KPMG is our longest corporate partner. We have had hives on their office in Canary Wharf since 2015. During the summer, each week a small group of staff are usually invited to ‘meet the bees’ session in their lunch hour. They are each given a bee suit to wear and Brian shows them the workings of a hive.
More than 200 staff have met the bees and there will be a long waiting list when things get back to ‘normal’. Many more have attended workshops and talks we have given over the years about the role of bees in pollinating our food, the ecosystem services they provide and the threats they face from intensive agriculture and urban development. Our message is that business needs to work with nature to help bees, humankind and the planet.
KPMG sponsored Plants for Bees and Trees for Bees leaflets and packets of wild seeds to give away to their employees and clients.
Staff have also helped with the honey harvest each year from the hives. And jars of the delicious honey are sold with proceeds going to the company charity.
Through our relationship with KPMG, we have advised Canary Wharf Management on how to improve planting and nesting sites in the Wharf for bees. They were receptive to planting more holly bushes, which are good for security, but also provide nectar and pollen in May when their small, white flowers appear. Their leaves are also an important food source for the caterpillar of the Holly Blue butterfly.
And CWM introduced us to Willerby Landscapes who managed a large green roof on the Wharf where some of the plants was struggling with the extremely exposed conditions. We suggested some tougher plants that are good for bees.