50K New Gatwick Workers Make a Buzz

The Gatwick Greenspace Partnership (GGP) has moved three beehives containing honeybees into Ashley’s Field - one of Gatwick Airport’s conservation areas.

The new colony consists of a Queen Bee and around 15,000 workers, and if successful, the colony could increase to around 50,000 worker bees by the summer.

Bees are critical to creating a healthy habitat and environment, and Gatwick has invested much time and effort into its conversation projects. This bee project is as a result of bee numbers being in decline for many years in the UK. This decline could be utterly devastating for human kind – one third of our food needs to be pollinated by insects, of which honeybees are the majority force.

In fact, so important are bees that Albert Einstein wrote, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the earth, man would have no more than four years to live. No more bees, no more pollination … no more men!”

Managed by the Sussex Wildlife Trust, to improve biodiversity in the Sussex area, the Trust said, "This summer the colony will swell to 40,000 to 50,000 workers, a single queen and few hundred male bees known as drones. I'm looking forward to opening up the hives during the next couple of weeks to see how our new workforce is settling in."

Gatwick Airport is currently making a bid for expansion, increasing its runway space from one to two. The airport says it is still committed to supporting conversation and greenspace and that possible expansion will not see the demise of such projects and investment.