Sustainability and biodiversity are key factors in our ESG (Environmental, social and governance) plans, with a mission of becoming net-zero business and one that gives back to the environment in which we operate. As a part of these goals, we have spent the last couple years building up a colony of bee’s who now live safely and prosper at our head quarters in Broadstairs, Kent.
Why are bees important for sustainability?
We all love honey, right? However, that is not the only reason bees are important, we’re sure you’ve heard a million times in the past few years just how important they are, but why, exactly?
Bees are pollinators, which allows fertilisation of crops that are five times more valuable than those that do not require fertilisation. According to the WWF website, almost 90% of wild plants and 75% of leading global crops depend on animal pollination. One out of every three mouthfuls of our food depend on pollinators such as bees (WWF, 2022). In simple terms, the pollination carried out by bee’s is crucial to many of the vegetables, fruits and the crops that feed our livestock to be fertilised, so without it, we would go hungry.
Bees are pollinators, which allows fertilisation of crops that are five times more valuable than those that do not require fertilisation.
Additionally, honey produced by bee’s doesn’t just have an advantage in its sweet taste, but it also has many medicinal properties!
How many bees do we have?
Bees are in decline on a global scale as they face many threats, some of which threaten our trees and woods too. But our facilities in Broadstairs are now home to over half a million bees, who can work and live in peace.
It all began in 2020, during the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, when we were approached by a local beekeeper during the summer about potentially putting some hives on some land that was not ours, we showed them what space we had available and agreed to let them house 3 colonies on our site, which would have equated to around 375,000 bees.
We unfortunately lost one of the colonies due to the cold weather during the 2020/2021 winter, but we were able to successfully repopulate it.
Later in 2021, we continued to grow the number of colonies at our plant to 4, and with that, we finally hit the magic number of 500,000 bees!
Blaze Signs were approached by a local beekeeper with a proposal to place some hives on our land in 2020.
How do we ensure that the bees are safe?
The placement of their beehives was a particularly important aspect of the process because there are a few parameters that must be met for the bees not only to be safe, but to be productive.
We needed a place to put the bees where they would have easy access to a water source and greenery, ensuring that they are tucked far away from any danger, while also having sunlight and shielding them from the wind.
The perfect place turned out to be behind one of our metal shop factories, where there’s a large open area, unused space which met all the criteria needed for the beekeeper to be happy for the bees to find their new home there. Behind the space, there’s ample green space full of bushes and trees which allow the bees to get to work pollinating and producing honey!
Blaze Signs are proud to have been able to utilise some space to allow the bee population in the local area to grow and thrive!
Don’t get too close! This zoom shot shows a small portion of our beehives, with hundreds of bees living and working here at our Broadstairs factory.
What else are we doing to achieve our sustainability goals? [H2]
This isn’t the only initiative we are involved in when It comes to our organisations sustainability, our efforts have also gone into reducing the energy consumption of both our offices and factories, the Cycle to Work Scheme, as well as other projects we’re also working on, which we’ll share more on in the near future.
If you want to learn more about Blaze Signs’ sustainability commitment, follow the link below to our dedicated page on this website.