Sustainability — it’s not just a Buzzword.
Sustainability is close to our hearts at Mountain Valley Honey. In fact, it is at the heart of everything we do, and we are always on the lookout for new ways to reduce waste and help the environment.
Our attitude to sustainability is reflected in the way we manage our hives. Our bees need a nice clear entry to their hives, but we never use sprays to keep the grass and weeds at bay. We much prefer to get stuck in with a scrub cutter and good old-fashioned manual labour.
It’s harder work, especially in a bee suit on a hot day, but the less chemicals we can use in our practices, the happier we are — and bees everywhere appreciate that too.
The wilderness location of our hives does pose significant challenges for being environmentally aware since long drives into the countryside are unavoidable. We offset this by planning very carefully to keep the number of trips to a minimum. Every trip sees us piling three to four people into a vehicle, along with all our gear. It gets a bit cosy sometimes, but it’s more companionable and much more sustainable than doing multiple trips.
If we have work that covers a number of days in the same area, we tend to stay the night. It does mean longer days for our beekeepers, but every trip saved makes a small difference for a more sustainable future. And, as we always say, “it’s the little things that count”.
When using the helicopter to place and retrieve hives from the most remote places, we have to plan with the utmost precision. Everyone has to be in the right place at the right time to ensure the highest efficiency and the least amount of fuel. Using a highly experienced pilot really helps, meaning that 400 hives can be placed or collected in just a few short hours.
We like to think of ourselves as being part of a local ecosystem and we enjoy the symbiotic relationship that we have with local farmers. Sending some of our bees into orchards every spring to help with pollination means higher yields for farmers and a more sustainable and integrated local region.
When it comes to recycling, we treat our headquarters in Wakefield just like our home, with systems to recycle all cardboard, plastic, and glass. We are always looking for new ways to minimise waste.
Our cute honey drizzlers, which are made locally from native timber offcuts, are another great example of our attention to detail when it comes to using sustainable products. The wax from our hives does not go to waste either — it is turned into beeswax wraps and beeswax blocks that are used for many items including candles, and furniture polish.
Our customers seem to love helping the environment too, with many choosing our glass jars as a more sustainable option. We offer our products in both Glass and Plastic packaging options to give our customers the choice they prefer.
We are always looking for ways to secure our parcels for their courier trips to ensure a safe ride. This is a work in progress — especially for our glass jars that need that extra protection.
We also offer a refill option for our local community and really appreciate it when our customers pop in to fill up their jars — not just because it is more sustainable, but because it gives us a chance to meet people face-to-face. If you are in the area and you want to do your bit for sustainability then pop in! We’d love to see you for a chat!
At Mountain Valley Honey we reckon sustainability is like a journey, and we are always keen to explore new ideas. So if you have any great suggestions about how we can do even better, please get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.