Heysham's 60,000 new workers
Six new beehives at the stations
60,000 new workers have joined the team at Heysham power stations as the site welcomes six beehives and their busy inhabitants to the site.
The power stations have joined forces with the Bee Centre, based in Preston, to boost the pollinator population in north Lancashire.
Initially six hives and around 60,000 bees will be based at the power stations, but as they become established more hives are due over the next few years. The partnership is also hoping to put hives into local schools and also to carry out a detailed survey of the bee population in the area.
Mark Lees, station director at Heysham 2 power station, said: “We met the team from the Bee Centre last summer to explore bringing in the bees. They checked the habitat near the station and it is perfect for this new colony.
“We are very proud of the bio-diversity we encourage and support at the nature reserve, the team there does an amazing job. We’ve also had peregrines on site and so it seemed natural to do our bit the boost the bees locally.”
Simon and Kath Cordingley run the Bee Centre, which is a UK centre of excellence for bee-related husbandry, breeding and education. They manage 150 colonies in 17 apiaries across the North West and North Wales.
Simon said: “We breed locally adapted honeybees based on the ‘native’ black bee (Apes melifera melifera) as this helps avoid the need to import bees.
“The apiary at Heysham will provide biodiversity value for EDF and the location will also be the focus of our breeding programme for ‘bees for schools’. This where we supply subsidised hives and bees to schools and help them develop junior beekeeping clubs on site.
“This helps to raise awareness of the environmental importance of bees and as well as demonstrating how they form an essential part of our food supply chain via pollination, the ecosystem services and honey production.”
The six hives arrived on World Bee Day, which highlights the role of bees and other pollinators for the ecosystem. Every year on this day, the focus is on the importance of preserving honey bees and all other pollinators.