Bees are good for buzz-iness
25 years ago, John Beavan installed a beehive at his allotment with the hope of aiding the pollination of his plants. Now at The Nurture Landscapes Group, he is part of a growing team overseeing more than 100 hives across 50 of the sites Nurture maintains nationwide.
Having witnessed rising interest from clients, John explains just why beekeeping is becoming more than just a CSR initiative for our clients.
Beekeeping has become an obsession for me over the years; ever since I had the first of my many hives 25 years ago, bees and their lifestyle have fascinated me and it’s great to see others working their own hives.
At Nurture, our first beehive was installed in 2015. From there, many of our clients have wanted to get in on the action. And it’s becoming more apparent that the benefits beehives can bring to a business goes beyond being just a talking point.
Bees haven’t always enjoyed the best of reputations. Yet they and their fellow insect pollinators – a diverse group in its own right - are essential to our daily lives. According to The Woodland Trust, honeybees such as the ones we keep in our hives pollinate between five and 15% of the UK’s insect-pollinated crops, with wild pollinators (moths, butterflies and other bee species) to manage the rest. Globally, that is some £690 million worth of crops.
However, like so many species, bees are under threat. Notable researcher Dr Samuel Ramsey describes the most common threats as the ‘three Ps’: pesticides, parasites, and poor nutrition. Sadly, human activity is another factor; climate change can cause a decline in the local flowering plant population, depriving bees of a vital food source and causing a habitat shortage. Many wild bee species can only survive within certain temperatures which, again, makes them vulnerable to even the smallest changes in our weather.
Of course, protecting and caring for our environment is a global responsibility but it is not uncommon for business leaders to question what tangible actions they can take to deliver real change. As we have seen throughout our history, beekeeping covers a number of bases. Prior to Covid-19, many of our business park clients enjoyed hosting educational awareness days for local school pupils, giving them an opportunity to learn why bees are so integral to our environment without the confines of a classroom. From there, the pupils educate their parents and peers, and the message spreads; all as a result of a business doing its bit for promoting biodiversity.
Nowadays most organisations are keen to show that they are taking their environmental responsibilities seriously. To take our clients at Liverpool One and Chiswick Park, West London, as a couple of examples, the hives at the respective sites have generated interest from both the public and the media alike, while at the same time boosting the sites’ “eco” credentials. It is becoming clear to us at Nurture that this is a trend that will continue for what we hope will be the foreseeable future.
Perhaps one of the greatest joys of the beekeeping we do is that the client can go as far as they want. Liverpool One is now home to well over 160 000 new bees and the honey extracted from the hives at our other locations is poured into bespoke jars complete with the client’s own brand and design to sell on. But there is no limit to what else can be achieved.
Keep an eye on our news and social media pages for the latest updates fon our beehives across the country.
Or watch our Bee videos by clicking HERE