Planting for victory in battle to save British bee

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Britain’s shrinking bee population is being given a much-needed boost from leading housebuilder David Wilson Homes, which has planted a selection of bee friendly plants at all of its new developments.

Bee numbers declined by 16 per cent last winter alone, according to the latest annual winter survival survey by the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA).

And that’s not only bad news for people who like honey. Bees are vital pollinators in the food chain.

In the UK about 70 crops are dependent on, or benefit from visits from bees. In addition, bees pollinate the flowers of many plants which become part of the feed of farm animals.

The economic value of honey bees and bumble bees as pollinators of commercially grown insect pollinated crops in the UK has been estimated at more than £200m per year.

With modern farming practices continuing to disturb the bee’s natural habitats, David Wilson Homes is taking the initiative by planting species such as honeysuckles, foxgloves, poppies, lavenders and catmint around its new homes.

Jackie Day, sales director for David Wilson Homes, said: “We aim to create outstanding environments where people will aspire to live.

“For that reason we want to support the biodiversity at our developments and create new habitats which will be there for our children and grandchildren to enjoy.

“We have incorporated a selection of bee friendly plants at our new developments and hope to do the same on all our new developments wherever possible.

“We hope that our initiative will raise awareness of how important the bee is in the British garden and encourage others to provide more habitats and forage at their own homes.”

Martin Tovey, president of the BBKA, said: “It is very encouraging to see companies such as David Wilson Homes taking steps to help our bees. Hopefully, this will help to persuade more people to think about ways that they too can help.

“People can encourage bees to visit their garden by planting single flowering plants and vegetables, such as flowering herbs, mints and beans. Tall plants such as foxgloves and hollyhocks are also popular with bees. See our website for more help with bee friendly plants www.bbka.org.uk.”

For more information about David Wilson Homes developments please call the sales hotline on 0844 811 4477 or log on to the website at www.dwh.co.uk.