The falling bee population is an important issue for the food industry. In fact, 70 of the top 100 food crops are pollinated by bees, which supplies about 90% of the world’s nutrition.
Set to run throughout the year, the initiative aims to foster a healthy environment for bees. With 24 Bidfood sites across the country involved, activities include building bee ‘hotels’, creating bee-friendly gardens and helping local bee keepers by donating sugar and sponsoring local hives.
Bidfood’s Paddock Wood depot has three hives and approximately 300,000 bees, and has introduced fruit trees and bee-friendly plants and flowers to help aid the pollination process.
Speaking about the campaign, Site Excellence Manager and Lead Beekeeper, Mike Apps said: “One in three bites of food is only possible thanks to bees pollinating our crops. It’s easy to take something so small for granted, but the importance of bees to the food industry, and our survival, is huge.
“Our campaign is already gathering a great deal of momentum across the business. Addressing the issue doesn’t necessarily require owning a hive, planting the right flowers can help bees to pollinate and flourish for future generations.”
Bidfood’s Basingstoke depot has also been busy collaborating with local family-owned beekeepers and honey suppliers, Becky’s Bees, by sponsoring 50 hives at their site in Andover. It also works with Hill Farm Oils, Bidfood’s supplier of rapeseed oil, by sponsoring the placement of 40 hives across 1,200 acres of rapeseed and borage.
Dr Ivor Davis, Director of Communications, British Beekeepers Association said: “We are delighted to see Bidfood spreading the word about the importance of bees and taking on such an active role at each of its sites.
“Honey bees, bumblebees and solitary bees, as pollinators of commercially grown insect-pollinated crops in the UK, have an estimated economic value of over £400 million per year. However, due to the expansion of global trading in recent years, bees are threatened by new parasites and diseases that have been brought into this country by error.
“This policy by Bidfood will help us all protect our valuable army of pollinators.”