Firm recruits 200,000 
summer ‘workers’

Commercial nursery Johnsons of Whixley is raising awareness of the importance of bees in the food production process.
Commercial nursery Johnsons of Whixley is raising awareness of the importance of bees in the food production process.

Johnsons of Whixley has recruited another 200,000 “workers” this summer to help it pollinate its plants.

The commercial nursery – one of Europe’s biggest – has grown its on-site honeybee population, which is expected to exceed 800,000 over the growing season.

Johnsons, which is located east of Knaresborough, is raising awareness of the importance of bees in the food production process.

They pollinate a third of our food crops – blueberries are 90 per cent dependent on bee pollination – and honey production contributes millions of pounds to the UK economy.

Johnsons marketing and sales co-ordinator, Eleanor Richardson said: “With the recent study that announced the decline to a third of the British wild bee and hoverfly population it’s great to be doing our bit for the environment and bee community.

“Our nursery is the perfect location for bees and it’s great to provide a home for up to 800,000 of them.”

Johnsons of Whixley first got in touch with Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association back in spring 2017 when a small number of beehives were introduced to the main 50-acre site. Numbers have been increased every year since.

Keith Simmonds, vice president of Harrogate and Ripon Beekeepers’ Association, said: “The mild winter has meant more colonies of bees have successfully survived through to spring. A mild spring will ensure that a good number of strong hives help the UK honey bee population to recover from the losses of recent times.

“Everyone can do their bit to help by ensuring that their garden or planting scheme includes something for the bees.”