A Lincolnshire beekeeper is offering local farmers free flower seeds as part of his campaign to halt the decline of the British honeybee.
Jez Rose, bee farmer and owner of Bees for Business based near Peterborough, has pledged to provide the seed to any farmer or landowner who can provide suitable cleared land and is prepared to sow the seed.
His commitment is to provide bee friendly flower seed to cover up to 250 acres of land that will attract bees to pollinate.
Since the Second World War, the UK has lost 97% of its wildflower meadows, leaving bees with little natural habitat.
Some farmers within the industry have taken measures to help encourage bee numbers.
Two Suffolk farming brothers are aiming to feed a million bumblebees this year to help reverse the decline in these vital pollinators.
Farmers are also laying a network of "bee roads" throughout the UK to support pollinators and promote bio-diversity.
As part of Jez Rose's campaign to halt the honeybee’s decline, his business is already installing 250 hives over the next five years that will help to build the honeybee population up to more sustainable levels.
The initiative has proved so popular that he has now extended it to include giving away free packets of bee friendly seeds to farmers.
Alongside this, Mr Rose is also inviting local businesses to sponsor the seed sowing to make it as successful as possible.
Mr Rose said: “It is in the interests of all gardeners and land owners to create an environment where wildlife of all kinds can thrive.
“Farmers need to continue to be encouraged to farm with biodiversity in mind and anybody with a little bit of land can play their part in planting flowers and grasses that encourage bees and insects to breed and multiply. It is my hope that we are not too late to halt the terminal decline of the honeybee,” he added.
Burghley House and Estate at Stamford, near Peterborough has already committed to planting two hectares of bee friendly seed on part of their land.
David Pennell, from Burghley House and Estate at Stamford said: “We have recently sown over 2 hectares of parkland with a wildflower bee seed mix that will help provide a wide base of flora and fauna for not only the bees but other insects and wildlife critical to creating a diverse habitat.”