Project will give pupils a real buzz

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - News - By ADAM UREN adam.uren@pe­ter­bor­oughto­day.co.uk

THERE has been a hive of ac­tiv­ity at a Peter­bor­ough com­pany as work­ers look to get kids buzzing about halt­ing the global de­cline of bees.

Staff at Anglia Co-op­er­a­tive are now shar­ing their Sav­ille Road head­quar­ters with 60,000 honey bees, as part of a project to make school­child­ren aware of their im­por­tance to the en­vi­ron­ment.

An area of the build­ing has been trans­formed into a “bee gar­den”, com­plete with nec­tar-filled wild­flow­ers and an ob­ser­va­tory from which schools can view the three work­ing hives in the gar­den.

The com­pany has teamed up with the Peter­bor­ough and District Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion (PDBA), which will be pro­vid­ing ed­u­ca­tional talks and demon­stra­tions as they tend to the bees on site.

Chair­man of the PDBA Richard Davies thinks it is im­por­tant that fu­ture gen­er­a­tions con­tinue to help bees pros­per.

He said: “The sur­vival of bees is vi­tal for on­go­ing food pro­duc­tion.

“Take ap­ples, for in­stance: About 90 per cent of ap­ples are pol­li­nated by honey bees, so if we did not have bees, then ap­ples would be a lot more ex­pen­sive and in much shorter sup­ply.

“If other com­pa­nies in the city have trained bee­keep­ers in their staff, it would be nice to see them do the same as the Co-op­er­a­tive.

“In London, for ex­am­ple, many com­pa­nies have hives on their rooftops.”

The first batch of school­child­ren to visit the hives will be those from Ash beach Pri­mary School, in Ram­sey, who will be mak­ing the jour­ney on Tues­day, June 29.

All pupils who visit the bees will go home with a spe­cial ed­u­ca­tion pack and a packet of “bee-friendly” flower seeds to plant in their own gar­dens.

But it is not just schools that will be ben­e­fit­ing, with the Co-op­er­a­tive pro­vid­ing a new home for the PDBA to carry out bee­keep­ing train­ing and ed­u­ca­tional talks.

Mar­ket­ing and PR man­ager at Anglia Co-op­er­a­tive Jill Bas­son said: “Our work with the bees and the link-up with the Peter­bor­ough and District Bee­keep­ers As­so­ci­a­tion rep­re­sents one of our biggest projects.

“Com­mu­nity in­volve­ment and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­spon­si­bil­ity are key fac­tors in our trad­ing ethos, and that is why we have be­come so en­thu­si­as­ti­cally in­volved in this ini­tia­tive.

“We are ex­cited about en­gag­ing young minds in such an im­por­tant topic.”

Pic­ture: GE­ORGI MABEE

HIVE OF AC­TIV­ITY: Bee­keep­ers Richard Davies, left, and Barry Parker with Anglia Co-op­er­a­tive mar­ket­ing man­ager Jill Bas­son. METP-14-06-10GM011

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