Compass Minerals Gives New Habitat to Thousands of Bees
There’s a buzz in the air around Compass Minerals and its underground storage subsidiary company, DeepStore.
Around 20,000 honey bees, along with two queen bees, have moved into a new habitat at the Winsford site, close to a variety of wild flowers and foliage.
A local beekeeper, Steven Holt, contacted Compass Minerals late last year to see if there was a suitable location for beehives on the company’s property. This spring, Holt delivered two hives with 20,000 bees, which under good conditions will grow to around 50,000 bees at the height of the season. Holt will visit every week to tend to the bees.
“We are always keen to help nature and our local environment, so when Steven first approached us we thought it was a great idea,” said Gordon Dunn, managing director at Compass Minerals. “We had the perfect location, having transformed a patch of waste ground on-site into a wildflower garden to celebrate Earth Week last year.”
Thousands of female worker bees and hundreds of male drone bees live in colonies with the queens. In addition to pollinating thousands of wild flowers and foliage in their 3.2 km foraging area, they are also attracted to the abundance of salt at the Winsford site, which benefits their own metabolic processes. Bees are the world’s most important pollinator of food crops. It is estimated that one third of the food consumed each day relies on pollination mainly by bees, but also by other insects, birds and bats.
“We are looking forward to seeing the bees develop in number and hopefully, with the honeycomb built, we might harvest a few jars,” said Dunn.