19 May 2022 | Environment and Sustainability

Putting the bee in buildings

On World Bee Day, we thought what better time to highlight the critical role that our sector can play in supporting our buzzy friends.

Because we all know, bees are in real trouble!

In the UK there are around 270 species of bees, and they pollinate around 80% of our wildflowers, as well as important crops like beans and apples. However, according to Greenpeace, a third of UK bees have disappeared in the last 10 years and a quarter of European species are at risk of extinction.

There are a number of reasons for this, but loss of habitat is a key one.

This is why we need to understand what we can do within the built environment sector to help and care for these amazing creatures.

Because there is lots we can do. And a lot we are already doing.

For example, the Crown Estate have established bee friendly borders at Crowngate Shopping Centre in Worcester, and a tranquil garden for 100,000 honeybees on the rooftop of Princesshay Shopping Centre in Exeter.

At the same time, Abrdn has invested in new homes – for bees! – by installing new beehives near Roaring Meg Shopping Park, a retail park in Stevenage, England.

And, as we set out in our recent Logic of Logistics report, businesses like SEGRO are also installing bee hives in industrial estates, like Slough Trading Estate. In fact, SEGRO have made beehives a common feature of many of their developments, with over 150 hives across their portfolio. Each hive holds as many as 50,000 bees during the peak harvesting season, and these bees visit over two million plants within a two-mile radius, assisting with the pollination of local plants and crops.

And with new biodiversity net gain requirements for developers just around the corner, this is only the beginning.

And for bees, on World Bee Day, that’s blooming good news!

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Rob Wall Assistant Director of Sustainability and Tax Policy