Farm 491 Case Study
Knight’s Beekeeping was founded by Martin Knight in 2021 with the mission to pollinate the UK and help rebuild its declining natural biodiversity.
Having successfully managed over 120 hives across various businesses in the South West including Calcot Manor Hotel and Spa, The Wave, The Pig Hotel and Bicester Village Martin recognised the impact KnightsBeekeeping would have to a wider audience. Martin teamed up with Amy Stobie who is a Director of the business and provides Marketing expertise to develop Knights Beekeeping to support businesses on a national scale. Our mission is to pollinate the UK by managing a series of apiaries teaming with not only honey bees but a whole variety of wildlife supporting ecosystems and helping to support biodiversity.
Knight’s Beekeeping gives businesses and individuals the opportunity to keep their own bees in apiaries throughout the UK, where they can be looked after as they pollinate the local area, creating an interconnected network of flourishing biodiversity across the country.
Since the 1970s, the UK has lost almost half of its natural biodiversity. Habitat loss, climate change, toxic pesticides and disease continue to threaten our wildlife, with honey bees one of the species most severely affected. In fact, a third of the UK’s honey bees have disappeared in that time, and 24% of bee populations in Europe are now facing extinction.
In playing such a key role pollinating the world’s crops, plants and flowers, honey bees are vital for maintaining our ecosystem, and their loss would have a huge impact on our biodiversity, food supply and the beautiful natural environment we enjoy around us.
We believe it’s our duty, therefore, to do everything we can to protect these populations for the benefit of our planet for years to come.
Once customers have chosen their plan and the number of hives they would like, we take care of the rest.
Our apiaries are a haven for pollinators, set within acres of diverse countryside so your bees are able to fly freely and do what they do best. On top of this, we’re constantly working to create the best possible environment for your bees and the local wildlife to thrive, from giving the land back to nature in rewilding projects to the creation of safe new habitats for native and under threat species.
Members receive delicious honey produced by their bees (we ensure we leave plenty of honey in the hive to keep the bees happy and healthy!). Members are also invited to experience days where they along with their employees get the chance to suit up and see the bees up close in action and learn all about the fascinating workings of the colony, as well as receiving regular content and updates on all the goings-on in and around the hives. We know that the benefit to our members’ employees connecting with the bees is really impactful from a wellbeing perspective. The world feels like a challenging place sometimes and it’s hard to know how one person can make a change to support our climate and thankfully with Knights Beekeeping our members and their employees get to do so.
Meet the founders: Martin Knight and Amy Stobie
Martin Knight started keeping bees after reading that local honey could help his daughter’s bad hay fever. More than a decade later, what started with a single hive in his garden became a full-time occupation, and in 2021 Knight’s Beekeeping was born.
Having earned a degree in environmental science at university, Amy Stobie worked as a pollution officer with the Environment Agency. Despite moving into marketing and setting up her own agency – AgencyUK which she has successfully run for the last 15 years, her passion for the environment has always remained.
Having grown up a stone’s throw from one another, Martin and Amy came together in 2021 when Amy was looking to introduce bees to her agency’s office to make a difference for the local environment and her employees. They quickly realised that together their skills combined to form a natural partnership that could take Knight’s Beekeeping to the place it is today.
Main challenge of being an entrepreneur
One of the main challenges for any entrepreneur is ensuring you have a product or service that people actually want, not something that you think they want. Thankfully with strong experience in branding and communications Amy and Martin’s initial 18 month soft launch of the business it was clear the business was pushing on an open door and the demand was there. So many organisations are looking to centre their business values around people and planet and thankfully KnightsBeekeeping does both.
On working with Farm 491
It has been absolutely amazing to become a member with Farm 491. To have a team of experts available to lend support and make connections with other members who are all focused on providing sustainable and environmentally conscious solutions in agriculture, and agri-tech has been fantastic. They have also helped us spread the word regarding our business introducing us to publications to share our story and build awareness.