Plant nursery creates ideal home for bees

The British bee population is believed to have shrunk by about a third since 2007. (S)
The British bee population is believed to have shrunk by about a third since 2007. (S)

A family-run plant business is doing its bit to help boost the UK’s bee population, by hosting colonies of bees on site at its nursery.

Johnsons of Whixley is working in partnership with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association on the project, which recognises the crucial role bees play in food production and the wider eco-system.

Environmental factors such as the depletion of natural habitats and the increased use of pesticides have seen the British bee population decline by a third since 2007, and recent wet summers have also prevented bees from searching out pollen.

Johnson’s, which is one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, has installed an apiary at its 220-acre site.

Group managing director Graham Richardson said: “The site here at Johnsons is ideal for bees, as it provides foraging within the surrounding countryside and utilises the almost infinite number of flowering plants that are grown onsite as sources of pollen.

“We are pleased to be able to benefit the bees in this way and provide an overall boost to these wonderful insects, that play a more significant role in our day-to-day lives than many realise.”