Honeybee hotel at Norwich station provides refuge for city’s endangered bees

Thursday, 18 March 2021

A honeybee hotel installed in a garden at Norwich rail station aims to provide a refuge for the endangered honey bee and other creatures.

Greater Anglia site delivery manager, Philip Hogg, gave up his free time to construct the large insect house using spare pallets, logs and other materials left over from restoration work he was doing in the staff garden at Norwich station.

The honeybee hotel features lots of tiny drilled holes where honey bees can store their pollen, lay eggs and hide from predators such as wasps and hornets.

Philip also created a butterfly loft at the top of the hotel where butterflies can rest and also lay their eggs in a protected place.

He has even attached a bird feeder to the side of the hotel so that it supports a wider range of creatures.

Philip, who has previously won an award for a bee hotel and mural that he created at Leatherhead Rail Depot, Surrey, in a previous role, and was supported in the project by colleagues in Greater Anglia’s Asset Management team, said, "I have lots of bee houses in my garden to try to help these vulnerable creatures and I thought it would be nice to install one in the staff garden for my colleagues to enjoy too.

"I expect that over the next few weeks, as the weather warms up, we will see the honey bees beginning to move in which will be a joy to watch for everyone."

Greater Anglia’s Environment and Energy Manager, Stephanie Evans, said, "This is a lovely addition to the garden at Norwich station. We are looking forward to it helping enhance biodiversity and hope that it will encourage pollinating insects such as bees and butterflies to flourish."

Across Greater Anglia’s network the operator is working with its station adoption volunteers to make rail stations more wildlife friendly – with the railway increasingly being recognized by ecologists as a ‘green corridor’ which provides a sanctuary for many kinds of flora and fauna.

The operator has also committed to becoming even more sustainable and last year, reduced its CO2 emissions by 11%, increased recycling, put 67% less waste into landfill and reduced hazardous waste by 50%.