Rooftop honey gathered by Poole bees raises money for charity
Jars of honey are on sale at the Dolphin’s centre management for £5 each with all proceeds going towards Chestnut Nursery, a local charity that provides meaningful work in a supportive and pressure-free environment for adults with severe and enduring mental illness.
The rooftop garden was created at the Poole shopping centre in 2015 to address local environmental issues and to make the most of its unused space in an innovative way. It is now home to two beehives, housing thousands of bees and enabling the centre to create its very own ‘Rooftop Honey.’ 57 jars have been produced so far this year and another 50 jars will be ready over the coming weeks.
The honey is rated 10+ with natural therapeutic benefits and is harvested straight from the hives to produce a fresher taste. It is rated higher quality than the usual breakfast honeys. The bees have developed in their hundreds and the project has helped with the pollination of local parks and surrounding pockets of floras and gardens.
“We’re delighted to have our very own honey on sale,” said centre manager John Grinnell. “As a large organisation, we have an obligation to protect the environment and maintain a sustainable and commercially viable shopping destination. Many of our operational and retail staff take an active interest in environmental issues and tending to the bees – they’re a firm favourite at the centre.
“Increasing biodiversity was a huge benefit to introducing the rooftop garden at the centre. As a highly topical issue, we were aware of the demise of the bee population and staff actively came forward with ideas about what they could do to help. The rooftop garden quickly flourished and we bought our second beehive in 2017.”
Last year £278 was raised for Chestnut Nursery through the sale of 115 jars of honey.
Angela Mansbridge, project manager at Chestnut Nursery commented: “We are incredibly grateful to the Dolphin Shopping Centre for their commitment to us. Thanks to the shopping centre’s rooftop garden, we are able to invite our service users to visit the Dolphin and encourage them to tend to the flowers and see how the honey is made. We have tried their honey and it is delicious.”
The Dolphin team invests time and funds into achieving qualifications so that staff can tend to the bees correctly. Last year, Matthew Spencer, operations manager, Stuart Mabbutt, joint services manager, and Dave Porcas and Pete Stevenson in maintenance, all completed the British Bee Keepers’ Association training.
John Grinnell added, “We’re committed to manging the environmental business impact of our operations and are pleased to have introduced a sustainable rooftop garden which not only benefits the bees but helps us raise money for Chestnut Nursery. Just a few months ago we installed a ‘Bee Cam’ in our Eco Hub so that shoppers can watch the bees in action and learn more about the hives.”
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