Published date 12 May 2022

Metro Mayor launches Bee Bold Awards

Susie Hewson, from Natracare, with Metro Mayor Dan Norris in a pollinator garden with the Bee Bold Day Awards sign

An awards scheme to showcase the very best bee-friendly businesses in the West of England has been launched by Metro Mayor Dan Norris.

From shops to schools, farms to factories, in offices and warehouses, all pollinator-loving organisations across the West of England are encouraged to take part in the region's “Bee Bold Awards 2022.”

There are two categories of awards:

Space for nature - recognising organisations that have created gardens or pollinator spaces within their workplaces.

People for nature - recognising organisations that engage their employees, customers, communities and partners to create spaces for nature.

For a ‘hive’ of information on how to apply, please visit the Bee Bold Awards 2022 webpage. The closing date for applications is 9 September 2022.

Speaking at the launch taking place at Bradley Stoke's Natracare headquarters on Eagles Wood, Metro Mayor Dan Norris said: “Please get involved and share your brilliant ideas to help our bees. Bees and pollinators are the West of England’s unsung heroes. Without them pollinating our plants, flowers and trees, we wouldn’t have access to fresh fruit or veg or get to enjoy our summertime favourites, like strawberries or cider. Simply put, we need their pollinating power. When I pledged to make the West of England the Bee and Pollinator Capital of the UK, I meant bees-ness. I know there are amazing organisations of all sizes in our region doing their bit to support our pollinator friends and with these awards, we’re going to give them the recognition they deserve.”

Natracare built its very own bee and pollinator garden to help the region’s food heroes and the results have been impressive. It has become home to pollinating superstars including moths, bee-flies, butterflies, bumblebees and damselflies. Founder and CEO Susie Hewson said: “With so much concrete and tarmac in our towns and cities, it was important for us to make our own green spaces work for pollinators. Now, ten years on, we have a balanced, nature-friendly garden, that engages our local community, and gives our staff a calming breathing space outdoors.”

Natracare was launched in 1989 and makes plastic-free period, incontinence and maternity products. Its award-winning organic pads, liners, tampons and wipes are made with natural materials, free from plastics, perfumes and chlorine.

Jenny Harrison, GENeco Waste and Resources Advisor, in the wildflower meadow

The Mayor also visited Avonmouth-based recycling and renewable energy company GENeco to see it's new wildflower meadows in bloom. The company has added pollinator-friendly species to an old relief lagoon and created its own compost, to name but a few bee-friendly actions.

Jenny Harrison, GENeco Waste and Resources Advisor, said: "It’s so exciting to go from our individual ideas and passion to create this fun space for people and wildlife to thrive, have GENeco love the idea and make it happen, to then see it recognised by West of England Combined Authority for its importance as part of these Awards. We really hope we can inspire others to do what they can with the space they’ve got."

Metro Mayor Dan Norris, AgencyUK's Amy Stobie and local beekeeper Martin Wright

Bath-based Agency UK officially revealed two brand-new beehives, with the help of local beekeeper Martin Knight and the Metro Mayor, at its Beehive Yard offices. The place got its name in the 17th century due to sitting alongside an old bee-crowded orchard from the Tudor period. But like many Bath residents, Agency UK co-founder Amy Stobie wasn’t seeing many of the creatures buzzing around outside the office. That’s in part because the number of British beehives has declined by 75% over the last century.

Amy teamed up with local businesses and residents to reintroduce not one but two hives with native honeybees beside the river bank for the benefit of the whole community.

Amy said: “I am very proud to have re-introduced bees to Beehive Yard. My hope is that it will bring the communities together with a shared interest and the bees will act as a catalyst for more positive pollinator improvements within the city. I hope that the other businesses will see how you actually need very little land to make a positive difference.”

To enter the competition, visit the Bee Bold Awards 2022 page. The closing date for applications is 9 September 2022.

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