Bedford buzzing as bees get a boost across the Borough for World Bee Day

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Brickhill Drive is home to one of over 20 Bugs and Bees project areas in Bedford Borough.
Brickhill Drive is home to one of over 20 Bugs and Bees project areas in Bedford Borough.

A business centre, brewery, and council have all been ‘busy as a bee’ making sure bees have a safe and friendly home across Bedford Borough

In a bid to put its extensive grounds and gardens to good use business centre, Bedford Heights, at the former Texas Instruments building, is the proud keeper of a colony of bees which produce its very own ‘Heights Honey’.

Typically home to over 80 companies and approximately 1,600 people, Bedford Heights has swelled in numbers recently with bees now flying in and out of their hives every day.

They forage on their unusual Texan themed gardens which include Manuka, Echinacea, Lime and Lavender and produce delicate, floral-scented honey.

The honey is available to purchase with all proceeds reinvested into the gardens to provide more flowers for the busy bees to forage on.

Beehives at the Bedford Heights business centre on Brickhill Drive
Beehives at the Bedford Heights business centre on Brickhill Drive

Essential insects

World Bee Day is an opportunity to recognise the crucial role bees play in our ecosystem and how we can best protect them.

By planting bee-friendly flowers and sourcing local honey, you too can do your bit for bee protection.

The World Wildlife Fund says bees are responsible for the pollination of 90% of the world’s wild plants and 75% of crops, meaning they are vital to all life on earth.

“Our gardens are an ideal environment for bees as we have a wide variety of different plants and flowers, so the bees really are spoilt for choice,” said Dave Boyd, Head Gardener at Bedford Heights.

“We have also planted a number of varieties, especially for the bees including Yellow Rose of Texas and Manuka which are known for producing honey with a superior taste as well as health benefits.

Public spaces become bee ‘paradises’

Bedford Borough Council has also joined the efforts to support bees and other important insects by allowing some public spaces to develop more sustainable natural environments.

This includes reducing grass cutting in some areas, planting bee-friendly plants in town centre flower beds, and creating some wildflower meadows to provide the best pollen and nectar sources for Bedford’s pollinators

The ‘bugs and bees’ project started in June 2020 and involved members of the public telling the council where they wanted to see more wildlife-friendly maintenance.

Read: Bedford to plant new hedgerows and wildflowers to attract bees and bugs

Now over 20 areas are part of the project.

To find out more about the Bugs and Bees project, head to the Bedford Borough Council website.

Bedford brewer Wells & Co have installed three bee hives at Brewpoint with more planned in the future.
Bedford brewer Wells and Co have installed three beehives at Brewpoint with more planned in the future.

Honey beer from Brewpoint

Meanwhile, Bedford brewer Wells and Co are now home to thousands of honey bees who have moved into three hives in an unused field at the back of their brewery, Brewpoint

The ‘Beepoint’ bees have access to wild and bee-friendly flowers in the fields around the hive, alongside bug hotels made from old broken pallets to increase biodiversity within the currently empty space.

Once made, the honey will be included in Brewpoint’s breakfast menu and sold in their shop. There are also talks of integrating honey as an ingredient in future beers.

World Bee Day was first proposed by Slovenia as a day that should be officially recognised by the United Nations.

To find out more about how you can play a part in protecting and preserving bees and their habitats visit the Slovenia Government’s website.

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