Whilst the rest of us are being told by busy-bodies that we are killing ourselves by eating too much sugar it seems that our little buzzing friends are actually dying out through a shortage of it. However, one supermarket chain has come up with a solution (or at least the ingredients to make one).
It has been a cause of concern over the last ten years or so that honey bees have steadily been dwindling in numbers by up to a third, for a variety of reasons. Partly this is down to a variety of diseases, but a reduction in the availability of wildflowers has made it difficult for bees to collect enough nectar.
Now, in Cornwall and Devon at least, Tesco have come up with a scheme whereby ten of its stores are collecting up all the spilt bags of sugar that occur and handing them over to a local bee conservation charity, the Bee Improvement Programme for Cornwall (BIPCo). Their members then in turn convert the sugar into a syrup or fondant that provides the bees with a replacement for nectar and honey.
Commented Nick Bentham-Grenn, chairman of BIPCo: “Recent poor summers have also contributed to bees struggling to get enough stores into the hives to feed their colony throughout the winter. The Tesco scheme is a great help, especially at this time of year, and is helping towards the conservation of the British honey bee.”
In addition, Tesco is assisting the B4 Project (Bringing Back the Black Bees) by providing £10,000-worth of funding, raised through the sale of carrier bags, to help in the construction of a haven for native black honey bees at Mount Edgcumbe Country Park, near to Plymouth.
Tesco is calling out for project nominations from community groups and customers – find out more by visiting www.tesco.com/bagsofhelp