EPC-UK to help preserve and protect local bee populations
Company puts pollinator protection plan in place with Plan Bee corporate scheme
WITH many UK bee species on the brink of extinction and some having been lost entirely, EPC-UK, specialists in commercial explosives and blasting services, have chosen to assign plots of their land to keep and support bees and their pollinating activity.
Perceiving wildlife guardianship as part of its corporate role and incorporating farming, wildlife conservation and landscape protection divisions within its operation, the company has, for some time, had plans to keep hives and engage the services of a beekeeper at its Rough Close Works, in Alfreton, Derbyshire.
Earlier in the year the organization’s land was assessed for flower species suitability, to discover if bee colonies brought on site would remain healthy and prolific. The assessment was successful, however, following the findings of the ‘Bees Under Siege’ report by WWF – published on World Bee Day (20 May) – EPC-UK have chosen to increase their bee concern activity and further promote bee protection through actions and communications.
The published report found that from the analysis of 228 species of bee – climate change, habitat loss, pollution and disease are threatening the pollinators. It revealed that 17 species were regionally extinct, including the great yellow bumblebee, potter flower bee and cliff mason bee. The report also found that 25 species are threatened, with another 31 of conservation worry.
‘The alarming warnings of biodiversity loss is a great concern to us,’ said Jackie Sowter, EPC-UK’s business standards co-ordinator and environmental advisor. ‘Humanity cannot continue to exist successfully or healthily without pollinating insects. Whilst last year the European Union agreed to ban neonicotinoids, the world’s most widely used insecticides, from all fields because they were killing bees, more still needs to be done to encourage these vital pollinators to thrive.
‘As bees’ pollinating services are worth £690 million a year to the UK economy, businesses need to be aware of the impact the declining bee population will have on their operations. However, opportunities are present for corporate organizations to help address the situation.’
With the support of beehive adoption, management and educational service organization Plan Bee, EPC-UK have brought their own beehives on site. The Scotland-based sustainable eco-innovation business provides solutions for companies to enhance their environmental responsibilities, local communities and green credentials through a fully managed beehive service.
‘We’re working with Plan Bee to make an appropriate area of our Rough Close Works site a bee nursery,’ commented Jackie Sowter. ‘We’ll have in the region of 10 hives to begin with, each with the capacity to house up to 60,000 bees, depending on the season. We’ve also recruited the services of local beekeeper and RSPB employee, Andrew Bailey, who will care for the bees on site.
‘In addition to encouraging bee population growth, the Plan Bee team will conduct educational sessions where groups of up to 30 people can be shown the hives in action and learn more about the significance of the bees’ work.’