Housing group's 200,000 new tenants create quite a buzz

Housing group Thirteen has over 200,000 new tenants on its books – and they are creating quite a buzz.

To mark World Bee Day on Thursday, May 20, the group is raising awareness of the importance of protecting and preserving the insects by establishing four colonies in the bee enclosure at its ecology centre in Billingham.

It aims to educate people about what bees do and why they are so important to the natural environment.

Beekeeper and Thirteen’s environmental specialist John Woods said: “As well as having 34,000 homes across Teesside and the North East, we’re also landlord to 200,000 bees which we moved into our ecology centre in Billingham in September last year.

John Woods tending the bees.

“We are set to launch a project to work with community groups to raise awareness of the environment and nature and how we can all make a positive environmental impact.

“Bees are extremely important. They are vital to the environment and the economy. They are commonly known for honey, but they also pollinate over 70% of the food we eat."

He added: “Without bees, our supermarkets would have around half of the fruit and vegetables that we see today but, sadly, they are threatened by the loss of habitats and climate change. By having four colonies at the centre, we’re doing our bit to protect them.

“Anyone can take action to prevent the decline of bees, like we have at Thirteen.

"Just by not using pesticides and planting more flowers and trees will play a big part in protecting the bees.”