Sainsbury’s is encouraging people to do their bit for declining bee populations by providing customers, schools and local community groups with instructions on how to build a ‘bee hotel’.
The retailer, which has around 100 ‘bee hotels’ on sites around the country, is giving people easy-to-use instructions on how to create bee habitats – or a ‘bee and bee’, as the retailer calls them – to help protect the industrious pollinators.
As a result of the hot summer, female solitary bees were able to achieve high reproduction rates, but this means there will be intense competition in the spring for nesting sites, Sainsbury’s said.
“We’re really proud of our bee hotels and how they’ve already given this year’s bees a helping hand,” said Sainsbury’s head of sustainability, energy and engineering Paul Crewe.
“We have over 20 million customers and over 150,000 colleagues, and if just half of 1% make use of our instructions for bee hotels, it would mean around 100,000 new habitats for solitary bees next spring.”
Sainsbury’s is also launching a number of ‘bee cafes’ at its stores, beginning with supermarkets in Weymouth and Leicester. The ‘cafes’ will be areas of aromatic herbs for bees.
Instructions on how to build a bee hotel are available from Sainsbury’s websites.