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There’s a buzz in the woods

Just three acres of wildflower patches within a forest can hold nearly nine million flowers – enough to support over half a million pollinators per day. Emma Buckley is Buckley’s Bees’ Chief Executive. Here she talks about why it is important to encourage bees into woodlands.

By Emma Buckley · April 20, 2022

Buckley’s Bees spans 65 years of collective beekeeping experience. It was founded by father and daughter duo, David and Emma Buckley, and was born from an absolute passion and an evidence-based belief in the amazing value of the honeybee and the good they do in the world.  David is the eldest surviving member of Bee Improvement and Bee Breeder’s Association (BIBBA).

Buckley’s Bees is proud to be taking beekeeping to new places and to younger generations. Through our BEEcause campaign we are working with communities, schools, and businesses to increase awareness of all pollinators. We are educating and engaging people to better understand how best to protect and enhance our environment.

Alongside this, Buckley’s Bees prides itself on its bee breeding programme. This promotes the sustainable propagation of local bees, fighting the decline of the UK native honeybee.

Our beekeepers breed their own queen bees and colonies. This has developed desirable traits such as such as docility and hygienic behaviour. My father David rarely wearing gloves whilst handling the bees due to their calm nature!

We manage hives on behalf of businesses around the country that have opted in to support the BEEcause campaign. Our aim is environmental sustainability of the species and to ensure an ecological balance is always present.

Forests and bees

Part of our mission is to look at ideal habitats for bees and other pollinators, such as forests. Forests are most bee’s natural habitat, with the wide landscapes acting as a rich source of food for pollinators, offering nectar, pollen, and honeydew. Honeybees in particular are tree dwellers – one tree in full flower can provide enough food that equates to one acre of pastureland.

Bees are beneficial to forests. Their pollination of trees and plants results in the growth of fruit and seeds, which enable the plant species to continue developing and reproducing. This helps produce healthy, strong future generations of plants and trees and habitats and food for other insects, mammals, birds, and bats. There is a whole eco system that relies on their pollination!

Some beekeepers are paid to take their bees to forests for honey production and pollination due to their importance and success in creating a healthy and sustainable environment and a diverse habitat for many species.

What to plant

To encourage bees into woodlands you need to be planting trees and bee-friendly flowers that are beneficial to pollinators.  Key forest trees and plants include, but are not limited to, chestnut, lime, oak, hawthorn, blackthorn, hazel, some willows, sycamore, acacia, and other deciduous trees. Most fruit trees such as apple, cherry, plum, pear, damson, and fruit such as wild raspberries and strawberries, that also grow in forests, can be pollinated and are bee friendly.

Simple actions make a big difference

Three acres of wildflower patches within a forest can hold nearly nine million flowers – enough to support over half a million pollinators per day. If everyone did a little bit to help, there would be a huge improvement in the population of pollinators.

We also ask businesses and homeowners not to cut down trees or remove hedges and bushes, but instead create spaces for nature and enjoy the company it provides. By keeping forests as natural as possible with lots of flora and food available, and plenty of space for nature to thrive, we can make a positive difference.”

Find out more about Buckley’s Bees, and how hosting hives could help your woodlands at

Emma Buckley

Emma Buckley, CEO of Buckley Bees, and her father David have set up the BEEcause campaign to fight the decline of the UK native honeybee.