Honey bees move into Southwark’s waste site

Six bee hives have been installed at the Southwark recycling and waste facility to increase biodiversity at the site and positively impact the local environment. The facility which is situated on Old Kent Road is run by Veolia, the recycling and waste partner of Southwark Council, who plan to sell the honey to raise money for their charity partner FoodCycle.

The bees are the latest addition to the biodiversity on site, which includes a green wildflower corridor, bug hotels, stag beetle loggeries, bat and bird boxes, ten thousand bushes and over one hundred trees. The bee installation has been implemented by Veolia as part of their commitment to protect biodiversity and improve the quality of the local environment in an otherwise urban surrounding.
The new site guests are a placid breed of bees that have been chosen for their unaggressive manner. One of the hives includes bees that were recently rescued from Old Street roundabout and needed a new home.
Ian McGeough Programme Manager for Veolia Southwark and coordinator of the bee hive installation said, “Bees are a vital part of our food chain and honey bees flourish in city environments where flowers and plants are plenty. Our site with its green corridor of wild flowers and bushes will help these bees to collect lots of food and produce honey that will be sold to raise money for FoodCycle”.
Councillor Ian Wingfield, cabinet member for environment and the public realm at Southwark Council, said: “We want to create a greener borough for future generations to enjoy and we are pleased that our partners at Veolia are taking this pledge seriously with fantastic little projects like this that will offer several benefits for local people, from doing our bit to support this vital part of nature to raising money for a great charity that supports vulnerable people locally.”

The honey collected will be sold at this year’s Wonder Day taking place on Saturday 17 September where Southwark residents and families are invited to a free fun day out to learn about what happens to their recycling and waste. There will also be other enjoyable family activities such as face painting, a bouncy castle, an interactive recycling discovery centre and lots more.  

Paul Vagg beekeeper (left) and Ian McGeough