Since 2014, de Bijenkorf has been actively committed to bee conservation. Because we are called de Bijenkorf (meaning: the beehive), but especially because bees are very important for a healthy living environment. By spreading pollen, honey bees, wild bees and bumblebees ensure that we can enjoy vegetables and fruit but also for example mustard and sunflower oil. In fact, bees provide 1/3 of every bite we eat. Without bees our plates would look very different.
Unfortunately, climate change, pesticides and advancing urbanisation have all contributed to the decline of the bee. In the Netherlands, more than half of the 360 bee species are on the Red List of Threatened Species. Our ambition is to have them off this list by 2025.
Every year on 22 April we celebrate National Sowing Day, the day to sow flowers as food for bees and other pollinators throughout the Netherlands. On and around this day we hand out sachets of organic flower seeds in our shops so our customers and employees can create new bee habitats in their gardens or balconies. In 2021, 40,000 sachets of seed were distributed, enough for 25 soccer fields of flowers.
Since 2020, a total of 10 honeybee hives have been placed on the roofs of our shops in Amsterdam, Amstelveen, The Hague, Maastricht and Rotterdam. These hives are placed and maintained by the Ilovebeeing foundation. In 2021, bee hotels will be added on several roofs, where wild bees can make their nest.
In 2016 we were one of the initiators and main sponsor of The Pollinators, a platform that uses actions, donations and education to work for the conservation of the bee and other pollinators. Our work with The Pollinators focuses on seven endangered bee species living in the city. Together with The Pollinators we undertake various activities to help these bees, e.g. by making city parks bee-friendly and creating and maintaining food forests.
Since 2021 de Bijenkorf has been committed to to helping wild bees in rural areas together with Staatsbosbeheer and Buitenfonds. The focus is on eight areas with endangered wild bees; around our seven shops and near our distribution centre in Tilburg. Together with forest rangers, we make the area more attractive for wild bees and monitor the bee population through bee counts.