At Bee-Equipment we try hard to source the best products and equipment for our valued customers. We will always try to source from sustainable sources where possible, all the wooden products we manufacture in our own factory have certification to support our sustainability position.
We have a truly international approach, supplying and sourcing products from all over the world and this enables us to stock over £2M worth of stock over a range of 3000 products at our base in Canterbury. Our inventory is extensive, National, Langstroth, Commercial and other ranges along with accessories. Many items have been developed by us, as beekeepers. We keep 300 hives on top fruit farms in Kent and this enables us to continually test, prove and improve products, before committing them to our website, for sale to our customers.
We are a progressive company, always searching for new products and services for our beekeeping customers. Looking to improve our service to you and our suppliers, our customer service team works hard to serve.
To this end we are in the planning stages of a £65M repurposing project of a 98 acre redundant coal mine that is Snowdown Colliery in Kent, this will be a European leading new style development. We have been working on this project for nearly 6 years, the plans are now being finalised, with a view to a planning application being submitted in the spring of 2022. We hope to be on site by the winter of 2022.
Some features are The Bee Yard, a 2000sq ft Bee research facility, we are in early stage talks with local university for a partnership project, we also plan a 120 glamping pod scheme and theatres, to allow stage events such as beekeeping retreats, teaching and talks and so much more. We aim for the whole development to be as near as possible carbon neutral, we will make use of the latest technology to help us achieve this.
Bees and Queens
We have now completed our 2020 contracted agreements with non UK bee suppliers, this was a difficult period for us. We had contracted to purchase 1500 Nucs and 2000 queens back in March 2020 before the Brexit deal had concluded from a non UK supplier, we had a *moral and **legal obligation to conclude this business transaction. We believe as a company in the freedom to trade worldwide, our trade was within the legal framework currently in position. Although some people suggest what we were doing was via a “loophole” they would have to consider that for 6 years, our elected peers discussed and formed a framework for our Islands future. I fail to understand how anyone could think this area of trade was just overlooked, particularly that the general area of bees meant that DEFRA lost an annual income of between £2.4M to £2.7M.
The bees were health checked in Italy, again in Ireland and finally at our request once again at Canterbury by our very experienced Seasonal Bee Inspector. In addition, we kept around 80 Nucs on site to check health and progress, samples were last checked on site by our SBI on 16th September 2021. I am pleased to say as expected, they are clean and healthy.
It is worth pointing out that a business commitment is a position that is more than just to say you will do something, it is yours and your company’s reputation, in this case a worldwide reputation, we deal with many companies throughout the world in most instances business is done with a “virtual handshake" just as until recently when many businesses traded billions of pounds on London markets in just this way.
It is not a commitment that should be taken lightly, we do not. Our word is our bond even if at times it disadvantages us to complete the transaction..
In terms of other products, in common with all the main suppliers across the world, we source from supply chains that are less than reliable. Therefore, over the next few years, we will try to shorten our supply chains. Source products locally in an effort to do what we can to help the environment.
This year has seen some unexpected pressures on business across the world, shipping containers are proving harder to secure, and when we can they have increased as much as 6 times pre 2020 costs. As with all business in the UK ground transportation is proving challenging and expensive.
We will continue to improve our business model, expand into areas that we believe will benefit our customers and continue to deliver the product and services our customers need and deserve.
*Morally, we had contracted to make this purchase, had we reneged on this agreement we would have seriously disadvantaged a company in another country to the extent that lives of employees and company owners would have been affected for many years. We will never let an individual or company be disadvantaged by trading with us, our word is our bond.
**We had a contract with a company in another EU country, our legal system is intrinsically linked to EU legislation. It would have been a breach of contract for us not to have completed the transaction and thus left our company to the exposure of legal redress.