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The Story of The Hive Effect

The Hive Effect is a Not For Profit Organisation that was created in 2012 and founded in 2022. We embrace a strategy of empowering the community through nature, from the ground up, facilitating new ideas, real opportunities, and advocating for positive changes with a real impact on the environment and the people within our local communities. Our inspiration is drawn from the society of honey bees.

A single honeybee is part of a colony of 30,000 - 50,000 bees that all work together in perfect unison to achieve a common goal. Each bee has a specific job, and it is important that the colony has a balance of workers both inside and outside of the hive, fulfilling various roles. There are three types of bees in a beehive: the queen, female workers, and male drones. A drone’s job is to mate with the queen, the queen’s job is to lay eggs, and all the other jobs are fulfilled by the workers. Worker bees do most of the jobs in the hive, such as cleaning, to raising youngsters, and foraging for food. All of these duties are built into their genetic makeup. As a worker bee grows older, hormones are released, activating the part of their genetics which tells them which job to do and when to do it. This way, all the different tasks are tended to.



Swarm of Bees


I have lived in the same 1-mile radius all my life and I am now 44 years old. I was born and raised on a council estate in Rowley Regis, in a generation that was allowed to explore the great outdoors, and explore we did. From the tops of Turners Hill, Portway Hill and all the way down the hills of Rowley Regis to the grass playing fields of Lion Farm, across to Titford Pools and the canals, the abandoned canals that led to The billies, The River Tame and the brooks, Grafton Playing fields, Brandhall fields, Brandhall golf course, Hurst Green playing fields and beyond, I have walked, climbed, cycled, sailed, swam, slept, and ventured everywhere, and I know every inch of these lands intimately because of it.

The more I explored, the more questions I had, and I was fortunate enough to have many well-educated and well-informed peers to answer them, and better my understanding of just how these places that we call home, came to be. The coal pits and the slag heaps, the brickworks and the marl, the heavy industry, fire and smoke, and the chemical industry, all created the industrial, toxic waste, that shaped the landscape forever. I remember thinking from an early age, that it was ironic we were living and playing with it all, right beneath our feet, and yet we had Regis in our place name! I wondered what the king would have thought of it, if he saw it. That was 35 years ago and knowing what I know now, I am certain he would hate it.

Fast forward to today and we are no better off, and in many instances, we are actually worse off. We have managed to obliterate and kill more wildlife, destroy more natural habitat, build even more houses, build more retail, increase traffic and traffic pollution, abandon our parks, abandon our allotments, our waterways, and our public buildings. People are isolated, lonely, segregated, depressed, supressed, and we are systematically leaving our kids with absolutely nothing but a legacy of spiralling destruction, with no real solution.


The Hive Effect is my contribution to our environment and to our local communities.

- Graham Walker - Founder -


Many people that live in our areas do not fully understand just how industrialised these lands once were, where we now live, and that the small pockets of open land that remain have evolved over decades to survive with the harsh chemical and heavy industrial toxic and hazardous waste they were left with. They have endured decades of abuse and neglect thereafter, yet they still fought back and stood firm, providing sanctuary to the sparse wildlife that was left, whilst also being able to provide some sort of sanctuary, space, and freedom for those who lived here.

The toad pools, bullfrogs, frogs, newts, hedgehogs, hares, rabbits, dragonflies, and bats somehow survived the industrial revolution, an era of abysmal living and working conditions, where even humans struggled to survive, and these animals survived for many decades later, along with the small parcels of land that protected them.

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Holding a Frog

Last 30 Years

However, in less than 30 years these animals have all but gone, and so have many of the habitats that supported them during their dying years. These creatures, animals, amphibians, and insects that had evolved over millennia, and survived the toxic, industrial revolution, didn’t make it past the end of the 1990’s!
Any remaining wildlife has been, and is still in, severe, rapid decline, and so much more should have been done a long time ago to counteract the problems, to create equilibrium, and restore balance, yet as always, greed, stupidity and corruption prevailed instead.

Who Knows?

A report published in late 2021 by utilised Government Environment Agency data on 1,286 landfill sites in England and Wales with potentially hazardous waste, and it found that Sandwell is the Number 1 area in England with the most toxic landfills with potentially hazardous waste per km2, or 1 toxic landfill site per 6.11km2!  


Rattle-chain Lagoon, gypsum banks, and contaminated waterways, are all still here today, along with many other remnants of a bygone hell on earth and they are shameful blights on society from which lessons have obviously not been learnt. If we still cannot resolve these age-old problems, and we continually contaminate our lands just like our forefathers did, without consequence and without conscience, then there is something seriously wrong with the system that controls them. Likewise, if we the people cannot make a change right now, then there is a serious problem with the system that controls us.

