The Birds and the BeesIt’s a case of the birds and the bees as Surrey Veterinary practice Oak Barn Vets adopts a beehive from leading UK sustainability business, Plan Bee Ltd. The Guildford based Vets will welcome around 60,000 new visitors to the large grounds surrounding their 400-year-old barn location in the Surrey Hills. While the team at Oak Barn look after the birds, Plan Bee’s Brett Adshead will look after the bees. Louise Ketteridge, Veterinary Surgeon and Partner at the practice said: “We’re delighted to be playing our part in protecting the natural environment, and already the bees are starting to create a buzz with our customers. Many of Oak Barn’s regular pet owners have been asking how the bees are getting on and if they can try some of the honey. Our primary concern has always been the welfare of animals and that now includes helping to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee numbers. These vital little creatures are essential to all our survival, and we want do what we can to ensure they thrive.” The practice will also receive their share of honey from the sustainably managed hive, which could be as much as 24 jars per year. The design team at Plan Bee will work with the practice to produce a bespoke label for their honey. With their share of the honey, Plan Bee produces its premium Origin Honey brand, which last year won a total of three Great Taste Awards gold stars, the food industry equivalent of the Oscars. This led organisers, the Guild of Fine Food to call Plan Bee an ‘elite UK producer’. Brett Adshead, Plan Bee experienced beekeeper in the south of England will tend to the hive, ensuring the welfare of Oak Barn’s 60,000 new workers. The Urban Farmer added: “Oak Barn Vets is showing a great commitment to the natural environment. The welfare of all creatures, whether it be a dog, cat, bird or even a humble honeybee, is paramount to them. They realised, like dozens of companies across the country, that bees need our help. This is a colourful and engaging way to wear your environmental heart on your sleeve and for businesses to encourage both their employees and customers to make their own sustainability statement.” Plan Bee has been working in partnership with companies large and small to protect and preserve dwindling honeybee numbers. Populations have declined by more than 50 percent in only a few decades. Bees are responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat, and for regenerating our forests which are keeping our air clean and our rivers and reservoirs fresh. Already, with more than 250 beehives from Aberdeen to Cornwall, Plan Bee has helped to return around 15-million honeybees to the natural environment. Working with companies, the likes of Kellogg’s, L’Oreal and Highland Spring, the Motherwell-based business is playing a significant part to preserve honeybee populations blighted by climate change, poor pesticide management and man’s lack of understanding around the environment. Warren Bader, CEO and Founder of Plan Bee added: “Oak Barn Vets is showing a major environmental commitment for a small business. For a business of only nine people their ‘proactive sustainability’ actions are greater than those made by many big businesses. We believe that everyone can play a part in protecting the environment that we all share, and we’d encourage other small companies to consider adopting beehives.” To learn more about the sustainability services provided by Plan Bee Ltd, please visit www.planbeeltd.com, or contact us on 01698 580 572.