Bee Conservation At Blenheim Palace

Blenheim+Estate_s+Rachel+Furness

The issues of bees and their survival is an important one I have written about before so I was glad to hear that the Blenheim Estate is joining forces with Rowse Honey on a major conservation project to create a sustainable nectar source for local wild bees and other pollinators, as well as introducing new habitats for insects and birds, in and around the Oxfordshire estate.

The new five-year partnership will see the creation of at least 50 acres of pollinator-rich meadows on agricultural land within Blenheim Estate’s pioneering regenerative farming project, as well as help fund new research into the role diverse mixes of pollinators have in farmed landscapes.

In addition to introducing over 70 different species of wildflowers – that have been native to Britain for centuries – to various areas on the land, the project will also see the planting of 200km of hedgerow.

All flora will be introduced to the landscape slowly, to ensure no damage is caused to the existing ecosystem, ultimately securing legacy for future generations.

Dozens of wild honey bee colonies have been discovered living in the ancient woodland of the Oxfordshire UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is hoped the wildflower meadows will enable Blenheim’s existing population of bees, and other invertebrates, to expand and colonise surrounding areas, and in doing so become a catalyst to revive the health of the local countryside.
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Reports conclude that approximately 97% of wildflower areas* and approximately 118,000 miles (c.50%) of hedgerows** have disappeared in the UK since World War II, largely due to intensive farming methods. This loss of habitat and forage supply, along with disease, have caused populations of pollinating insects to dwindle.

The project forms part of Blenheim Estate’s wider land strategy, as well as Rowse’s Hives for Lives programme.

“Enhancing habitats for pollinators is one of the key building blocks to a thriving countryside and a big part of our overall strategy to become carbon negative by 2027 across all scopes at Blenheim,” said Blenheim’s Estates Director, Roy Cox.

“In the World Heritage Site, we are fortunate to care for part of Oxfordshire which has remained relatively untouched for centuries. This makes it a haven for native pollinator species, which can forage on the estate’s extensive natural flora and wildflowers.

“Working alongside Rowse’s Hives for Lives programme, Blenheim Estate is seeking to expand this precious habitat by ‘regenerating’ a significant part of our landholding.

“The aim is to create a natural environment where the wildlife can not only survive, but thrive,” he added.

Rowse’s Managing Director, Ian Ainsworth added: “We are delighted to be working with the Blenheim Estate, close to our home in Wallingford, Oxfordshire, to help provide rich nectar sources, at scale, helping to secure the future of bees, raise awareness of their plight and highlight what we can all do to help protect them and other local pollinators.”

“As well as significantly increasing the native wildlife diversity by connecting areas of forest and ancient woodland, the aim of this ground-breaking partnership is to engage consumers and visitors to the heritage site and wider Blenheim estate in the importance of nature, pollinators and sustainable land management.
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“At Rowse, we understand the need to balance providing an abundance of nectar rich flowers from early spring right through to the end of the foraging season, and providing more nectar supply, for longer, for as many native pollinator species as we can.

“The ultimate goal is to use this project to demonstrate what’s possible, to inspire and influence other landowners and the general public to support the creation of sustainable nectar sources for bees and other pollinators nationwide.” she added.

Visitors to Blenheim Palace will be able to learn more about the project by walking the network of grass routes across the Estate and at a specific exhibition in the World Heritage Site.

Rowse+Blenheim+Infographic

About Rowse Honey

Rowse Honey , is the UK’s favourite honey brand, was founded in Oxfordshire over 80 years ago – where it remains to the present day – and has been sharing a love of honey with the UK ever since. Today, Rowse is the UK’s favourite honey brand.

For more than a decade, Rowse’s mission for their Hives For Lives programme has been focussed on protecting bees and beekeepers.

Editors Kevin’s Note: The Use of neonicotinoid pestercides were banned in the EU starting from September 1st, 2020 but this is far from a dead issue. Due to the big money lobbying of chemical companies like Bayer who also owns the evil corporation Monsanto in the US, the pressure to reverse the ban is constantly there. Add the financial pressures from 2 years of CoVid and the fight is very much ongoing.

