremost must come good husbandry – healthy bee colonies, well fed and lacking other disease elements are far less likely to succumb to Nosema infection. Effective systems of comb renewal are also important in maintaining strong colonies. Doses of the antibiotic fumagillin (sold as Fumidil B) is prescribed in the autumn feed for affected hives.

When Pupils from Calside Primary School draw bees!

Admin, May 14, 2014

Some children from Calside Primary School (Dumfries & Galloway) drew these beautiful bees to thank us for coming to talk to them about the importance of bees in our planetary food system. We love these happy bees, do you?!

Drawing from a child - Calside Primary School - Plan Bee LtdDrawing from a child - Calside Primary School - Plan Bee LtdDrawing from a child - Calside Primary School - Plan Bee LtdDrawing from a child - Calside Primary School - Plan Bee Ltd

If you are part of a Scottish primary school and would like us to come and talk about the plight of bees, please don’t hesitate to contact us at buzz@planbeeltd.com

Overfunding on Crowdcube!

Admin, May 12, 2014

We are delighted to announce that over the weekend our pitch became fully funded on Crowdcube! Better still, we are currently sitting at 102% funding making our campaign overfunded! We couldn’t be happier and thrilled to see that so many people are willing to get behind us and become part of our bee-boosting business!

Over funded on Crowdcube - Plan Bee Ltd

We’d like to extend a massive thank you to all investors, your support means we can continue our good work in addressing the decline of the honeybee. However this is just the beginning of our journey, and with 25days left on our Crowdcube campaign we’d like to encourage more people to get involved and help us smash our funding targets!

Crowdcube metrics - Plan Bee Ltd

You can find our campaign and learn more about it by clicking here.

The Green Up Film Festival is going on!

Admin, April 29, 2014

The Green Up Film Festival is going on! You can watch for free some very informative movies about issues surrounding biodiversity, food, agriculture, water, pollution as well as green economy. 

green up film festival

1o documentaries are available on their website until Wednesday 30th of April:

1. New-York, the green revolution
2. Secret of the fields
3. Chemerical
4. E-Wasteland
5. LoveMEATender
6. Global waste
7. The well
8. Nôgô, insalubrity
9. Climate chaos from the south
10. Together

Amount of nectar on farms is generally not sufficient

Admin, April 28, 2014

Recent farm surveys demonstrate that the amount of nectar on farms is generally not sufficient to sustain uninterrupted yearlong pollination services to crops. Encouraging the number of pollinators on unused farm land at critical times of the year was demonstrated to increase yield from fields. Notably there two main pinch-points in the pollinator calendar: March and September/October, particularly if spring is late or the onset of cold weather in autumn is early. At both pinch-points, poor availability of sufficient nectar sources leaves hive stocks depleted with the result that the hive is vulnerable to disease or gets a slow start in spring.

Bee pollinating - Plan Bee Ltd

By sowing unused corners and edges of fields with meadow flowers and flowering shrubs such as hawthorn, farmers can ensure that these pinch-points are limited and that brood development of honeybees is ensured early in the season and nectar stocks are provisioned prior to the onset of cold weather in autumn. At Plan Bee we recommend sowing mixed meadow flowers and placing beehives along field margins and in unused corners, where these are not obstructive to farming operations, but substantially boost crop yields at very little additional cost to the farm.

Flower - Plan Bee Ltd

Plan Bee has Amazonia Easter Kids Buzzing

Admin, April 25, 2014

Last Easter weekend, we treated youngsters to lessons in bee-keeping and helped them decorate a hive at Amazonia, Scotland’s Largest Indoor Tropical Forest.

Children painting the hive - Plan Bee Ltd - Amazonia

“It was great to see so many kids turn out with their mums and dads to help us paint the bee hives. Visitors are used to more exotic creatures at the M&Ds attraction, but they learned the importance of these little insects that are a little bit closer to home. Everyone was really enthusiastic about the hive and how they could play their part in decorating it. Everyone is used to painting Easter Eggs but to paint a beehive was something out of the ordinary.

“Events such as this weekend’s Amazonia hive painting are great fun, but they are also important for getting the sustainability message out there and for helping people to understand the importance of bees within our ecosystems; and the issues facing this vital insect that supports the pollination of a third of our food sources.”

Children in the bee suites - Plan Bee Ltd - Amazonia

EU Commission recognition for Plan Bee

Admin, December 10, 2013

Plan Bee Ltd team is ecstatic to have been selected by the EU Commission for profiling as an exemplar of Eco Innovation initiative. The initiative is one of a number of Flagship Initiatives by the EU Commission building on the Innovation Union and focusing on the specific bottlenecks, challenges and opportunities for achieving environmental objectives through innovation.

Eco-innovation Action Plan

We are ‘bee’sides ourselves for being one of the first to market in this unique Flagship initiative.

The Rise of the Green Consumer

Admin, August 22, 2013


The Millennial generation, people born between 1980 and the early naughties, is growing up faster than any of its predecessors imagined. For many a Baby Boomer, the Millennials are a mere jumble of complacent malingerers – specs to be ignored. But this is a dangerous attitude, especially in business. Millennials care about big business; moreover they care about ethical big business. Not only that, but they have unquestionable loyalty to brands that they trust and respect.

Being very technically literate/ digitally savvy, they can navigate the internet, and quickly interrogate a company’s profile. Furthermore, the internet acts as their fundamental apparatus for protest, and at a lightening speed. Gone are the days of sluggishly organised marches; now someone can muster an enormous following for a political or protest campaign on Facebook or Twitter in hours, all from home in their dressing gown, armed with a steaming coffee.

The internet has afforded freedom of speech a lot more freedom, and teamed with their brand-consciousness, Millenials can name and defame a business as easily as buttering toast. (Just think of some big cool brands that have recently lost their cool status by behaving as if they’re above the law). This growing demand for honest practice and transparent communication between consumer and brand will change business in the future. It’s already changing it now, in fact.

If big businesses want to remain popular in the eyes of this highly influential market, they need to invest in developing an ethical profile. Plan Bee can help you secure that. By being an early ‘adopter’ of one or more of our hives, you can have an immediate environmental impact, enhance your repuation and become a pioneer of CSR ROI- return on involvement strategy.

Bees are eco superheroes – but they’re in decline



Bees are some of the world’s best pollinators. They are a vital component in ecological networks and provide significant benefits to humans through crop pollination and maintaining the character of the landscape. Bees are really pulling their pollinating weight, thanks to their size, hairiness and foraging behaviour, all of which indicate their efficiency over and above other pollinating insects. If we were to bid a regretful adieu to these diligent creatures, our diversity of food would depart with them. Their efforts contribute to the yield and quality of many insect-dependent crops, including oilseed rape, orchard fruits, soft fruits and beans: so, no bees, no beans.

Paradoxically, bees are being culled by the very industry they assist; of course, not intentionally. The shift from labour-intensive, traditional farms to a system not nearly as quaint has stripped bees of much of their natural habitat. With the UK losing 97% of its wildflower meadows since the ‘30s, it’s really no wonder that bees are floundering. Couple that with the diminishing number of beekeepers, and lack of sufficient veterinary investment, and it becomes quite clear that bees will be facing their demise if we don’t intervene.