Sainsbury's To Be First UK Supermarket to Keep Bees

bee hive maintenance photo

Photo via Don Hankins via Flickr CC

Sainsbury is known for it's environmental mindset, from launching EV charging stations at stores, to turning wasted food into energy. It's been known to push the envelope for chain markets, and now it's moving into another area that is a supermarket first - keeping bees. According to, the supermarket chain will start keeping bees on the land surrounding its new eco-store. Because the store is located in an area important to fruit and vegetable growing, the bees will help out farmers, and therefore help out both the store and its customers.

Jack Cunningham, Sainsbury's environment manager, stated, "The rapid decline in bee population has had a severe impact upon the productivity of British crops, so we have decided to take practical steps to help. Sainsbury's already has a loyalty scheme where customers can collect Nectar points, so enabling bees to collect the real thing makes perfect sense."

The bees are one of the many initiatives at the new store, which also features rainwater harvesting for use in toilets and irrigation, and reflective pipes in the roof for natural cooling,

The decline of bees - while receiving less intense media coverage - is still a significant issue. Scientists have started to equip bees with microchips to better understand what is happening around they mysterious colony collapse disorder, and activists are starting to get more and more resourceful about providing habitat for bees. Thankfully, so too are grocery chains.

More on Bees
Bees in Crisis: the National Wildlife Federation Has Tips to Help
Lower Biodiversity Means Fewer Bees - Restricted Diet Weakens Their Immune System
How Backyard Beekeeping Benefits Everyone, Plus: 4 Ways to Make Friends with Bees

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