Who we are
BEE17 started life as a sustainable beekeeping project created by Richard Smith and Helen Lerner. Richard was new to beekeeping and looking for somewhere to site his first hive, Helen as leader of the Walthamstow Village Residents Association gardening group was keen to increase biodiversity in Walthamstow Village. From this point a partnership was formed as Helen welcomed a beehive to her back garden. Helen also took up beekeeping and together they set out to produce the best local raw honey to share with Walthamstow whilst donating proceeds of sales to support the local gardening group in planting more forage for pollinating insects. Pop-up shops during the year saw honey sell out within hours as the popularity of BEE17 honey grew. As their knowledge increased, as did the number of hives. With the help of local organisations BEE17 has now grown to 20 strong colonies around Walthamstow and into Essex which has enabled them to meet the growing demand for their honey.
BEE17 maintains a strong commitment to the local community and continues to donate money to Walthamstow Village Residents Association for plants in the local area as well as gifting flowers and bulbs to local organisations kind enough to site BEE17 hives. Richard is also active in sharing his knowledge of beekeeping with customers and conducting talks to groups.
2017 saw BEE17 win The Special Conservation Award for London In Bloom for our support of pollinator species and funding planting projects within Walthamstow Village.