Adopt a hive

Eco-warrior or just interested in saving the planet?

Most of the world’s crops depend on pollination by bees. Albert Einstein once said that if the bees disappeared, “man would have only four years of life left”.

The UK bee population has been under pressure over the last few years, that is now being attributed to changes in agricultural practices, the effect of the varroa parasite and of course the appalling weather over the last two years.

There is a rising awareness of the need to act – it is vital to nurture bees and increase the overall number of colonies throughout the UK. The good news is that now there is a chance for you to help reduce the declining numbers, without having to deal with the bees directly yourself. You can adopt a hive through an organisation called Fragile Planet.

Initially supplying hives and equipment to the bee keeping community, Fragile Planet now have a total of 110 hives within four apiaries across the Welsh Marches, mostly around the Oswestry area. Apiary One is near the Montgomery Canal and is situated on a mixed arable and dairy farm. The second is based at an organic farm at Llantsantfraid near the River Tanat ñ an ideal environment for bee colonies. The third – also an organic site – is a smallholding at Rhos-y-Brithdir near Llanfyllin.

Lastly there is an apiary at the home of the Fragile Planet’s managing director Tony Gray, near Llanrhaeadr-ym-Mochnant who took time out of his busy schedule to tell us how Adopt a Hive works. ‘You can adopt a hive yearly and each September you will receive some of the honey from it. You will also get a certificate to say you are supporting bees in the area.’ He went on to inform us about his plans for the future. ‘We are working on a website, that will be online shortly, where people can monitor their hive online.’ He said that the proceeds of adopting a hive go towards expansion of the Welsh Marches’ apiaries and help further conserve and develop bee colonies in the area. When asked if he would like to see his scheme work on a countrywide basis, ‘Yes,’ he said, ‘but it would be a matter of finding other beekeepers who could help to make this work nationally.’

Tony has been the winner of the Golden Green Apple Award that he received for his outstanding environmental efforts within his bee supplies retail business. His hives are made of reclaimed wood and are perhaps some of the greenest available to beekeepers across the country.

For further details please contact them on 01691 672869 during working hours

www.fragile-planet.co.uk