At Naturesave we have been wondering how we can help improve biodiversity. Then we found this fantastic well-researched blog by entomologist Read More
Welcome to the Naturesave SOLAR BEE Project, our campaign to protect bees and promote renewable energy. These are our two key clear campaign objectives;
Photo by Damien TUPINIER on Unsplash
Firstly – is to help tackle the decline in bee populations which is in part down to the parasitic Varroa mite. The pest is the main source of honeybee colony mortality worldwide and is usually treated with chemicals. Not only are the Varroa developing resistance to chemicals, but there is also evidence of the chemical contamination of the honey produced. The innovative Thermosolar beehives are a new development that kills off the Varroa using the power of the sun and avoiding the use of chemicals.
The second objective of the campaign is to extend the environmental benefits of community solar farms beyond climate change and community ownership. By introducing beehives that require no chemical intervention we can help solar farms significantly improve onsite biodiversity. Due to their size and the absence of intensive farming, this is something a solar farm has great potential for.
Improving biodiversity can have significant benefits for nature conservation in addition to offering educational benefits on the importance of helping protect our pollinators. Also, the honey produced by can be branded accordingly which further reinforces the benefits of locally produced clean energy. As a result, local communities become more connected to their energy and ecology.
It’s also worth pointing out that the design of the beehives themselves also promotes solar technology. The beehives eradicate the deadly Varroa mite simply by harnessing the power of the sun, instead of relying on dangerous chemicals.
Why the Community Renewable Energy sector – Naturesave is not only a market leader in community renewable energy insurance we also supplying grant funding and investment capital via the Naturesave Trust. Currently, the community renewable energy sector plays a key role in tackling one of the most important tasks in society today, reducing our reliance on fossil fuels by decarbonising our energy sector. With this project, we are seeking to add a second environmental benefit, one that we now know is as important as climate change, and that is biodiversity.
The Naturesave SOLAR BEE Project
In a UK first, the Naturesave Trust has already provided grant funding for two of these hives, at Southill Community Energy in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. This project aims to build on that success by supplying a number of sites across the UK. Beehives will be issued in pairs to each site chosen from the application process below.
What is on offer
Two Thermosolar Beehives – Donated by the Naturesave Trust
Expert beekeeping advice – provided by Tom Worsley of UK Thermosolar
- Training on using Thermosolar beehives
- Site visits where required
- Guidance on how to locate your beehive
- Sample beekeeper service agreement
- Advice and forms for monitoring and tracking performance of hive maintenance
What you will need to do.
- Complete the online application form
- Enter a service agreement with the beekeeper costing £200 per annum – we will provide a template service agreement and assist in finding a beekeeper
- Purchase a colony of bees at £200 – This is effectively a one-off cost for the first year of operation, as provided the bees are well managed the colony will propagate from year to year. If the beekeeper is doing a good job the surplus colonies can be sold on.
What happens next?
All the applications must be received by the deadline of 11th January 2019
Applications will be reviewed by the Naturesave Trust and, expert beekeeper and founder of UK Thermosolar, Tom Worsley. The successful sites will be announced on the 25th January 2019
To be eligible for selection, your site must be UK based and ready to receive and install the hives by March 2019, in order to be ready to receive the first colonies of bees as the 2019 season begins.
The Naturesave Trust is a registered charity – No 1048505.