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 started our ‘Plant a Tree’ initiative. Each year we plant a ‘Mini-Forest’, in the 25 acres of Devon countryside we’re managing, and we donate the trees based on the products you choose to purchase. So far, we have planted over 5,000 trees in our Mini-Forests and we continue to see an increase in biodiversity and carbon sequestration. For more details visit our Plant a Tree page.

We're creating new wildlife habitats: we have created 7 acres of wildflower meadows, interspersed with ponds of various sizes and depths to attract as wide a range of terrestrial and aquatic wildlife as possible.

We’re continuing to cut 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 have moved away from plastic sealing tape, instead we now use paper sealing tape – allowing you to compost your cardboard packaging or use it as a weed suppressing mulch in your garden. '

We have now moved to paper sealing tape packaging bags.

To further reduce the amount of plastic bags used we are now packaging our wax foundation in recycled kraft paper. Our clothing is now delivered in a hessian bag, you can use this to store your beekeeping clothes, use as a shopping bag or you can cut it up and use as smoker fuel. Brown paper bags are used to package smoker fuel and all our nails for our flat pack kits are packaged in paper envelopes.

We're reducing electricity usage: We’ve switched all light fittings to LED bulbs which will last longer and use less electricity, as well as motion sensor switches to ensure the lights are only on when they’re needed. We use a renewables electricity supplier, for anything we don’t generate ourselves.

We're generating solar electricity: In 2021 we 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. During the beekeeping season, around 70% of our electricity usage is generated with our solar panels.

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 have switched waste companies to Devon Contract Waste – a Zero to Landfill company.

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: 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 also offer a BBKA branded Starter Kit, a portion of the profits from the starter kit is donated to either the BBKA HQ or local BBKA groups. 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 regular donations to BBKA and PlantLife. Each Christmas you can help Bees Abroad by purchasing our limited edition charity Christmas cards.

We're carbon negative: in 2021 an 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