Young couple launch Bantham Bees community project to support local biodiversity

By Sam Acourt in Environment

A young couple from Thurlestone are crowdfunding for their new community project Bantham Bees.

Tom Hurrell and Amy Charlesworth have started Bantham Bees as a way of improving local biodiversity and giving people access to locally produced honey.

Tom and Amy, who are parents to Owen, Hendrix and Aurora, live in Thurlestone and currently have one hive in Bantham, alongside biodynamic wine vineyard, and are planning to get more.

Bees are a vital part of our ecosystem, with all species doing valuable work pollinating our food, fruits and vegetables, forage and flowers. Through the pollination of many commercial crops such as tomatoes, peas, apples and strawberries, insects are estimated to contribute over £400 million a year to the UK economy.

Bee populations have been hit hard in recent years, mainly due to the heavy use of toxic sprays on flowers, intensive agriculture, rising water temperatures, pollution, Honeybee Colony Collapse Disorder, urbanisation and loss of habitat.

Some wild bee species are close to extinction and as Albert Einstein said: “Mankind will not survive the honeybees’ disappearance for more than five years.”

So Tom and Amy have started their Bantham Bees project to help local farmers in the area, as well as the bees themselves.

Amy said: “We have had so much interest in our local honey that we now know we can turn a hobby we love into a real job, and look after more honey bees, which is great for us and our environment.

“We are looking to raise money for additional hives and colonies and all the extra equipment needed inside of the hives. There is more to it than meets the eye.

“There are many benefits for the local community: we can protect our honey bees, increase number of pollinators in the area which will benefit local farmers, allotments and gardens surrounding the apiary, produce local honey and overall contribute to a better environment and foster biodiversity in the local area.

“As a young family, starting a business was never going to be easy or cheap but with the support of a strong local community we can all benefit from this great project!”

You can find out more about Bantham Bees on their Facebook page, and you can donate to their crowdfunding at: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/amy-charlesworth-3

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