An online search for ‘sustainable Valentine’s Day’ returns more than 19 million results. Purchasing gifts that are going to be loved by the environment, as much as the recipient, is clearly an ever-increasing priority for consumers.
The Scottish Bee Company, a family-owned brand that prides itself on producing uniquely flavourful honey ethically and sustainably, is encouraging shoppers to consider a Valentine’s Day gift that will help boost the declining British bee population – a vital part of the world’s ecosystem.
The brand has launched a number of romantic, premium-quality options, including honey gift boxes, scented beeswax candles, and even the opportunity to sponsor a queen bee. All of the packaging is beautifully made and fully recyclable, making it an environmentally friendly choice. Every purchase also includes a sachet of wildflower seeds to help make gardens even more bee-friendly.
A 10p donation from each jar of honey goes to RePollinate, a charity that aims to protect and improve the UK’s threatened pollinator population through the creation of wildflower spaces in local areas, funded community projects, and engagement and education.
Some of the most popular gifts include:
- Pure Scottish Honey Duo. £20.20. Two 340g jars of heather, blossom or signature blend honey. Each duo, packed in a bespoke gift box, comes with a pack of wildflower seeds for the recipient to sow.
- Candle and Honey Gift Set. £26. Presented in a craft gift box, these can include either two small candles and a 227g jar of heather honey, or one small candle, and two 227g jars of honey (heather and blossom)
- A Trio of Scented Candles. £28.50. Includes a small lavender candle, cinnamon candle and vanilla candle, in a craft bespoke box.
- Sponsor a queen bee. £25. Recipients are sent a certificate for their bee, which will be looked after by an expert beekeeper in Scotland, along with four information booklets, and a cuddly toy bee or a 227g jar of heather honey. Sponsorship helps the UK bee population thrive as £2 of the purchase goes directly to the charity, Repollinate.
The Scottish Bee Company has pledged to increase the local bee population by 20 percent over the next three years, and to raise awareness of what the public can do to help pollinators. So far, they have increased the bee population in Scotland by 23 million.
“Many of the 250 species of wild bee in the UK are declining, and 26 are listed as either ‘critically endangered’, ‘endangered’ or ‘near threatened.’ This includes the pale-tailed mining bee, the moss carder bee, the armed nomad bee and the furry-bellied blood bee,” explains Suzie Millar, co-founder of The Scottish Bee Company. “There are lots of reasons for that. In the UK, 75 per cent of the total land is now agricultural, so the lack of flowers is a major problem for our bees. Climate change is also causing problems, along with new pests, such as the Asian hornet.”
“In the UK, we get through around 4.3 million kg of honey every year. We’re a nation of honey lovers, and we clearly appreciate the efforts of the bees,” she adds. “A fantastic way to say thank you is to buy gifts and products that support their environment, along with doing what we can in terms of adding bee-friendly flowers to our garden, and eating British honey that we know has been ethically and sustainably produced.”
Co-founders, Iain and Suzie Millar, launched The Scottish Bee Company in 2017 because they were saddened at the decline in bee numbers. Their aim was to increase hive numbers in Scotland by giving hives to artisan bee farmers and selling honey on their behalf.
For more information on The Scottish Bee Company, visit scottishbeecompany.co.uk. For more details on RePollinate, visit repollinate.org.uk.
Note to editors: High-res images available on request.
Jennifer Boyes, Salt & Pepper, on behalf of The Scottish Bee Company
Phone: 07955 031 986
The love of bees. The Scottish Bee Company was founded in 2017, when Iain and Suzie Millar were inspired to do something about the plight facing bees. They adopted some bees, hired a team of expert bee farmers, and brought them together in the heather covered hills of Scotland to produce uniquely flavourful honeys that reflect the region’s unspoiled wilderness.
Creating a buzz. The Scottish Bee Company is almost five years old, so still a young brand, but it has already made waves. In 2020, the brand’s Scottish Heather Honey became the first food in the UK to be awarded the new BSI Kitemark for Food Assurance (for quality and safety). Scientists have also labelled it as a superfood after analysis revealed that it contains up to 10 times more of the essential micronutrient manganese compared to global rivals.
Award-winning. The Scottish Heather Honey has won multiple awards, including a Great Taste Award and winner of the highest award at the London Honey Awards.
From small beginnings. The Scottish Bee Company now has 500 hives dotted across the Scottish countryside, equating to around 25 million bees at the height of summer.
Fully trackable – from the hive to the jar. Unlike many other honeys, every product from The Scottish Bee Company can be tracked back to the brand’s hives in the Lothians, Dumfriesshire, Stirlingshire, Fife, and Aberdeenshire, meaning that customers can have confidence in the providence, authenticity and integrity of the honey that they’re buying.
A taste of place. Iain and Suzie believe that honey can be as complex and varied as wine, coffee, and olive oil, and tell you just as much about where it was produced. Suzie has recently achieved certified Honey Sommelier status. This is official recognition of her honey knowledge and experienced palate, which can identify a wide range of different flavours, aromas, and terroir.
International presence. The Scottish Bee Company currently exports to Europe, North America and the Far East, with plans to expand this further over the coming years.
Making strides for positive change. Social responsibility and environmental sustainability is central to everything that The Scottish Bee Company does. Iain and Suzie are working with local bee farmers to grow the industry in Scotland, and to provide opportunities for those wanting to forge a career in bee-keeping.
The Scottish Bee Company products. The Scottish Bee Company currently produces three pure honeys, including its award-winning Scottish Heather Honey, along with Scottish Blossom Honey, and Signature Blend Honey (a combination of blossom and heather). The brand also produces a range of Shrub Drinks, Beeswax Candles, and Vinegars.
More Details. For more information, visit scottishbeecompany.co.uk. You can also follow the brand on Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter.
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