Bee Part of The Green Story – Campaign Summary

Bee Part of The Green Story 2023 - The Wrap Up

June 9, 2023

The Green Story - Bringing it together

What an exciting month of events, stories and competitions! This year we ran our first Green Story campaign celebrating the relationships between bees, nature and people. The Bee Part of the Green Story kicked off with the Big Give Green Match Funds week on the April 20th, celebrating World Earth Day (22 April 2023) and ran through to World Bee Day on the May 20th 

With so much going on, we wanted to bring it all together here to celebrate achievements, provide links to things you might have missed and hopefully get you excited about what we’re up to next!  

The Big Give Green Match Fund – thank you!

This campaign we participated in the Green Matched Funds campaign. The Green Match Fund accepts projects dedicated to solving environmental challenges and we were thrilled that the Big Give foundation recognised our environmental efforts.

Our Green Give week focused on raising funds for the new Elephants and Bees project in Masindi, Uganda, which uses beehive fences to protect farmers crops from raiding by elephants, thereby reducing human-wildlife conflict. We had a target of £5,000 which was reached with a day to spare and doubled to £10,000 by the Big Give Foundation. A fantastic effort! An elephantsized thank-you to all who supported this!  

The Green Stories

Each week of the campaign we also shared a green story from our projects. These snappy blog posts are a great way to get to know our work more and how our projects help support the local environment. Be sure to go back and read them if you missed it!

Bees Abroad 2023 Photography Competition

Another first for Bees Abroad in the Green Story was our Photography Competition, in which we partnered with Wildlife Photographic, one of the world’s leading wildlife photography magazines. The theme ‘Bees in Nature’ attracted entries from all over the World: U.K., U.S.A., Singapore, Hong Kong, Bulgaria, and more! We were blown away with the variation and high standard of entries.

You can see the winning photo and read the story behind it here. Watch this space, as we will be sharing all the incredible images with you! 

Book Events, Talks and Honey Tasting!

To celebrate the Green Story we ran four events, two online, which you can rewatch, and two in-person.  

‘Buzz’ with Thor Hanson: An online World Earth Day event

The Green Story started off with a bang with an online event for World Earth Day with author, Thor Hanson. His talk was on the nature and necessity of bees, drawing from his book ‘Buzz’. Thor brought his skills together as a biologist, author and public speaker to deliver an event that was so engaging it felt like we were in the room with him, not thousands of miles away from him as he joined from a conference in the USA!

‘Developments in Sustainable Beekeeping’ online talk and discussion

For the second online event in the Green Story, we were joined by Professor Adam Hart and author Sarah Wyndham Lewis, both of whom are passionate about sustainable beekeeping and have first-hand experience in the matter.

Sarah drew on the depth of her personal experience and material from her books ‘Planting for honeybees and The Wild Bee Handbook to deliver an informative talk on the role of beekeeping and beekeepers in the context of the ecological challenges we face. Adam continued the theme but took us over the ocean to Mexico and the explosion of stingless beekeeping following the near collapse and how its reignited popularity is causing challenges.

World Bee Day events

World Bee Day Luncheon at the Wax Chandlers’ Hall, London

For World Bee Day, we invited our guests to celebrate ‘The Value of Bees and Honey’ at the Wax Chandlers’ Hall, London. The menu was creatively themed around bees and honey and the afternoon, hosted by our patron Timothy Maille, Master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers, featured guest speakers, Anne Rowberry and Professor Dave Goulson. The event was a wonderful opportunity to share about our ongoing work. Read the full story here.

Honey Tasting with Sarah at Hiver taproom, London

On World Bee Day (20 May) guests were treated to a Honey Tasting with author and Honey Sommelier Sarah Wyndham-Lewis at the Hiver Taproom in London. The event featured honey from Bees Abroad four different project countries:  Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda. Each country has its own unique flora and eco-regions which affect the colour, texture and taste of honey. Read the full story here.

Bees Abroad community celebrations and fundraising events

Betty our youngest bee advocate

The wonderful Betty has been fundraising and spreading awareness for Bees Abroad. Betty persuaded her whole class to raise funds for us and was recently interviewed on her local BBC Radio station for World Bee Day.

Inner Wheel fundraising event

The Inner Wheel ladies in Barnsley held a fundraising event with special guest speaker, Richard Ridler, our chair of trustees. Julie from Inner Wheel expressed her thanks and told us what they got up to “Richard was an amazing speaker & great ambassador for Bees Abroad. We had everything bee-themed… All our Inner Wheel ladies worked extremely hard & we raised more than £1,000” A big thank you to all who participated in the event!

