Older people living in Anchor’s retirement housing properties and care homes are planting bulbs as part of a national campaign to save the British honey bee.

Anchor’s Bee Friendly Campaign will see older people and schoolchildren across England working with the British Beekeepers’ Association (BBKA) to make gardens attractive to the honey bee.  More than 150 Anchor properties will be taking part in this campaign over the next six weeks.

The campaign was launched at Anchor’s newest care home - West Hall in Surrey -  with residents and local children planted bulbs in the grounds last week.

West Hall residents joined forces with children from Positive Steps Day Nursery to plant bee-friendly bulbs and seeds in the grounds of Anchor’s award winning care facility. Crocuses, daffodils and snowdrop bulbs, which bloom in February and March when food is scarce for honey bees, were planted at the launch event. West Hall residents and children also made honey cakes and bee collages and some had their faces painted with yellow and black stripes to mark the occasion. Bee Keeper Marion Malcher was also on site to explain the importance of bees to the environment.

Anchor’s Customer Engagement Advisor Debbie Kirkbride MBE said older people living with Anchor were taking part as they wanted to do their bit to help Britain’s wildlife: “In recent years, the bee population has come under threat with loss of habitat being one of the issues affecting their health. Bearing in mind that bees pollinate a third of the food we eat, everyone must do their bit to save the honey bee otherwise we will all be in dire straits.

“We are planting bulbs and seeds now so that they will bloom in early spring when honey bees, the only bees which don’t hibernate, start to forage for nectar and pollen as they rear new brood. We wanted to do our part because helping the honey bee will secure the diverse wildlife of this country for future generations.”

BKKA General Secretary Jane Moseley welcomed Anchor’s Bee Friendly Campaign, as it would help turn gardens into bee-friendly environments. She said, “Honey bees are affected by a number of factors such as poor weather, disease and loss of habitat. They need a plentiful supply of nectar and pollen from spring through to autumn. By ensuring they have good sources of forage from the beginning of the season colonies can have the best start possible. Planting honey bee-friendly plants really can make a difference.”

Find out more about West Hall care home here.

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