Wind turbine - producing renweable energy

Our honey comes completely conscience free!

12 June 2021

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We all understand the challenges that are facing humanity, and one of the most important is what we are facing with our changing climate as well as plastic pollution. As ethical food producers we feel we have a moral obligation to do our bit and to face future generations with integrity and to give customer A CHOICE. To that end we have made every jar of our raw Welsh Honey 100% Carbon Neutral. Right now. Not in 5 years time, not in 2035, not by 2050, but right now. That means no CO2 emissions as a result of purchasing our raw Welsh Honey. We can even work out how much CO2 you have saved the planet by purchasing our raw Welsh Honey individually by logging into your account. So how do we achieve complete 100% Carbon Neutrality on our raw Welsh Honey?

Energy use

All the energy consumed in the extraction of our honey, its gentle and coarse filtering to bottling is generated by our own electricity with solar PV cells on the roof of our building and 100% green. But the daylight is not continuous in Wales so when we need to purchase from the grid we only buy 100% Carbon Free green energy.

Help from futuristic technology

Being green does not mean going back to Neolithic times as we use modern technology to lead the way. We understand that the demands on the electric grid during peak hours helps to create a demand for energy generated by fossil fuels such as gas. Daily our building management system receives information about demand and automatically adjust usage on energy intensive operations that require heat, albeit water, space heating, or even just to keep our honey in tanks whilst settling just above room temperature to flow better. All of these will only use electric outside the peaks of day and are centrally computer controlled.

Air source heat pump producing green heating
Efficient heat production

But we do need to generate heat. The most efficient way to do this at the moment without breaking the bank is through heat pumps. We have installed a NIBE heat pump in our new building and it is the only source of heating. We use no gas. We use no dirty oil. We use only green electrical energy.

Progressive planning

The measures we take does not happen overnight and has been planned for and built over a 5 year period as this is the direction as a business we wanted to go. Part of that plan is to have a super efficient building. In turning a former brownfield site, an old coal mine, into a modern new bee farm has its advantages of preplanning. Simple things such as using a third more insulation in the building to go beyond building regulations where, on a domestic scale, our building has a rating of EPC A, the highest we can get both with help from the Welsh Government and financing through the Ecology Building Society, a lender that only invests in community projects that have highly measurable ecological returns.

Using sustainable an drecyclable wooden hives
Green beekeeping

But that energy use is just the bottling side, and in normal circumstances consumes the most energy. What about the management of the bees? How we look after our bees using organic principles is explained here. In terms of consumables managing bees evidently uses parts of many materials.

We have for many years used wood beehives and wood internal frames. These are carbon neutral as not only can they be recycled (on site by our microorganism friends in the earth) but is completely sustainable. The amount of CO2 the trees have soaked up easily outweigh all the emissions from the manufacturing (cutting down, transporting and sawing) into useable parts.

No more Polyhives

We have invested in the past in poly hives which are made from polystyrene. At the time we thought that these would outperform wooden beehives in terms of keeping bees warm during the winter and thus reducing their stress and prolonging their lives, but this difference was negligible in the long term compared to wooden beehives.

We cannot definitely say that poly hives produce microplastics when the rain hits them, but a logical mind points that this must be the case. But rather than to throw and fill a landfill we will be using them until the end of their useability, hopefully another 10 years plus. However, we will no longer be investing in any new polystyrene based products out of principle and only get new wooden beehives. This is part of our commitment to the environment both in terms of microplastics and trying not to use materials derived from hydrocarbons. By using all wooden beehives we will remain on our 100% Carbon Neutral path.

Plastic Free Packaging

All of our packaging is plastic free and is fully recyclable. We only use paper labels, glass and steel lids, all with a high level of recycled materials during its manufacture. All these can be recycled time and time again. All our delivery boxes are made of cardboard and is held in place with paper tape. No more bubble wrap, no more plastic tapes. Just fully recyclable materials made from natural resources and not from hydrocarbons.

Tree planting at Cilgwenyn Bee Farm
What about the bits we can’t do without emitting CO2?

