The Honey Club is a social enterprise set up by Global Generation, Wolff Olins and Urban Bees. Our mission is to evolve and expand a network of bee caring communities in urban spaces – from rooftop to garden, hive to street, business to people. This is why and how we do it ...
When bees collect nectar from a flowering plant they pollinate the plant. In fact, bees pollinate around a third of everything we eat here in Europe. Sadly, over the years, we have not been as respectful of bees as we should have been. So much so that experts now predict that honeybees could disappear from Britain entirely by 2018, unless we take action now. The main causes of dwindling bee populations are:
– mass farming: 97% of Britain’s flower-rich grasslands (which bees love) have been destroyed over the past 70 years to make way for vast one-crop fields (which bees hate)
– pesticides: use of chemicals on large swathes of farmland is now being proved to cause memory loss and death in bees, and beekeepers in the US are taking the Environmental Protection Agency to court on the matter
– disease: global shipping routes have brought the deadly varroa mite to the UK from Asia, a parasite that feeds off and kills the bees
We therefore need to do all we can to help bees thrive again.
The Honey Club grows a community of young people, office workers, restaurants, shop owners and residents that is local, enjoyable and meaningful. Through a platform of bee-themed events and beekeeping training, young people and businesses learn side by side, about bees, from bees, and from each other to open up new conversations and unlock potential from which to envisage and create a new future.
Through the Honey Club local businesses make a social and environmental investment in their local area: sponsoring a young person through a development course for a year, and supporting the bee population.
Young people are involved in all stages of the Honey Club. This includes: co-creation of the Honey Club concept, pitching to corporate members, hands on bee keeping, running and hosting events, story making and all aspects of communicating this narrative of change.
The young people involved want to play their part in catalysing positive change. They have little or no experience in the environmental agenda and due to social or economic circumstances they have little opportunity to connect with training, entrepreneurial and employment opportunities. The Honey Club gives them the possibility to work side by side with businesses to set up, run and develop the social enterprise, gain new skills and experiences and make contacts for future work opportunities.
Feeding the bees
The Honey Club recognises the importance of available forage for our honey bees and is committed to improve the availability of urban forage for all the pollinators that share our urban environment.
We believe that all the honey bees will manage better if there is a greater diversity of plants throughout the flowering season but especially plants that flower in early spring and late summer when the colonies need it most. Our members are keen to work together to ensure King’s Cross becomes a showcase for creating a bee-friendly green infrastructure.
We run bee friendly evening gardening sessions during the summer.