Sustainability Statement

How companies conduct their business matters. National Bee Supplies are committed to acting in an ethical, sustainable and socially responsible manner.

There is always more that can be done but we are taking a number of actions to improve the sustainability of National Bee Supplies:

We’re sourcing sustainable timber: we source our wood from sustainably managed forests in Canada Finland and Sweden. In order to minimise transport of raw materials we have investigated  using UK sourced wood but found that wood from colder climates which had grown more slowly was more stable during seasoning, producing longer lasting beehives. On balance we assessed that the most sustainable beehive is one that doesn’t need replacing. 

If you’d like to learn more about the sustainability practices of the timber companies we work with then please check out these links:

We’re planting trees in the UK: In 2021 we planted over 2,500 trees but that was just the start and each year we will be planting more. We believe it is important not just to plant trees, but to create wildlife rich habitats, so we plant a wide variety of UK native trees and shrubs to create new mixed deciduous woodlands.

We’re creating new wildlife habitats: we are creating 7 acres of new wildflower meadow interspersed with ponds of various sizes and depth to attract as wide a range of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife as possible.

We’re cutting out plastic: to give our products the best chance of arriving with you in good condition, we sometimes pack the boxes with inflated ‘pillows’ or bubble wrap. These are made from a plant based biodegradable material which will slowly rot down in your compost heap. We recommend that if possible you re-use your cardboard boxes (which are made from recycled materials) or use them as a weed suppressing mulch on your garden borders. 

We have now moved to paper sealing tape, paper padded envelopes and sleeves.

We are still trying to source suitable alternatives on remaining products which are packed in plastic bags such as our wax foundation, clothing and smoker fuel.  All our nails for our flat pack kits are packaged on paper envelopes.

We’re reducing electricity usage: We’re switching all light fittings to LED bulbs which will last longer and use less electricity. We source all our electricity from renewable sources.

We’re generating solar electricity: In 2021we refurbished 1,000 solar panels which we installed on a warehouse in Paignton Devon, and have also installed a further 100 solar panels on our workshop in Okehampton Devon.

We’re reducing and re-using waste: where possible, wood offcuts are used to manufacture wildlife products including bird and bat boxes. That which can’t be used helps fuel our boiler which heats our workshop, helping to season our timber. Sawdust is used for mulching new tree planting.

We’re an equal opportunities company: We are fortunate in having a wonderful workforce, dedicated to providing the best quality products and service. We will always aim to employ the best person for the job, irrespective of age, race, disability, gender or sexual orientation. 

Charity support: In 2022 we’ll donate over £25,000 to nature related charities. We are corporate sponsors of the British Beekeeper’s Association, with 1.5% of all ex vat sales being donated to their work plus 5% of all gift sales also being donated. We are proud sponsors of a Bees Abroad project creating a sustainable beekeeping cooperative in Eastern Ghana. Through the Betty Honeybee book we are making donations to BBKA and PlantLife.

And now. . . . .we’re carbon negative: Independent assessment showed that we need to offset the generation of around 50 tons pa of Co2, generated through the transport of raw materials, the operation and maintenance of our buildings, the production of beehives and the transport of finished goods to our customers. We are now more than offsetting this amount by: using energy generated through renewable energy sources; installing and maintaining over 1,000 solar panels; planting trees; creating meadows and ponds; and reducing waste throughout the business. We aim to continue to offset a minimum of 10% more carbon than we generate every year