Gloucester Services is claiming to have become the first bee friendly motorway services in the country after installing beehives.
In keeping with Gloucester’s status as the UK’s first bee guardian city, the eco-friendly services has set up a new colony on the far edge of the station grounds.
Having used the expertise of Gloucester City Farm during installation, the new colony will be fed weekly on syrup to build up its strength before starting to fill its hive.
The team, which has worked on the project with community partner Fair Shares, is hoping to see the first signs of honey in the hive by autumn and eventually start selling the produce in its farmshop.
Mark Gale of the Gloucestershire Gateway Trust said: “We can’t wait to have to Gloucester Services honey, we also feel that each and every project we take on with one of our charity partners will enable us to work closer together and ensure that Gloucester Services continues to benefit the local community.”
The UK’s bee population has seen a dramatic decline in the last 20 years due to a combination of environmental factors including changes in agricultural techniques and an estimated loss of 95 per cent of the UK’s wildflower meadows since the 1930s.
The bee project is just one of many aimed at improving the bio-diversity of the site.
The service station roof, designed to blend in with the surrounding countryside, is seeded with a wildflower and grass seed mix to create a wildflower meadow – the perfect habitat for the new bee population.
Reyaz Limalia, from community group Fair Shares, said “We’re really keen to help people to learn about beekeeping and local produce and it’s great to be working alongside Gloucester Services on this project. We hope to eventually be able to produce Gloucester Services honey for the farmshop.”