Building the world's biggest bee-friendly network

Building the world's biggest bee-friendly network

The Honey Club Case Study

Locally Focussed

The Honey Club is a local, social enterprise with a global vision, set up by Wolff Olins, Global Generation (a King's Cross based youth charity) and Urban Bees (committed beekeeping trainers and educators). Together, our aim is to evolve and expand a network of bee-caring communities in urban spaces - from rooftop to garden, hive to street, business to people. We have four beehives - two on our roof and two at Global Generation's skip garden - which provide a home for 200,000 honeybees: a key pollinator in our fragile eco-system and under threat from pesticides, mass urbanisation and diminishing forage.

Built to last

Along with the young people of Global Generation (the 'Generators') we co- created the Honey Club. Eschewing the traditional CSR approach - one-off donations and volunteer days - we wanted to create a model for social impact that was long-term, active and meaningful. The Honey Club membership model enables us to do just that by inviting other local businesses to make a social environmental investment in the area. In the spirit of exchange, members not only give an annual fee but also time, skills and advocacy. In return we hold a series of events and workshops where employees from our member organisations and young people learn new bee-friendly skills, exchange ideas and build community relationships - from cooking to guerilla gardening.

Experimenting as we go

It's been nearly 4 years and it's been quite a journey from the idea sketched out on a piece of paper to see it living and thriving in the world. We've shaped the urban landscape in King's Cross with the inclusion of bee-friendly planting in development plans, set up Bee Lab - where we have been prototyping sensory technology that will enhance the practice of beekeeping, created a portfolio of retail products that enable bee-friendly behaviour, not to mention the confidence and development of the young people involved in the programme day to day. But we're only just getting warmed up. This year we'll be experimenting with different forms of memberships - from individuals and SMEs to schools and families, and seeing how others can adopt our model to set up their own Honey Clubs in other parts of the city or indeed, their own city. World domination imminent…

See www.honeyclub.org for more details.

Read about our social enterprise The Honey Club

Read about our social enterprise The Honey Club

Morning honey

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

London Honey Festival

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