Project will give pupils a real buzz
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.”
HIVE OF ACTIVITY: Beekeepers Richard Davies, left, and Barry Parker with Anglia Co-operative marketing manager Jill Basson. METP-14-06-10GM011