Abel & Cole has welcomed 60,000 honeybees to its offices in Wimbledon as part of its stated commitment to educating consumers about the importance of bees and other pollinators.
The ethical food business, which sells organic food nationwide, is working with sustainable beehive management company Plan Bee Ltd and expects to welcome up to 180,000 honeybees this summer - each of Abel & Cole’s three hives is capable of pollinating an area of densely packed fruit trees the size of Wembley.
Claudia Ruane, of Abel & Cole, said: "There was a distinct lack of pets in our office, and as no one could agree on cats or dogs, I thought thousands of bees would settle it. Seriously though, organic farming plays such a phenomenally crucial role in protecting biodiversity and, whilst we may not be farmers ourselves, we can still play a positive part in sustainable food systems.
"By offering a home to honeybees in our little bit of south west London, we can help educate each other and everyone in the Abel & Cole community of the important role they, and other pollinators play.
“Bees are crucial for biodiversity, they are responsible for pollinating a third of the food that we eat. Since 2010 we’ve run a few projects to raise awareness with customers about the decline in pollinator populations, and having bees move in here is the next really exciting step. We’re also looking to create pollinator palaces at each of our eight depots to make sure all Abel & Colers have the chance to do their bit to help solitary bees, bumblebees and other bugs thrive.”
Abel & Cole was founded 28 years ago with the intent of doing good by supporting ethical food producers, alongside "having fun". Ruane added: "Like Abel & Cole, Plan Bee shares that ethos, working with businesses that not only care about good food, but also truly care about the environment."