Royal Lancaster partnership

The Royal Lancaster raised awareness and funds for Bees Abroad through their “Bee Our Guest” hotel package. And the amazing beekeeper and Corporate Sales Director, Jo Hemesley donned her bee suit in the hotel lobby with a beautiful display on World Bee Day to meet with guests and talk about the Royal Lancaster hives which are twinned with Bees Abroad project hives.

Grifter Brewing honey-beer fundraising

We have news from Down Under! A brewery in Australia, The Grifter Brewing Company, brewed a honey beer “Queen Bee” for International Women’s Day which has been on sale for the past few months. A percentage of the sales were donated to us, raising over £2,000 for Bees Abroad projects!

World Bee Day - Prize Draw

Our World Bee Day Prize draw  featured seven amazing prizes including an overnight stay for two at the Royal Lancaster and afternoon tea for four at the Ritz!We received this message from the winners of the Royal Lancaster prize: 

“So very very excited with this amazing surprise win. Thank you Bees Abroad. Urszula & Tony”.

If you missed out this time, be sure to keep an eye out for our next Prize Draw. 

The Green Story supporters

Wild About Bees – Honey Tasting event

Wild About Bees - Honey Tasting Event

June 8, 2023

Honey tasting with a world expert

On World Bee Day it was a privilege to have author and professional Honey Sommelier, Sarah Wyndham Lewis hosting a Honey Tasting at the Hiver Taproom, in London. Sarah works with Michelin star chefs around the world guiding them through the complex and exciting world of honey and gave the attendees of this unique event the same five-star experience! 

Sarah introduced guests to the experience of honey tasting with a selection of monofloral honeys followed by a multifloral honey from her own bees. This first palette of honey finished with a tasting of a low quality, cheap honey from a supermarket. There’s been a lot of news in the last few months of fraudulent or low-quality supermarket honey, and this event was a chance to share with guests what honey can really taste like. The difference between this and the rich flavours and textures of the pure honey samples was overwhelming! 

A honey journey across four countries

The second palette of honey featured honey from Bees Abroad projects in Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Uganda and Nigeria. Every country has its own unique flora, affected by the eco-regions, climates and soil types. The unique flora of each was detected in the taste and colour of each from the black Nigerian honey to the opaque golden Ugandan honey.

As Sarah guided guests through the honey, Rachel Monger shared with guests about the areas the honey came from and the beekeepers who had harvested the honey. The beekeeping projects which are supporting farmers on crutches in Sierra Leone and island women in Tanzania. It was an incredible opportunity to taste these African honeys and hear about the difference that these projects are having in their communities. 

It was a gloriously sunny day, and we were delighted to be at the Hiver Taproom where guests could also enjoy a refreshing Hiver honey beer. A big thank you to Hiver for generously donating their event space on a busy Saturday, and to Sarah and her husband Dale (co-founder of Bermondsey Street Bees) for donating their time for this special event. And thanks to Sarah for signing copies of her latest beautiful, engaging and informative book, ‘The Wild Bee Handbook’, for guests with proceeds supporting Bees Abroad projects. 

You can follow Sarah’s work on Instagram at: @honeysommelierlondon and @plantingforthebees 

World Bee Day Luncheon

World Bee Day Luncheon

June 8, 2023

A celebration of The Value of Bees and Honey

For World Bee Day, we celebrated “The Value of Bees and Honey” at a special Luncheon at the Wax Chandlers Hall in London. The event brought together some big names in the bee world and was a chance to share stories, ideas and strengthen connections for our on-going work.  

Guests were warmly welcomed to the event by Bees Abroad Patron, Timothy Maile, the Master of Wax Chandlers. Guest speakers, Anne Rowberry, President of the BBKA and Professor Dave Goulson talked about the critical importance of bees and other pollinators for ensuring food security and maintaining a healthy environment. And our own Bisi New (Nigeria Partnership Manager) provided a fascinating example through the story of Mrs Afuape in Nigeria, of how our work supports entrepreneurs who face limited resources but who are driven and capable of achieving great things when supported.  

Spread the honey, spread the message!

The event featured a delightful menu themed around honey, mead and pollen with bee-pollinated plants, and we were delighted to showcase honey from Bees Abroad beekeepers in Kenya, Sierra Leone, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Ghana.

Each jar of honey had a QR code that connected to information on our projects, creating excitement and allowing people to learn more about what Bees Abroad, local communities, and our in-country partners can accomplish with the help of our supporters. 

Thank you to all who continue to support Bees Abroad through your engagement, advocacy and donations.