SmartNewHomes

Barratt Homes is planting more bee-friendly plants across gardens and open spaces.

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  • Teaming up with leading bee charity, the British Beekeepers' Association (BBKA), Barratt Homes is setting out to change the way it landscapes open space and plants gardens at 400 developments over the next three years.

    Barratt's North Midlands division will be working with the BBKA on how to change its planting to ensure the bees' food supply is maximised.

    The news comes as environment minister, Lord de Mauley, pledged to publish a pollinator strategy and an urgent government review into the declining number of British bees by the end of 2013.

    The BBKA has reported that a third of all honey bee colonies were lost in winter 2012 - more than double the losses of the previous year - and the charity is stepping up its campaign to encourage people and businesses to play their role to help save British bees.

    Mark Clare, Barratt chief executive, said: "For some time we've worked at a local level with beekeepers and planted bee-friendly plants at a small number of our developments.

    "Today, we're announcing our partnership with the BBKA and how, with its advice - over the next three years - bee-friendly planting will become standard practice in all our show home gardens and open spaces.

    "We'll also be working with our homeowners to provide help and advice in creating bee-friendly environments - whether it's a window box, roof terrace or wild flower meadow."

    Jane Moseley, operations director of the BBKA, added: "A third of food we eat is dependent on pollination yet last year was the worst on record for the loss of honey bee colonies.

    "Given the amount of landscaping at its 400 developments nationally, we are delighted to be working with Barratt Homes North Midlands to raise awareness of the British honey bee.

    "More bee friendly space will help to increase the bee's food supply, providing them and other pollinators with more adequate nutrition, especially pollen during the late summer when the specialised bees, which take the colony through the winter, are born."

    In 2008, the BBKA estimated that honey bees make a significant contribution to the £165m annually generated for the British economy through pollination by insects, with the figure put at £200m in 2009 by the Public Accounts Committee.

    TOP 5 TIPS TO SAVE THE BRITISH HONEY BEE

    1. Ensure at least two plants are in flower from early spring until late summer to provide food throughout the season
    2. Embed bee friendly plants in drifts, in sunny places rather than in the shade
    3. Look for plants at garden centres and nurseries, which have either the BBKA 'Good for Honey Bees' or Royal Horticultural Society 'Bee-Friendly' plant labels to help identify the best plants
    4. Provide bees with a source of water - a pond, water feature, bird bath or even a saucer will be appreciated by thirsty bees
    5. Never use pesticides on plants when they are in flower

    BEE FRIENDLY PLANTS

    Roses, clematis, geraniums, cornflowers, lavender, buddleia, wigelia, fuschias, poppies, pansies, fruit trees and British wild flowers.

    Some information contained herein may have changed since it was first published. SmartNewHomes strongly advises you to seek current legal and/or financial advice from a qualified professional.

    Tags: Buying, Barratt, bees
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