London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

The Honey Club Case Study

Save Bees. Learn More. Give Back.

In 2008, we created a garden on the roof of our office in London with help from the local youth development charity, Global Generation. Since then, we’ve witnessed the positive influence of the garden on our business – providing a source of organic vegetables for the kitchen, space for new sustainable action and huge pride to all of us. More recently, two global trends caught our eye: the rise of alternative methods of social investment and the demise of the invaluable honeybee. Instead of admiring from afar, we wanted to create our own social enterprise, different from typical Corporate Social Responsibility programs: more local, more active and more long-term.

So, together with Global Generation, we have created The Honey Club - a social enterprise based in Kings Cross, London with a clear mission: save bees, learn more, give back.

Hive of activity

We installed two beehives and now have around 100,000 Western honeybees living on our roof. A group of us are learning to be beekeepers alongside young people from local schools (the ‘Generators’), Global Generation leaders and our garden facilitator. Lessons are given by Brian McCallum at Urban Bees.

Together with the Generators, we have developed the business model for the enterprise and pitched it to local businesses. The Honey Club has a membership model and will hold a series of bee-themed events throughout the year (e.g. introduction to bee-keeping, cooking with honey, etc.) where members can learn new skills, exchange ideas and have fun. Giving all of us a chance to build the Kings Cross community of the future: human and environmental.

Creating buzz

The Honey Club journey has been rich and varied so far. We’ve worked closely with the Generators to hone business and presentation skills; forged relationships with local businesses; created a website, leaflets and badges to promote the enterprise; and, of course, we’ve learned to keep bees (and there’s still a lot more to learn). In August, we took a small harvest of our delicious honey to the London Honey Festival at the Southbank Centre.

Most of all, we’re learning more everyday about what it takes to actually build an iterative, collaborative, socially impactful business – piloting ideas in real time and synthesizing our experience into useful insights for our clients.

We’re delighted to have The Guardian and OMD as our first business members, and we can't wait to host our first official Honey Club event this autumn.

See www.honeyclub.org for more details.

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

Morning honey

Honey Club

Honey Club

Wolff Olins London's famous Honey Club was featured in Bees in the City, a handbook by Alison Benjamin and Brian McCallum

Wo london are getting bees hives arrive next

Wo london are getting bees hives arrive next

WO London are getting bees!

Hives arrive next week, 100,000 bees shortly after. Four lucky WOLOers - Mel, Stuart, Nick and Amy - will learn how to keep the bees with lessons from Urban Bees (www.urbanbees.co.uk), alongside bee-enthusiasts from Global Generation (a Kings Cross based charity dedicated to giving local kids a part to play in a sustainable future, based on the nearby develoment site www.globalgeneration.org.uk).

Lesson 1 took place last Wednesday. Much was learnt - including the fact that bee stings (apparently) smell like bananas, and how to rock boiler-suit chic.

HONEY MORNING

HONEY MORNING

The beehive at Wolff Olins London

The beehive at Wolff Olins London

London Honey Festival