Scottish food firm helps dwindling bee population

By Gwen Ridler

- Last updated on GMT

Loch Duart has installed bee hives around its fish farm in Sutherland
Loch Duart has installed bee hives around its fish farm in Sutherland
A new project to protect the honey and bumble bee population of Scotland has been launched by independent salmon farming company Loch Duart.

Working in collaboration with environmental organisation Plan Bee, the Outer Hebrides and Sutherland-based company has installed hives near its headquarters in Scourie. The new hives are believed to be the furthest north in the UK mainland.

Loch Duart will also support Plan Bee in raising awareness and improving local biodiversity in local communities near its farms, and plans to use the honey produced in the hives in its salmon recipes.

Alison Bell, managing director (MD) of Plan Bee, said: “From our very first meeting with Loch Duart, hearing of their dedication to sustainable farming methods and their high quality Scottish provenance, we knew a partnership was meant to be.

‘Amazing partnership’

“Loch Duart is a significant local employer that cares deeply about its local environment, so really this amazing partnership is a summation of the values that drive both of our businesses.”

Plan Bee will provide Loch Duart with a bee management plan and a dedicated beekeeper who will conduct regular site visits and assessments to ensure the good health of both bees and plants.

Loch Duart MD Alban Denton added: “[We are] very conscious about the role that agricultural businesses like ours have working in this beautiful environment.

“By taking a proactive approach and choosing a partner company like Plan Bee that fitted with our ethos and principles, we can make a small contribution to the vital role that this wonderful creature has in supporting sustainability and biodiversity in Uist and Sutherland.”

Sustain bee populations

This first stage of the project aims to encourage and sustain Scottish honey bee populations in the remote far north west coast of Scotland. Next spring, Plan Bee will work with schools in Sutherland and Uist to establish and enhance habitats for native bumble bees.

Loch Duart is not the first food and drink firm to sign on to Plan Bee’s schemes to promote local bee populations. Back in November 2016, Glasgow-based confectioner Aldomak installed honey bee hives in the grounds around its site​ with the help of the organisation.

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