Tenants at Westcott are buzzing with the news that thousands of bees are taking up residence.
But this is no job for pest control – instead the colony of 20,000 bees were welcomed at a special event at the Park on Friday 6th September.
Four hives have been brought in as part of the Pollination for the Nation initiative which is designed to encourage bees to thrive in a bid to help reduce their alarming decline in numbers in recent years. Once the colony is established, a further million bees and 16 more hives will be brought in next year.
Park owner PATRIZIA is providing land for the hives and donations have come from FCC Environment which runs Buckinghamshire County Council’s nearby Greatmoor energy from waste plant.
Westcott will create supportive habitats and the project will use two rooms on site to support its venture, these will provide a sterile clean room for honey production and a workshop.
The initiative has seen business park managers join forces with neighbouring business BeesKnees Property Services, run by Jim Webster. He will oversee the bee operation to ensure their needs are being met.
Jim explained: “It’s amazing how things can work out - for many years we have been the forerunner in education and conservation as to the importance of Pollination and those little insects that help us humans through pollination.
“Westcott Venture Park has always been supportive in allowing us to re-home unwanted Bumble Bee colonies from domestic premises on the Park, so when the they asked if we would like to introduce a couple of honey bee hives to the estate we jumped at the chance, not only to put this invitation to action but also to launch the Therapbee HMF + 999 programme.
“Brian Bush, local Swarm officer for Mid Bucks Beekeepers Association put us forward as a worthwhile venture/programme and we hope this will be the start of many more commercial sites nationwide to follow Westcott Venture Park and the Therapbee HMF + 999 initiative.”
The venture also serves a dual purpose as the bees will be cared by former military and emergency services personnel as part of the TherapBEE initiative which aids with mental therapy and recuperation pollinationforthenation.co.uk
Significantly, this links Westcott back to its early history as a site for training bomber crews in World War Two. Sustainability has become increasingly important at Westcott in recent years.
The Westcott Solar Park generates around a third of its current electricity need and in 2015, 10,000 trees were planted in collaboration with the Woodland Trust to create a native woodland area and species such as newts, bats, butterflies and owls are given space to thrive.
Colin Theobald, Lambert Smith Hampton Managing Agent for Westcott, said: “PATRIZIA ensures that ecology and sustainability are always central to everything we do at Westcott and we are delighted to help support bees which are so essential for life.
“Apart from the environmental benefits, tenants appreciate being able to work in such a natural environment while investors also now insist on proper ethical credentials when supporting developments like this. This initiative further supports our strapline of providing ‘Space and security for sustainable growth.”