Population of bees 'doubling each week' at Norfolk haven
- Credit: Environment Agency/ Amy Yaxley
The Environment Agency has revealed how it increased the bee population at one of its Norfolk sites to mark bees' needs week.
The work at the Denver Complex, near Downham Market, shows how biodiversity "is buzzing" at the site, after increasing the bee population by around 3,000.
As part of bees' needs week 2021, which is an annual event that raises awareness of bees and other pollinators, the EA is highlighting the work of one its officers who increased the bee colony at the site.
Ben Di Giulio, floods and coastal risk management officer for Norfolk, who co-manages the flood defence complex, said on-site bee habitats which "mimic a hollowed out tree" had been installed after they secured funding to buy them.
He added that it had provides a safe and ideal environment for a colony of native bees.
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He said: "Around two years ago I began to develop a deep interest in bees and their decline.
"After quite a bit of research I noted we had the opportunity at Denver to really help the bee population, it was just a case of figuring out what we could incorporate to do more."
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He said once the colony arrived he was keen to learn more, with the aim of becoming a beekeeper.
The officer, who has a background in farming, said: "I established the knowledge and confidence to build my first national beehive and transfer a colony of Norfolk bees into it.
"So far, I can take great satisfaction in reporting that the bees are growing and doubling each week.
"The queen is laying lots of eggs, it’s a healthy colony and I’ve increased the complex bee population by around 3,000 bees."
He said that they were trying to make the complex a flagship for the EA by increasing habitats and biodiversity, adding that it also had a "booming bat population".
The officer said: "Thanks to our hard work closely monitoring invasive species, native water birds have made a huge comeback to the area.
"We now have nesting great crested grebes once more, nesting swans, Moorhens, coots and even the odd bittern."