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Hive & Keeper

LabelsPlus’ sweet solution for a growing artisan food business

Hive & Keeper supports British beekeepers by promoting, packaging and selling their unique honeys throughout the UK. Owner Emily Abbott only buys honey from beekeepers she’s visited personally which means she can guarantee the highest standards of bee welfare for every jar of honey she sells.

What began as a hobby soon became a thriving business and today Hive & Keeper products are sold via online distributors including Not On The High Street, Farmdrop and the National Trust, as well as directly to individuals via as single jars, collections and honey clubs.


Each Hive & Keeper jar is labelled with four pieces of information unique to that honey; it’s hive of origin, keeper, best before date and flavour indicator.


However, with more than 30 British beekeepers sending their honey to Emily she was spending hours, sometimes days, writing labels by hand and as the business continued to grow, she knew that would only increase.


LabelsPlus got in touch and suggested a digital printing solution that would completely eliminate the need to handwrite labels. Emily was keen to find out more but determined to ensure the hive and keeper information continued to look like it had been written by her.

To create Emily’s perfect label solution, we asked her to write down the name of every hive and keeper she works with and send them to us as scanned (JPEG) images. We translated them into digitally compatible formats in our studio enabling them to be printed on to labels, in any combination, at the touch of a button.

Delighted, in January 2018 Emily placed her first order for digitally printed labels (4,690 in 31 sorts for small jars, 4,360 in 29 sorts for large jars), lollipop lid labels in six eye-catching colours and a machine applicator. When they arrived she was delighted:

  • Emily has achieved a time saving equivalent to 1 full time labelling person and the process has become 3 times more efficient
  • Product originality and authenticity maintained using Emily’s handwriting
  • Overall product appearance improved giving it more impact on the shelf
  • Tamper-proof lollipop label for added product safety

LabelsPlus also organised a bespoke run of digital inkjet printed labels for small pots of honey given to guests as wedding favours.

Customer Review

Emily is still a busy bee but her time is spent much more productively:

I feel liberated. The time I used to spend writing labels is now spent promoting British honey and developing the business. It’s enabled me to take the business up a gear.