Give bees a home

Sainsbury’s Bee Happy

Beekeeper - Robin Dean

Since 2006, we’ve been working to help the bee population thrive. Now we’re stepping up our Bee Happy programme to give even more bees a fighting chance.

Here’s the plan:

Sainsbury’s Bee Hotels

Solitary bees need a safe place to build nests and lay eggs, so we’re putting Bee Hotels on all stores. Don’t worry about getting stung when you shop, because solitary bees are docile – they have no honey to protect.

Our Beekeeper

We’re the only supermarket with a beekeeper – Robin Dean sets up and keeps an eye on our solitary Bee Hotels. He also works with our suppliers, like UK top fruit growers, to develop sustainable habitats for bees.

Bee Happy store sign

Bees pollinate over 80% of our food, but numbers are declining, mainly due to loss of habitat and safe nesting sites. We plan to help them by providing safe places to nest. In turn, this will help double the amount of British food we sell by 2020.

Solitary bees

Bee entering a bee hotel

There are more than 250 types of solitary bee in Britain, many in our gardens. They live solo unlike honey bees, which live in colonies. Six hundred solitary bees can pollinate one hectare of orchard, yet it takes 60,000 honey bees to do the same.

More on our bee campaign

How you can help

Get involved and help solitary bees by making your outdoor space a bee-friendly habitat: Make a ‘Bee Hotel’ Choose from one of our three how-tos:

Make a bee hotel

Choose from one of our three how-tos: you could build you hotel out of log, some bamboo or a mixture of bamboo and a recycled juice carton. Site your hotel so the openings point eastwards – solitary bees love a bit of early morning sun.

Look out for the new residents of your Bee Hotel from early spring – solitary bees are generally black, ginger or metallic blue in colour.

Plant a Bee Café

At some stores we’re planting nectar-rich foliage in front of Bee Hotels, turning them into bed and breakfasts or ‘Bee & Bees’! Here’s a sample of the plants bees love, for you to sow:

  • Aromatic herbs such as lavender, thyme, rosemary and sage
  • Chives and other alliums
  • Poppy, crocus, cornflower, borage, alkanet, viper’s bugloss and bird’s foot trefoil
  • Knapweed, phacelia and various types of clover.

See more plants on the BWARS website