We’re supporting biodiversity – our bee hives have been installed

Staff from Mitie planting heather in the office gardenWe need bees, they’re important for more than just honey. Their ability to pollinate provides economic, ecological and aesthetic value. Bees, together with other pollinators like butterflies and hoverflies are vital for biodiversity, stable healthy food supplies for livestock and humans as well as raw materials and medicines for our wellbeing – it’s all connected.

Thanks to bees and other pollinators we have beautiful countryside, diverse in plant species and we can enjoy a range of foods from apples and pears to coffee and vanilla. And if you are wearing cotton, that's because the cotton plant was pollinated. 84% of species we cultivate depend on pollinators.

Increases in insecticide and pesticide use have caused pollinators to decline so it’s important that we do what we can to protect them and increase pollination. We also consider this within our investments.

Honey bees pollinate more than any other insect and our new hives on our office in Edinburgh are home to around 75,000 honey bees! The building is close to the Water of Leith and the botanical gardens where there are many plants for the bees to pollinate. To prepare for their arrival our team from Mitie (contractors who support our facilities team) planted a heather garden on the roof just near their hives.

The bees will be looked after by our bee keeper Brian. To raise awareness and share our story we’ve signed up to the Edinburgh Pollinator pledge and are holding talks for our people about the importance of pollination and the essential part bees play.