Children make a beeline for Anglia

Children and bees might seem an unusual combination — but young minds have been really made to buzz by an initiative launched by Anglia Co-operative at its headquarters...

The society is home to three bee hives and has set up an observatory in a wildlife area to help recruit youngsters in an effort to rescue the declining bee population.

Pupils from schools across the Peterborough area will get the chance to visit the hives and hear from members of Peterborough and District Beekeepers’ Association about the importance of the honeybee to our environment and our economy. The first school to visit the Saville Road premises was a party of 15 eight-year-olds from Ashbeach Primary School, Ramsey St Mary.

They saw how beekeepers work and watched the bees in their hives. At the end of the visit the school was given an education pack and wildflower seeds to help them create their own bee-friendly areas.

Said head teacher Hazel Lambert: “It was a wonderful experience for the children and they’ve really taken the message in. It’s so much better for them to see this ‘live’ rather than from photographs – they get a better sense of proportion and just seeing the sheer numbers of bees in the hive amazed them.”

As part of its support of the Co-operative Plan Bee initiative, Anglia has also provided a permanent home for the beekeepers’ association to ensure its future. 

The society plans to host hundreds of primary schools each year. Marketing and PR manager Jill Basson says: “The building of the bee observatory and the setting up of the wildlife area represents a major project for us, but it’s such an important part of our business ethos to be responsible with the environment and with our local community. Every youngster fired up by a visit to our hives is a potential beekeeper of the future and a vital link in spreading the message of the importance of the bee.”

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