Could your allotment, garden or company benefit from a beehive? Well, probably - and our latest Pioneer, Warren Bader, is on a mission to help you realise why ...
Warren Bader's passion for bees started when he got an allotment and then 'began dabbling with beehives' to alleviate the stress of working with stars like Tina Turner and Boyzone in advertising and music video production. He was soon hooked and turned his passion for bees, honey and sustainability into his company, Plan Bee Ltd.
Plan Bee's work with high-profile clients such as Balfour Beatty, Highland Spring Water and Two Fat Ladies Restaurant has led to a whole host of sustainability and small business awards, including being shortlisted in this year's 2degrees Champion Awards and winning Business Green's 'Small Business of the Year' 2014.
But it's not just businesses that benefit from a bee hive. Plan Bee helps individuals and communities set up and manage their own hives, too. We caught up with Warren to find out what drives him and where Plan Bee is going next.
Tell us about Plan Bee - what's your mission?
Plan Bee is the fastest way to make a natural positive impact on your local environment. Companies can enhance their Corporate Sustainability ambitions and values through the establishment and management of honeybee hives on their chosen location.
What motivates you?
In all honestly I'm motivated by the bees. As a species they provide the perfect exemplar of a well-oiled working machine - in the office we try and apply a bee-like attitude to everything that we do!
What is your greatest achievement to date?
Given the recovering economy that we find ourselves living in, I believe that my biggest achievement has been keeping such a groundbreaking innovative company in business for three years.
What are the challenges you face?
We face challenges in business everyday - it's the nature of the beast! However given that using bees to help companies enhance their Corporate Social Sustainability is a fairly novel concept it can be challenging to get people to understand the important role that bees play within our environment and how they can play their part.
What are you working on that's getting you fired up and excited?
At the moment we're working on quite a few exciting projects but there are two in particular which have everyone in the office 'buzzing'.
Firstly, our schools Green Legacy Project which we launched in March this year. The schools project is a great way to get pupils more engaged and excited about biodiversity and the important part that bees play in our ecosystem.
The pupils are involved in decorating a beehive which is fully managed by Plan Bee on the school grounds for one year and they receive informative presentations about sustainability and the environment.
The mead project is a completely new venture for us which is why it's so exciting. We're working with a talented Masters student from the University of Edinburgh to produce a range of honey-based alcohol including mead and beer using Plan Bee honey as the staple ingredient.
Where do you want to take Plan Bee next?
In the next few years we would like to continue to establish bees as a reputable way for companies to enhance their CSS values, expanding the business nationally and then hopefully internationally!
What can we, as individuals, do to make a difference?
There are so many different ways for people to make a difference to the environment and to help save the bees at the same time. One of the easiest, and most rewarding, things to do is to plant wild flower seeds in your garden or window boxes. Not only will they look beautiful - they will help attract the bees and other insect pollinators that are so valuable to our environment.
What's the coolest project/product you've come across?
The Pop-Up Foundation'sPop Up Farm. They work to bring sustainability education into schools and local communities and their work very much inspired our schools Green Legacy project.
Can you recommend a life-changing book for our readers?