Our biggest annual carbon footprint at the moment comes from vehicle use. Evidently, we use vehicles to get to the bees in places that are hard to reach (intentionally), to manage them, to remove the honey and to get it to the consumer either by hand or to retail. As little as the food miles are being local there is still fossil fuel usage (it’s not like we are shipping it in from thousands of miles away). We also have used materials in building a new bespoke facility on an old coal mine, the usage of contractors also considered. Even our solar PV and heat pumps and all the other technology has released some carbon in its manufacture. We also need materials made from metal such as nails and screws in beehives annually and we cannot do without these.

We mitigate our effect of using these carbon omitting resources by looking at what we can do on our doorstep. There is an argument that having such a well insulated building and home will offset future energy over its lifetime, but we prefer to use this to produce an annual 100% Carbon Free raw Welsh Honey. So how do we do this? We tackle this in two separate ways.

Firstly, we don’t use all the electric we produce so this is exported back to the grid for consumers to use. The carbon saved by doing this compared to using power generated by fossil fuels covers all the emissions form our vehicle use so we are 100% Carbon Neutral there as a minimum.

And secondly, all the other emissions used in construction, in materials used in beekeeping, to the materials used in bottling such as the glass jar, the metal lids and paper labels, the plastic free packaging have all been accounted for. For where the exporting of green energy is not sufficient we are planting brand new trees on our own land so we can guarantee that the capturing of emissions will continue for as long as the business and land remains within our family. We are in the process of planting enough trees to cover these emissions and for those expected to be used within the next 30 years with plenty more to make sure each and every jar of our raw Welsh Honey is absolutely 100% Carbon Neutral.

Cilmate Emergancy
Small tiny changes to our lives makes a huge impact

We hope that many people will make little changes to ensure humanities future for many generations to come. But its business that make the biggest changes as it gives consumers a CHOICE. Without choice there is little change. Our contribution is to make sure that every jar of raw Welsh Honey that we supply is completely 100% Carbon Neutral, right here at the source, not offset by paying a company to plant trees in land far away where there is every possibility it will be cut down in a few years’ time or even a gimmick for contemporary fashion. It’s now. Right now. We do this so we can help you play your part, conscience free.

Our honey comes completely conscience free!

12 June 2021

  • Share:

We all understand the challenges that are facing humanity, and one of the most important is what we are facing with our changing climate as well as plastic pollution. As ethical food producers we feel we have a moral obligation to do our bit and to face future generations with integrity and to give customer A CHOICE. To that end we have made every jar of our raw Welsh Honey 100% Carbon Neutral. Right now. Not in 5 years time, not in 2035, not by 2050, but right now. That means no CO2 emissions as a result of purchasing our raw Welsh Honey. We can even work out how much CO2 you have saved the planet by purchasing our raw Welsh Honey individually by logging into your account. So how do we achieve complete 100% Carbon Neutrality on our raw Welsh Honey?

Energy use

All the energy consumed in the extraction of our honey, its gentle and coarse filtering to bottling is generated by our own electricity with solar PV cells on the roof of our building and 100% green. But the daylight is not continuous in Wales so when we need to purchase from the grid we only buy 100% Carbon Free green energy.

Air source heat pump producing green heating
Green beekeeping

But that energy use is just the bottling side, and in normal circumstances consumes the most energy. What about the management of the bees? How we look after our bees using organic principles is explained here. In terms of consumables managing bees evidently uses parts of many materials.

We have for many years used wood beehives and wood internal frames. These are carbon neutral as not only can they be recycled (on site by our microorganism friends in the earth) but is completely sustainable. The amount of CO2 the trees have soaked up easily outweigh all the emissions from the manufacturing (cutting down, transporting and sawing) into useable parts.

No more Polyhives

We have invested in the past in poly hives which are made from polystyrene. At the time we thought that these would outperform wooden beehives in terms of keeping bees warm during the winter and thus reducing their stress and prolonging their lives, but this difference was negligible in the long term compared to wooden beehives.

We cannot definitely say that poly hives produce microplastics when the rain hits them, but a logical mind points that this must be the case. But rather than to throw and fill a landfill we will be using them until the end of their useability, hopefully another 10 years plus. However, we will no longer be investing in any new polystyrene based products out of principle and only get new wooden beehives. This is part of our commitment to the environment both in terms of microplastics and trying not to use materials derived from hydrocarbons. By using all wooden beehives we will remain on our 100% Carbon Neutral path.

