Wilson Vale the contract catering company based in Leicestershire has this week adopted fifty beehives under the BBKA’s charitable scheme, Adopt a Beehive.

Andrew Wilson, co­founder of Wilson Vale said: “As big users of quality honey throughout our 85 catering operations nationwide, we feel that this is a great opportunity to support the wonderful work carried out by the British Beekeepers Association.”

Safeguarding honeybees

Adopt a Beehive is a charitable scheme organised by the BBKA to help safeguard the future of honey bees. Sponsored by Burts Bees to cover administrative costs, all profits go towards applied research and education projects which focus specifically on the needs of honey bees and other pollinators.

Since it was set up in 2010 Adopt a Beehive has helped to fund Ron Hoskins ‘breeding bees which are naturally more resistant to the varroa mite’ project with the Swindon Beekeepers in Swindon; Gianluigi Bigio’s PhD thesis ‘Hygienic Behaviour in Honey Bees’ working with Professor Ratnieks at the University of Sussex Laboratory of Apiculture & Social Insects (LASI) and the work of Dr Falko Drijfhout at Keele University in two different areas, pesticides in beehives and supplementary food stuffs for bees.

Ten regions

Members of the public can ‘adopt’ a beehive from one of ten different regions across the UK. All the beekeepers involved in the scheme give their time voluntarily, and supporters receive three updates a year with news from their beehives.

Adopt welcome pack displayed with jar of honey and seed packets

Thanking Andrew Wilson and the staff at Wilson Vale for their support, Margaret Murdin Chairman of the BBKA said:

“Pollination accounts for one in three mouthfuls of the food we eat, and honey bees are the most important pollinators, so having the support from Wilson Vale contract caterers is especially relevant. We thank them sincerely for their support.

“For many beekeepers this has been a challenging year, with a cold, wet Spring at just the wrong time for the bees. Our honey survey, published at the end of October, will give us a better picture of how it has been across the country and this will be reported back to all our Adopt a Beehive supporters.”