Bees Get to Work at Yorkshire Nursery

Life is sweet at a nursery in North Yorkshire as colonies of bees have been busy creating their first batch of honey.

Johnsons of Whixley installed an apiary at its 220-acre nursery three months ago as part of a project in partnership with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association, which recognises the crucial role bees play on our eco-system.


The family-run business installed the apiary to help the UK’s bee population and is now very close to seeing its first batch of honey.

Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association has been visiting the nursery fortnightly to check up on the bees. The team at Johnsons of Whixley is looking forward to trying the first batch once the honey is ready.

Honey can be used for a variety of purposes; from medicinal use such as treating wounds and allergies, to beauty purposes such as hair conditioners and lip balms. And of course, it can simply be used to sweeten up food such as toast and pancakes.

The British bee population has declined at an alarming rate in recent years, by a third since 2007.

Contributions to the decline include recent wet summers, which have prevented bees from searching out pollen, and environmental changes, such as the increased use of pesticides in farming, alongside the depletion of natural habitats.

Bees are a vital part in the world’s food production as studies have revealed that around a third of the world’s food is pollination dependent.

Johnsons of Whixley group managing director, Graham Richardson, said:
“We’re excited to see that the first batch of honey is almost ready and we’re looking forward to trying it!

“Our nursery is an ideal location for bees as it utilises the many varied plant stocks grown at Johnsons of Whixley and provides foraging within the surrounding countryside.”

Keith Simmonds, Vice President of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers Association, said:
“The bee colonies at Johnsons of Whixley have made good progress following a slow start to the year and I am hoping for a good first harvest from them.

Honey bees have many problems to face in their short lives, with the loss of wild flowers and the increase in the various external factors effecting their survival, a site such as Johnsons which offers so many nectar and pollen producing plants will help the long term survival of the honey bee.

“I would encourage as many people as possible to offer sites for bee colonies and I would like to say a big thank you to Johnsons of Whixley for providing an apiary site.”

Johnsons of Whixley is one of the largest commercial nursery businesses in Europe, and a trusted supplier of plants and trees to the amenity sector in the UK.

Johnsons Whixley

  Related Links
link Black Mountains Land Use Partnership Awarded £Million Grant
link Commoners Win Major Legal SPS Challenge
link New App is the Bee's Knees in Understanding Bumblebees
link ADA Reiterates 7-Point Flood Manifesto