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Building a buzz at Paignton Zoo

On this, World Bee Day, Paignton Zoo is delighted to announce that they are working with local property business agents Bettesworths to support and protect bees. With Bettesworths’ support, we have been able to install four brand new, custom-built bee hotels.

Solitary bees and other pollinators are a big part of our local wildlife and have a very important part to play in maintaining ecosystems. These invertebrates are the top pollinators on our planet, helping to pollinate our food and also, plants and trees that provide vital habitats for wildlife. However, bees and other pollinators are now in decline all over the world, facing many threats including habitat loss and climate change.

Paignton Zoo, part of Wild Planet Trust, is committed to protecting our local wildlife and wild places, believing that much of conservation can come from small actions being done at home. As part of their work to protect pollinators, they have planted wildflower meadows and installed shelters and bee hotels that aim to support and sustain a healthy population of bees.

Tracey Hamston, Wild Planet Trust Conservation Officer: “Bees and other pollinators are vitally important to landscapes and people but are in serious decline. Urban areas provide enormous opportunities for habitat creation. Bees need food and somewhere to live. By providing good sources of pollen and nectar (flowering plants) throughout the year, we can make the urban environment a great place for bees.

“At Paignton Zoo, in addition to the flowers, we have also provided solitary bees with somewhere to nest. Solitary bees make up the vast majority of Britain’s bee population, consisting of 250 of the 270 bee species. They are different from bumble bees and honey bees as they make individual nests rather than colonies or hives. Many of them choose holes in dead plant stems and pieces of wood.

When we have provided the bees with hotels, we found many of them quickly took up residence.”

Matt Bettesworth, Managing Director for Bettesworths: “For a family company like ours, currently in its third generation, the environment is very important. We want to be part of, and raise awareness of the issue of sustainability through this great project. Of course, as everyone knows, bees are synonymous with our brand.

“Sustainability is key, in both the built environment and our day to day lives. Whilst this project is about having fun it also carries the message of how important pollinators are and how good design and build can help the natural environment.”

The new bee hotels have been custom-built by South Hams based Eddie Church, and can be found at Paignton Zoo on the picnic lawn, on the way up the hill to Crocodile Swamp, on the bank near Animal Encounters and there is another half way up the hill behind Baboon Rock. Paignton Zoo is part of Wild Planet Trust. They are both registered charities striving to conserve species and habitats, and to inspire and empower people to help in the fight to protect wildlife