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Operation Bumble Bee

Supermarket giants Sainsbury’s has given its support to Operation Bumblebee, the initiative designed to boost UK bumblebee numbers. Sainsbury’s is funding an exclusive project aimed at boosting bumblebee numbers as much as 600%.

The project will involve the specialist training of over 300 –or 90%- of Sainsbury’s key vegetable and potato growers. The projects aim is to grow the number of bumblebees by many millions over the next three summers, as well as increasing the population of bumblebees, other wildlife, including butterflies, bugs and farmland birds will also benefit.

Sainsbury’s farmers and growers will be encouraged to set up habitat for bumblebees, by sowing and managing “field margins” and other uncropped areas within their fields.

Using a special seed mix, these new habitats will produce a selection of plants and flowers which deliver a consistent supply of pollen and nectar where bumblebees can thrive. This follows a successful pilot project run for Sainsbury’s by Marshall Bros, one of Sainsbury’s largest green vegetables suppliers.

Debbie Winstanley, Sainsbury’s bumblebee ambassador said: “Sainsbury’s customers care about the environment in which their food is grown, and at  a very small cost this project demonstrates how sustainable, profitable food production and a vibrant countryside can sit side by side