The Naturesave SOLAR BEE project

20/12/2018

The Naturesave SOLAR BEE project is a campaign to help protect bees and promote community owned renewable energy. It a great way to demonstrate the ways that community energy can provide benefits beyond the ownership of renewables! The Naturesave Trust (a charitable arm of Naturesave) has already provided grant funding for two of these hives, at Southill Community Energy in Charlbury, Oxfordshire. 

See their press release below, and follow this link for applications to apply. 

"Funded by the Naturesave Trust, the charitable arm of Naturesave, the project is designed
to have two clear benefits. The first is to tackle the decline of pollinating honeybees by
helping combat the Varroa mite, which is killing off bee populations across the world. In
response, the Trust is investing in ground-breaking new thermosolar beehives that have
been designed specifically to combat the pest, all without the use of chemical intervention.
The innovative design uses the sun’s energy to heat the hives to a temperature that kills the
Varroa but is harmless to the bees. The end results are healthy and protected bees and a
reduction in the amount of harmful chemicals released into the environment. In turn the
resident bee population improves pollination prospects both within the solar farm and in
surrounding locality.

The second benefit relates to community energy groups, a sector in which Naturesave
Insurance is a market leader and to which the Naturesave Trust provides regular funding.
The Solar Bee Project intends to place a series of thermosolar beehives within suitable
Community Renewable Solar Farms. The project aims to make community solar farms
synonymous with biodiversity, in addition to environmental and community benefits they
already bring.

Nick Oldridge, Marketing Communications Manager summarised “These community assets
already offer the fantastic dual benefits of clean energy production and local ownership.
With this project we want to help unlock another key benefit, which is the enormous
potential that solar farms have to significantly improve biodiversity.”

“Communities can potentially become net producers of pollinators, creating a whole range
of benefits for the local environment as well as significant educational benefits. The
successful applicants will also benefit from being able to produce, brand and sell their own
honey, free of chemical intervention.”

Naturesave is planning to donate pairs of thermosolar beehives to suitable community solar
farms in time for the bee season in 2019. To determine which are the most suitable sites for
this project, Naturesave have set up an online application. To apply visit
www.naturesave.co.uk/naturesave-trust/solarbee. Applications close on the 25 th January
2019. The successful applications will be announced in February.

Working in partnership with UK Thermosolar, the suppliers of the hives, Naturesave will
assist the successful applicants by providing advice and guidance in finding a suitable
location for the hives, setting up an agreement with a beekeeper and successfully producing
organic honey.

If this project is successful the Naturesave Trust intends to invest in more thermosolar
beehives for further projects in the future.

About Naturesave
Naturesave was founded in 1993 to use the insurance industry as a vehicle for sustainable
development. The company insures homes, businesses and charities and also specialises in
renewable energy. Read more here.

Contact
Nick Oldridge - Marketing Manager
P: 01803 869 777 M: 07899 818714 E: nickoldridge@naturesave.co.uk"