Johnsons of Whixley in North Yorkshire is helping the local bee population thrive following the installation last year’s on-site apiary initiative.

Johnsons of Whixley, one of the largest suppliers to amenity sector in Europe, recognised the important role that bees play in the UK’s natural eco-system and partnered with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association to offer the insects a home on their 200-acre site.

apiary initiative

This week, staff member Ellie Richardson gained a close insight into activity within the apiaries and discovered that the site now houses more than 200,000 bees.

The Johnsons site is perfect for bees with its many varied plant stocks grown in the nursery that are used for pollination.

Johnsons predicts that their seven on-site beehives could house more than 400,000 bees by July.

Johnsons of Whixley’s Ellie Richardson said: “Bees are hugely important to us as they pollinate a third of the food we eat.

“But it is only once you start learning about bees that you realise how amazing they are. I am definitely considering taking up a course next year to become a beekeeper myself!”

The British bee population has declined at an alarming rate in recent years, by a third since 2007.

Contributions to the decline include recent wet summers, which have prevented bees from searching out pollen, and environmental changes, such as the increased use of pesticides in farming, alongside the depletion of natural habitats.

Bees play a vital part in the world’s food production, as studies have revealed that around a third of the world’s food is pollination dependent.