Working with The Bee Centre, a non-profit organisation based in Chorley, around 10,000 native black bee’s have this week been brought onto site ready to start their new life supporting essential pollination activities in the local area.
The Bee Centre helped to set up the apiaries and shared their knowledge and expertise with our six un-beelievably enthusiastic part time apiarist employees. These volunteers have between 2-15 years’ experience with bee keeping, so the new arrivals are in safe hands.
There’s been a lot of work taking place behind the scenes to get to this point, so we’re really pleased to have finally welcomed the bees to Samlesbury. We wanted to partner with The Bee Centre, not only for their invaluable knowledge and expertise but also because they put sustainability at the heart of everything they do - from hives made from recycled/repurposed materials, not using chemicals where possible and breeding sustainable populations of localised, near-native honeybees which are better suited to our climate, forage and seasonal variations.” Andy Radcliffe, Environmental Advisor for Safety, Health and Environment, BAE Systems
Interestingly, these were no ordinary seed dispensers. They were the winning design from the BAE Systems Challenge in the ‘Inspiring Lancashire’ programme run by CreateEducation. The challenge asked those taking part to design and develop, using 3D printing technologies, a prototype that would have a positive impact on their local environment. The winning design was produced by pupils of Our Lady & St John Catholic College in Blackburn, with the Additive Manufacturing team at Samlesbury turning their prototype into a product.
The winning team were able to visit the site to see the Additive Manufacturing facility and the manufactured version of their design, taking two dispensers back to their schools for installation there too.
This meant that everyone and anyone on site has had the opportunity to play their part in growing these meadows, which will provide a wealth of foraging opportunities for the bees.
“In the longer term, we will be aiming to involve employees in learning about our new guests and hopefully will create some opportunities for some great engagement.”