Why are Banned Bee-Killer Neonicotinoids Still Being Used in Europe?

47 thoughts on “Bee Conservation At Blenheim Palace

  1. What a wonderful project, Kevin! I enjoyed learning about it. There have been reports of bee colonies in the US collapsing. Loss of habitat and pesticides may be the cause. Bees are essential to citrus growers here in Florida, and honey is also an important product here. Hope all is well with you! ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Cheryl,
      Alway glad to hear from you and I’m well and busy like a bee 🙂

      Hive collapse is worse in America, than Europe because US farmers are still allowed to use many neonicotinoid pesticides which are extremely harmful to bees. They attack the nervous system making difficult for bees to navigate even if they survive the poison, hence the colony collapse. Neonicotinoid pesticides also seems to make bees susceptible to bee mites which under normal circustances are mostly harmless.

      Worse still the gravity of the situation in the US is masked because pollinating bees are moved around the country to help pollinate the vast amount of fruit crops grown on the East and West coasts.
      Some types of American bees were put on the endangered list in 2016 http://thefreethoughtproject.com/7-bee-species-declared-endangered/#OLhPpm2WPO6iLELs.01

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad to see that the Churchill family who helped put an end to Louis XIV’s plans for domination in Europe and Hitler’s plans for domination in the world are using the grounds of their estate to help the wild honey bees and their pollination.

    For if the bees die, then ultimately we all die.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Dear Christopher, I think many of us around the world wished another would rise from Churchill family and help the West galvanise the steps we need to take collectively to stop Putin.
      Best Wishes
      Kevin 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Fantastic piece right here, Chef Kevin! Pesticides and predators threaten bee populations, and it’s relieving to hear that efforts are made to protect them.

    Speaking of Monsanto, there’s this recent article about its glyphosate pesticide being detected at high levels in a good number of so-called organic foods.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes Monch, Roundup made by Monsanto should be banned in my opinion. We need to find more nature friendly ways of protecting crops not just to protect bees and other pollenators but human health too.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Monch it is always good to hear from you. Being a chef I am passionate about food issues, so from time to time I look to inform people about the good and bad things going on.

      If you’re interested in the subject of pesticides you might find my earlier post helpful. For citizens around the world who like me are concerned about what is done to our food, exchanging information is a powerful tool to fight multinational companies who place profit above human life or the survival our our planet. https://chefkevinashton.com/2020/09/18/save-our-food-standards/

      Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Noelle,
      As always good to hear from you.
      Without bees and other pollenators we would struggle to grow enough food and many would stave. Enstein said: “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” And yet still too many decision makers would rather accept a campaign contribution from Monsanto/Bayer than vote for laws that sustain life and act in harmony with nature.
      Best Wishes
      Kevin 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Having lived in the US 1980-81 1983-1994) I have lots of American friends who like you are frustrated at the current political situation in the US.

        There is too much money involved in US politics which narrows the choice of candidates that people have. The whole process of primaries is too long, which takes a lot of money to finance and in the 21st century with instant communication is wholly unnecessary.

        People are yearning for change but at the moment the 2 party system want to keep the status quo, even decent people inside the current system. Change can be scary be no more so than keeping things the same.

        I’m not happy with own government in the UK but thats a whole other story! lol

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Very nice project! Very interesting and thanks for sharing. Bees are our saviors, I love them very much. Incredibly beautiful photos!
    I wish you a nice and relaxing evening. Sincerely, Balle 🤗

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you Kally, I just there were more political moves to protect bees around the world and stop pesticides that are harmful to pollinators.
      Best Wishes
      Kevin 🙂

      Like

      1. i have a forest garden which was wasteland when i started in my twenties! I have fruit tree’s for bees and Hebe’s as they are early flowerers. Mahonia out the front for those ridiculously early feeders, montbretia for the late sleepers and a wonderful, strawberry chocolate smelling clematis! Not to mention a ten foot dome shaped buddlea …. a lovely island in suburbia

        Liked by 1 person

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