Tree planting at Cilgwenyn Bee Farm

We mitigate our effect of using these carbon omitting resources by looking at what we can do on our doorstep. There is an argument that having such a well insulated building and home will offset future energy over its lifetime, but we prefer to use this to produce an annual 100% Carbon Free raw Welsh Honey. So how do we do this? We tackle this in two separate ways.

Firstly, we don’t use all the electric we produce so this is exported back to the grid for consumers to use. The carbon saved by doing this compared to using power generated by fossil fuels covers all the emissions form our vehicle use so we are 100% Carbon Neutral there as a minimum.

And secondly, all the other emissions used in construction, in materials used in beekeeping, to the materials used in bottling such as the glass jar, the metal lids and paper labels, the plastic free packaging have all been accounted for. For where the exporting of green energy is not sufficient we are planting brand new trees on our own land so we can guarantee that the capturing of emissions will continue for as long as the business and land remains within our family. We are in the process of planting enough trees to cover these emissions and for those expected to be used within the next 30 years with plenty more to make sure each and every jar of our raw Welsh Honey is absolutely 100% Carbon Neutral.

Small tiny changes to our lives makes a huge impact

We hope that many people will make little changes to ensure humanities future for many generations to come. But its business that make the biggest changes as it gives consumers a CHOICE. Without choice there is little change. Our contribution is to make sure that every jar of raw Welsh Honey that we supply is completely 100% Carbon Neutral, right here at the source, not offset by paying a company to plant trees in land far away where there is every possibility it will be cut down in a few years’ time or even a gimmick for contemporary fashion. It’s now. Right now. We do this so we can help you play your part, conscience free.

Wind turbine - producing renweable energy
Help from futuristic technology

Being green does not mean going back to Neolithic times as we use modern technology to lead the way. We understand that the demands on the electric grid during peak hours helps to create a demand for energy generated by fossil fuels such as gas. Daily our building management system receives information about demand and automatically adjust usage on energy intensive operations that require heat, albeit water, space heating, or even just to keep our honey in tanks whilst settling just above room temperature to flow better. All of these will only use electric outside the peaks of day and are centrally computer controlled.

Efficient heat production

But we do need to generate heat. The most efficient way to do this at the moment without breaking the bank is through heat pumps. We have installed a NIBE heat pump in our new building and it is the only source of heating. We use no gas. We use no dirty oil. We use only green electrical energy.

Progressive planning

The measures we take does not happen overnight and has been planned for and built over a 5 year period as this is the direction as a business we wanted to go. Part of that plan is to have a super efficient building. In turning a former brownfield site, an old coal mine, into a modern new bee farm has its advantages of preplanning. Simple things such as using a third more insulation in the building to go beyond building regulations where, on a domestic scale, our building has a rating of EPC A, the highest we can get both with help from the Welsh Government and financing through the Ecology Building Society, a lender that only invests in community projects that have highly measurable ecological returns.

Using sustainable an drecyclable wooden hives
Plastic Free Packaging

All of our packaging is plastic free and is fully recyclable. We only use paper labels, glass and steel lids, all with a high level of recycled materials during its manufacture. All these can be recycled time and time again. All our delivery boxes are made of cardboard and is held in place with paper tape. No more bubble wrap, no more plastic tapes. Just fully recyclable materials made from natural resources and not from hydrocarbons.

What about the bits we can’t do without emitting CO2?

Our biggest annual carbon footprint at the moment comes from vehicle use. Evidently, we use vehicles to get to the bees in places that are hard to reach (intentionally), to manage them, to remove the honey and to get it to the consumer either by hand or to retail. As little as the food miles are being local there is still fossil fuel usage (it’s not like we are shipping it in from thousands of miles away). We also have used materials in building a new bespoke facility on an old coal mine, the usage of contractors also considered. Even our solar PV and heat pumps and all the other technology has released some carbon in its manufacture. We also need materials made from metal such as nails and screws in beehives annually and we cannot do without these.

Cilmate Emergancy