Innovation That Matters

British supermarket builds bee hotels to help pollinate local crops


Last year we wrote about retailer Fortnum & Mason’s rooftop beehives in London. Now Sainsbury’s is set to become the first UK supermarket to keep bees, recently announcing plans to install eight ‘bee hotels’ on land around their new eco-store in Dursley, Gloucestershire. With the new eco-store located in one of the UK’s main fruit and vegetable growing regions, Sainsbury’s beekeeping efforts are aimed at helping to improve crop pollination in the area. Sainsbury’s Environment Manager, Jack Cunningham explains: “The rapid decline in bee population has had a severe impact upon the productivity of British crops, so we have decided to take practical steps to help.” Sainsbury’s won’t be collecting honey from the bees, just facilitating pollination of local crops, gardens and wildflowers. This initiative is particularly apt given that Sainsbury’s existing loyalty scheme involves customers collecting “Nectar Points”. A boost for the environment and their brand—sweet! Who will be next to jump on the beekeeping bandwagon? (Related: Sponsored beehives produce hotels’ honeyAtop a Toronto hotel, more urban beekeeping.) Spotted by: Treehugger via Raymond Kollau


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