oole-based Community Interest Company (CIC) Bee Mission plans to set up 500 new hives across Dorset and Hampshire by finding ‘foster homes’ for colonies on country fields, urban gardens and terraces.
The CIC not only covers set up costs but also sends visiting beekeepers to tend the hives. Alternatively, hosts can learn beekeeping skills themselves courtesy of Bee Mission’s training programme. Either way, they earn a share of the honey or a slice of the profits from its sale.
Founder Chris Bialan trialled the idea two years ago with five hives in the grounds of a nursing home in Fordingbridge, Hampshire, a small town near the New Forest.
Addressing concerns that honeybees are depriving wild pollinators of pollen, Bialan also plans to plant wild meadow flowers, while encouraging his hive hosts to do the same.
Bee Mission’s goal goes beyond reviving dwindling honeybee numbers. Its training scheme provides skills and work opportunities for homeless people living in Bournemouth.