NEW HONEY AND BUMBLE BEE PROJECT FOR LOCH DUART
A new honey and bumble bee project for Loch Duart as Plan Bee work with the salmon farm to grow Uist & Sutherland bee populations
In a first for Scottish salmon farms Loch Duart, the independent salmon farming company, has partnered with award winning environmental organisation Plan Bee Ltd. to protect Scotland’s unique pollinators, the honey and bumble bees.
The partners have launched a long term strategic biodiversity initiative, with hives installed at a Sutherland site near the farm. This first stage of the project aims to encourage and sustain Scottish honey bee populations in the remote far North West coast of Scotland, which has a unique microclimate that provides a welcome home for the new bee populations.
Loch Duart is also supporting Plan Bee to increase awareness of and improve biodiversity in local communities near their farms. Starting in Spring 2019 Plan Bee will work with schools in Sutherland and Uist to establish and enhance habitats for native bumble bees.
Alison Bell, Managing Director of Plan Bee Ltd., said:“From our very first meeting with Loch Duart, hearing of their dedication to sustainable farming methods and their high quality Scottish provenance, we knew a partnership was meant to be. Plan Bee is focused on protecting British honey bees, but also engaging local communities in providing habitats for native pollinators. Loch Duart is a significant local employer that cares deeply about its local environment, so really this amazing partnership is a summation of the values that drive both of our businesses.
“Of course having the two project sites located in Scotland’s incredible, world renowned Highlands and Islands means we can have a positive environmental impact that will be appreciated for generations to come. Salmon lovers can enjoy each bite knowing their delicious healthy meal is also helping protect our bees.”
Alban Denton, Managing Director of Loch Duart, said:“Loch Duart is very conscious about the role that agricultural businesses like ours have working in this beautiful environment.
“By taking a proactive approach and choosing a partner company like Plan Bee that fitted with our ethos and principles, we can make a small contribution to the vital role that this wonderful creature has in supporting sustainability and biodiversity in Uist and Sutherland.”
Loch Duart’s new Plan Bee hives located in Sutherland are just part of an extensive pollinator project. With a long term approach to these projects the aim is to plant a range of native flowers and wild forage gardens in the areas. Plan Bee will provide Loch Duart with a bee management plan and a dedicated beekeeper who conducts regular site visits and assessments to ensure the good health of both bees and plants.
The project will also provide resources for local schools to plant their own wildlife gardens with pollinator friendly, native flora in both Uist and Sutherland. Through Plan Bee’s education programme, children will take part in workshops to explore Biodiversity in the distinctive ecosystems of this part of Scotland.
Honey produced in the hives will be used in Loch Duart salmon recipes. Patrick Evans, Loch Duart’s Food Ambassador, will devise and share several honey glazed Loch Duart Salmon recipes in support of the British honey bee.
- it’s estimated that around 300,000 bees will populate the hives at Loch Duart
- the Sutherland beehive is believed to be the furthest north on the UK mainland
- there are 250 species of bees in the UK, but only one honey bee (Apis Meliferra) and just 24 bumble bee species