A MISSION has been launched to save the bees after a successful project in Fordingbridge.

Chris Bialan, who is the co-owner of a number of care homes across the country, set up a community interest company, Bee Mission, which is looking to build and install 500 new beehives across Hampshire and Dorset.

It also plans on offering support for homeless people to upskill and retrain to a variety of roles within the project, including becoming beekeepers.

He came up with the idea when he was helping his daughter move house and got to talking about bees with a beekeeper called Serge who was helping with the move.

Chris said: “I got thinking about all the gardens and available space out there that could be used for hives, and then I realised that the grounds at my care home sites were a great place to start.”

Bee Mission’s pilot scheme happened in 2020 and saw the installation of four beehives at Kings Lodge Nursing Home in Reigate, one of Chris’ care homes where Serge was working at the time.

Sadly, the pilot wasn’t successful, but Chris tried again – putting five hives at Allenbrook Nursing home in Fordingbridge.

After the success in Fordingbridge, Chris was inspired, and wanted to encourage others to do the same.

Chris added: “Seeing the success in Fordingbridge, I began to think about where else we could put hives, and this is where the idea of fostering hives came about. I think that there’s lots of people out there that care just as much as I do about the plight of the bees but wouldn’t have even thought about installing a hive as they don’t know anything about hives or bees and don’t know how to look after them.

“So, what if we could solve that problem? What if we could supply the hives, and either train people up to look after their own hives or send our beekeepers round to manage them?

"This is when Bee Mission was truly born, imagine if even a small percentage of people had a hive installed and how much difference that could make to our bee population. Our mission now, is to get 500 beehives installed in Dorset people’s gardens, balconies, on roof tops and in local areas, and I think we can do it.”

Bee Mission is also working with conservationists as well as planning to plant wild meadows and gardens.

Amy Foster, the director of Bee Mission, says it is “exciting” to launch and hopes to get communities involved. More hives are going to be installed and Bee Mission is looking to get 30 hives placed by May. 

The company is already growing and is now on the lookout for land to rent, so it can expand.

The team is hoping for a small plot with space for an outbuilding for a community training and display centre, workshop and hives and bee-friendly flowers. 

For more visit: beemission.co.uk.

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