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Plan Bee creates a buzz


A small Scottish company is showing that a business can be built on biodiversity, by installing and maintaining bee hives on the premises of corporate customers.

Plan Bee, based in the town of Motherwell, which sits between Edinburgh and Glasgow, has a double objective: it helps client companies prove their commitment to sustainability, and it finds new locations for bee hives, an essential environmental service at a time when bees are under threat. Plan Bee points out that the United Kingdom has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows since the 1930s and it is “no wonder that bees are floundering.” In addition, the art of beekeeping is generally in decline, and Plan Bee argues that intervention is needed to ensure a healthy and sufficient population of pollinators.

Plan Bee's sales pitch is based on the idea that companies need to demonstrate that they take sustainability seriously, and hosting bee hives is an ideal way to do it. Green consumers are on the rise, Plan Bee says, and in order to win their custom, companies “need to invest in developing an ethical profile.”

In addition, by signing an agreement with Plan Bee and making payments for beehive installation and maintenance, corporate customers can enjoy the bonus of honey from their hives, which can carry the host company brand on request. Plan Bee has an innovative business model and marketing pitch - it demonstrates that money can be made from sustainability, and that a biodiversity service can attract customers.

Plan Bee's clients range from dental practices to restaurants to major construction and engineering companies such as Balfour Beatty and BAM Nuttall. Balfour Beatty, for example, has sponsored two hives for a five-year period at two schools that it was contracted to build. Plan Bee has also worked with local authorities, and with some of Scotland's famous estates and golf courses, such as the Royal Troon Golf Club.

Plan Bee's approach has been recognised by a number of award schemes. It has been shortlisted for a number of innovation awards, was listed as one of the “100 Most innovative & Inspirational Companies 2012” by the UK government Department of Business, Innovation and Skills, and won a “Green Champion 2013” award from the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce.

Further information: http://www.planbeeltd.com