Earth Collective’s ‘Interview with the Collective’ series is a collection of interviews with likeminded souls from around the globe, who are working towards a better future for the planet and people in it. This week Faye Whitley, co-founder of Beevive, tells us how helping an exhausted bee sparked her business idea, and how the power of community helped her bring that idea to life.
What was your catalyst for diving into the world of sustainability?
I remember the day well, as we were on holiday in Cornwall for the weekend. My partner Jake and I were out exploring when we discovered an exhausted bee. There were no flowers nearby, and we knew a little sugar boost would save her, so we carefully picked up our new friend on Jake’s sleeve and started our search for sugar and water.
We soon found a local café keen to help and mixed a sugar water solution onto a spoon. We waited on a stone wall outside and after a few sips our new companion had enough energy to BUZZ away!
Knowing how important bees are and how dangerously they are in decline, we wanted to do something to help and tried to find a solution online that could prepare us next time. We couldn’t find anything, so this is when we began designing a Bee Revival Kit to be readily accessible for the next time we met a bee in need.
It was from this moment I continued to learn more and more about the importance of bees and that without them, we’d unlikely be here today talking about them. This was our catalyst, our first ‘stone’ turned that has since led us to many sustainable life choices and opinions.
Tell us about your business journey so far – what got you to where you are today with Beevive?
Creating and launching a product that didn’t yet exist came with many challenges, but it wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our supporters via crowdfunding. Because of them, Beevive was given the opportunity to come to life! From the very beginning, our community has been the heart of the business and always will be. Simply put, like-minded people have gotten Beevive where it is today. Little did we know that our moment with that bee would be so serendipitous!
What has been your proudest achievement to date for Beevive?
Launching our ‘VIB’ initiative was a very proud day. It was a moment in our business where we were able to give back to the awesome community of bee-savers! We coined the phrase ‘Very Important Beeviver’ and had it stamped onto a hexagonal badge of awesomeness, awarded to say thank you and wear with pride for helping us to raise awareness for our very important bees.
What do you think is the biggest threat to our planet and the people in it today?
Ignorance and apathy. We can no longer claim that we don’t know about the planet’s big issues, such as the rapid decline of our bee population or the damage done by single use plastics and our throw-away culture. The internet has enabled us to access a wealth of knowledge and by simply acknowledging our detrimental behaviour and making easy changes to our lifestyles, we can conserve our planet for the generations to come.
What gets you out of bed in the morning?
My pup Leo, barking for breakfast! But after our walk and cup of tea I’m buzzing to get going. Beevive gives me purpose and every day presents a new opportunity for change.
Who/what has been the biggest influence in your life?
My partner and fellow co-founder of Beevive, Jake. He brings out the best in me, our business and life! I’m also inspired and influenced by the small business community online. It’s an encouraging and positive space to be and their passion inspires me to keeping driving forward.
What book(s) are you reading right now?
A Life On Our Planet by David Attenborough
Planting for Honeybees by Sarah Wyndham Lewis
What does the word ‘community’ mean to you?
Love, support and kindness. Like-minded people coming together to share, discuss and collaborate!
What are your five top tips for people who care about biodiversity and saving pollinators?
- Actively grow your garden wild (or at least a patch!). Planting flowers that bloom at different times of year provide a source of food throughout the seasons. Perennial flowers are a great choice for those seeking a less ‘wild’ look.
- Avoid pesticides and herbicides at all costs.
- Build or buy a bee or bug hotel. Over 90% of bees are solitary and they need a safe place to rest and lay their eggs.
- Shop organic for local food and support farmers. Be responsible and where possible source from sustainable, earth-friendly shops.
- Share! The more we talk about pollinators, the greatest awareness we will raise.
Together we achieve great things!
Where are you heading to next in your journey?
This is a difficult question, one we’ve asked ourselves many times. What makes it so hard is that we are only at the beginning of our journey. Just two years in, we are still exploring and discovering, whilst striving to be better. We are constantly bouncing ideas off each other for Beevive and what we would love for it to become. A public wildflower park is one of them. How or where we will achieve this is still unclear, however as long as we don’t lose sight of why we started, I believe our journey will continue on the right path.
Is there anything else you would like our readers to know?
If you are here reading this, you are on the right path! Keep up the amazing work to look after our planet and protect our pollinators.
Faye Elizabeth Whitley, is the co-founder of Beevive.
Working from her studio in Devon, UK, Faye is on a mission to raise awareness about the importance of bees and positively contribute towards the future of our planet. Faye grew up by the sea in Devon and later moved to the big smoke to study fashion design at university. She wrote her dissertation on sustainability in the industry and this ignited her passion for connecting nature with business. When she’s not buzzing around the studio, you can find Faye enjoying many walks along the beach and countryside with her fur baby Leo, admiring how beautiful our world is, whilst searching for bees.