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Who Forgot?

These areas where I still live today are some of the most deprived in the country, and they always have been. The new retail units that provide minimum wage jobs may look fancy to those who visit coming off the M5 Junction 2, and the new circa £250K+ private houses that have been built around our communities look lovely, but beneath them all, is the same toxic waste that was covered over all of  those years ago, and amid it all, are the same deprived communities, that have long been abandoned and forgotten.


The people and the communities are fractured and everything from living conditions to mental health and health & wellbeing are amongst the worst rated in the country... Still. History shows us this. We still have chemical and toxic waste here, we still have landfill and dumps here, we have poor air quality, substandard major and minor road systems, lack of investment (other than retail and housing), and developers continue to build all over our last remaining green spaces, without thought, consideration, compromise or consequence.
Building housing and retail developments without bearing any consideration to infrastructure highlights just how far forward Sandwell Council are not thinking. Adding 2000+ new houses to the local populous has changed everything, not just the road system, yet Sandwell Council tend not to see this. They, along with developers, still push to build over our only remaining spaces in a bid to 'solve the housing crisis'.

Bee honest, how have you benefitted in your local community from the new housing estates that have been built?

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Children, it's ironic!

It would be abysmal to think that the only way forward is to privatise everything including the environment. Many children cannot afford the ‘services’ that are on offer, because they have been repeatedly and continually deprived. I know this because I was one of them, I still live amongst them, and nothing has changed for them.
We tell children not to be sat in front of a screen all day because it is unhealthy - yet we tell them not to play in the streets because it's not safe! 
They cannot ride a bike unless it is in the street, because there are no parks - yet we do not teach them enough or make the roads safe enough for them to do so! 
The fields and open spaces are becoming few and far between, and rather than maintain and utilise them, they are neglected and abandoned!
Football enthusiasts manage to keep hold of their pitches (even though they are constantly littered with dog mess, because the dog walkers have nowhere to go other than the streets and roads)!

The retired and the elderly are becoming more and more isolated and lonely because we have no real 'community centres'.

Then there's the teenagers with absolutely nothing to do, nowhere to go, nowhere to socialise, and mental health issues are increasing daily. It's like we don't have the solutions to the problems we have created.

Not a child, not a teenager, not an adult, acknowledged, inspired, empowered, educated, connected.
I told you children. It's ironic! I know how to fix it and so do you.

"This is not progress; it is nothing short of abuse and neglect, of the local environment, and of the people and wildlife within it" - Graham Walker

Learn - Unlearn - Relearn

It is time to prepare, preserve, and maintain what little green space we have left, to ensure that the future of the local communities, the wildlife and the environment is reconnected, healthy, prosperous, and sustainable. To do that, it is imperative that we look way further forward, and we act much faster than the current thinktanks. 

The Hive Effect is a project designed to bridge the gaps between these fractured communities, by reconnecting people with each other and with nature. The Hive Effect will evolve to provide opportunities for people to find health, wellbeing, mindfulness, and meaningfulness in new, inspiring, and meaningful ways.

By providing relevant, real-time education and building a shared knowledge base aimed at altering public attitude toward our impact on the environment, The Hive Effect will inspire a new, healthier generation of local ecologists, scientists, and philanthropical thinkers to 'think outside of the box'. This small foundation that we build now, will grow naturally, increase the biodiversity, balance and cohabitation of humans, wildlife, and the environment, whilst at the same time, have a positive impact on personal wellbeing, social wellbeing as well as provide education and possible job creation benefits.

This is evolution.

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The Hive Effect Dot Com

The Hive Effect was born and it was initially created to be a private business that would create several small jobs and provide the local community with a selection of small services built around environment and sustainability. However, the project explores the food, pharmaceutical, energy, retail, and educational industries, which made it very susceptible to compromise by the greedy, and so its core moral, ethical, and social values had to be protected first and a Non-Profit Organisation was decided as the best way to do this. 

As with all projects we begin with the little things, and in our case that’s our primary pollinators - honeybees, one of the very foundations of life itself and the single most important foundation of our project. Imagine a project that continually improves local environment on an unprecedented scale, transforming our chemical and toxic urban surroundings into a metropolis of lush vegetative, floral, and fungal scenery, full of life, vibrancy, and interaction.


T. H. E. - Change Starts Here.

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