Leading Paint Brand Appoints Swansea-Based ‘Beekeeper-in-Residence’

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A Swansea beekeeper has teamed up with a leading garden paints brand in a partnership designed to drive biodiversity and awareness of declining pollinator populations.

Mark Douglas, the founder of Bee1, is now the first resident beekeeper at Cuprinol Garden Shades.

Bee1 is a pollinator protection initiative established to address the decline of pollinators, both through supporting pollinator welfare at their own apiary in Swansea, but also by working with the wider community through educational programmes and charity work.

The new partnership aims to raise awareness of the decline of bees and pollinators by encouraging people to fill their gardens – from their flowerbeds to garden sheds – with a kaleidoscope of colour to help encourage pollinators.

Cuprinol Garden Shades has sponsored two double long hives, with each containing around 10,000 honeybees, at the Bee1 site. Mark estimates each colony of bees will pollinate around 200 million plants, flowers and fruit within a three-mile radius of his farm – the equivalent of seven plants for every UK household.

Mark said:

“There’s been great research into the fact bees are very perceptive to colour, and we know this through centuries of natural selection. The gorgeous flowers in our gardens have evolved to be as bright and beautiful as possible in order to attract such pollinators.

“We decided to apply this knowledge when painting the outside of our beehives. We want to encourage the return of bees to our 800-acre heritage site of hives, and since using the Cuprinol Garden Shades range to rejuvenate them into a rainbow of colours we have seen an uplift in the number of happy bees calling our hives home.”

Bees and pollinators are important factors for biodiversity, as well as for the economy. Declining bee populations in the UK – attributed to factors like land use, habitat loss, disease, pesticides, farming practices, pollution, invasive species, and climate change – are concerning, as bees contribute almost £700 million annually to the economy and perform 80% of pollination which includes a third of the food we eat. Statistics also show that in 24 years the UK has lost 13 species of bees with a further 35 considered under threat of extinction.

This collaboration aims to drive biodiversity on a local level whilst encouraging the public to follow suit, making an impact on a national one.

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