Jez's Notebook | Bees & Co. – Jez’s honey farm Archive

Why CSR and Why Now? Sustainability As a Source of Connection in Crisis

Why CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility)?

In short – why not? Aside from any ethical or moral arguments, starting a journey to becoming g a “responsible business”; taking into consideration ways your organisation can help others, or at least champion or support good causes, is actually a smart and considered commercial decision, too. According to Business Case for Purpose, companies with a clearly defined sense of purpose are up to 50% more likely to successfully expand into a new market. 

Actively creating a sustainability project, or considering how your business might be seen to be more responsible, engages existing employees; is more attractive to graduates and individuals with a greater sense of work ethic, and is welcomed by key stakeholders as a sign of future protection. It’s also a PR and marketing department’s dream!

Why Now?

In any time of uncertainty; period of change, or moment of reflection, humans need something to believe in: something to positively capture our attention and inspire us. Off the back of Brexit, our attention is now dominated by Corona virus. While both

Our Famous Honey Flapjacks

These delicious flapjacks with honey at their heart won’t stay around for long!

The secret is finally out! Our friend and chef, Kathy, has been baking these ultra-delicious, soft, chewy, tasty flapjacks for us for some time now and we’ve been sending them out as gifts to rapturous response!

Finally we’ve conceded to share the secret recipe

Corona Crisis Sees Surge in Responsible Businesses Adopting Beehives

The Coronavirus has put a stop to a lot of things, but it’s also shined a spotlight on the importance of finding innovative ways to maintain engagement with staff and stakeholders, whilst simultaneously embracing novel methods of cutting through a lot of noise to ensure your brand and its values continue to be seen.

Adopting a bee hive provides a corporate social responsibility (CSR) solution with maximum environmental impact.

Here on my farm, we’ve been providing businesses the opportunity to adopt working honeybee hives for three years now. In that time we’ve worked with clients from a wide range of sectors: hospitality; creative; retail, and automotive, including The Ned hotel in London; Tom Sellers’ Michelin-starred Restaurant Story and Sophie Allport. We’ve attracted some of the most iconic brands in Britain, but one thing that connects them all is the realisation just how important it is to be able to demonstrate in what ways they are a responsible business. Simply talking about “doing your bit” is no longer enough – you need to be seen to be acting, and with a clearly positive outcome.

According to Business Case for Purpose, companies with a clearly defined sense of purpose are up to 50% more likely to successfully expand into a new market.

Fortunately, my work as a conference host and consulting on behaviour insight has brought me up close to business challenges. It was this that helped show me exactly what my clients needed, and we were fortunate

Unique Teambuilding Experiences at Jez’s Farm

For over 15 years Jez’s work in the corporate sector has been bringing company individuals together, and now here at Jez’s farm, we’ve launched an exciting range of corporate team building experiences.

Escape the office to the beautiful surroundings of rural Lincolnshire and the world’s first carbon neutral honey farm for engaging and inspirational half or full days of collaboration, problem solving and wellbeing.

Workshops on the Farm in 2020!

A range of exciting workshops and experience days have launched for 2020 at Jez’s farm

It’s a real hive of activity here as the team come together to improve the space ready for our workshops and gift experiences days in 2020.

We’ve installed a brick ramp up to the barn; completely redesigned the fruit, vegetable, jewel and cottage gardens; planted up an outdoor teaching area underneath the cherry tree with willow and a native hedgerow border; installed a new 23 foot

Beekeeping FAQs!

As we’re a small but very busy team, we often aren’t able to respond to general questions as quickly as we’d like to, so we sat down with Jez and put to him a list of the most commonly asked questions we receive – hopefully you’ll find what you were looking for here!

2019 – what a year!

The bees are feeding on sugar fondant to help build up their food stores for the winter and maintain optimum health to fight disease that may be present.

While we’re only just into autumn here in England and there are still more than a couple of weeks left of 2019, the beekeeping year has come to an end. Suddenly activity on the farm shifts its focus from almost constant bee-related work, to broader maintenance, improvements and our other workshops (and my favourite time of the gardening calendar!).

When the temperature drops below 14 degrees and the colder, wetter weather sets in, we no longer inspect our bees so as to help them maintain the critical, consistent core brood temperature of 36 degrees celsius. Having me poking around in there doesn’t help them with that when it’s cold and wet outside!

But, my, what a year it’s been… and not by any means all positive. As the rest of the year for us is about repairing hives, cleaning equipment as part of our integrated disease management program and preparing for the Spring when it all starts again, I thought I’d do a wrap up of the year so far…

New Christmas Workshops and Dates for 2020!

A new range of exciting workshops on the farm start in November with Christmas Wreath Making!

Since we moved to the farm we’ve become well known for our beekeeping workshops and experience days, which have been hugely popular, but quite a large part of the work here has been in developing a bare one acre site into almost entirely pollinator-friendly planted gardens.

It’s been great fun, hard work, and at times incredibly muddy!

We’ve been busy installing new areas to the gardens, planting flower beds and developing plant schemes for all year round colour and interest, and because of that focus on the outside space, we’ve created a new and exciting range of workshops for all throughout the year.

The new workshops start next month in November with Christmas Wreath Making Workshops and Christmas Natural Present Topper Workshops – and then through 2020 include Designing Your Own Organic Edible Garden; Fire Pit Feast Cooking; Wild Flower Posey Arranging and Make Your Own Charcoal and Draw workshops, many with new guest tutors.

We hope to see you here at the farm soon; if you’ve been before, you won’t recognise it now – we’ve been so busy! You can meet the dogs and also Cat, our lovely new farm manager who is doing a fantastic job of keeping everything running.

Don’t forget to sign up to the newsletter if you haven’t already so you’re the first to hear when the new dates are released.


Neal’s Yard Remedies Join Us On the Farm!

Marissa helping to create wildlife bug boxes made from recycled apple crates, plant pots and garden debris!

Yesterday we were joined by some of the Neal’s Yard Remedies team from their Covent Garden HQ and we had an absolute blast!

As part of their annual community day they helped us to add even more environmentally friendly aspects to the Bees & Co. farm. Honeybees are an important part of the ecosystem but they’re not the only important insect – the team helped make bug houses, weave willow fences to the herb garden, planted some additional bee-friendly flowers to maximise all of the planting spaces we have, recycled plastic bottles to make enrichment for our chickens and chatted over a pizza lunch about the importance of corporate social responsibility and how we can all do a little more to make a positive impact on the environment we so heavily rely on.

Willow weaving to provide neat edging for the mint border, nesting material for birds and flowers for pollinators.

Tommie, who helps at the farm, used to be a chef and so we roped him in to firing up the wood-fired pizza oven to make us lunch. Despite singeing his eyelashes and getting smoke in his eyes, I think he loved it!

Huge thanks go to the Neal’s Yard Remedies team, kindred spirits in the Carbon Neutral, organic and environment fields, for helping us to create an even better environment for wildlife and symbiotically our honeybees.