Honey bees in solar parks could boost agriculture by ‘millions of pounds a year’

Strategic deployment of bee hives could provide pollination services while making the most of land already in use – it’s a win-win – writes Harry Cockburn

Tuesday 19 October 2021 20:35
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<p>Honey bees living on solar farms could bring major benefits to farmers, researchers say</p>

Honey bees living on solar farms could bring major benefits to farmers, researchers say

British agriculture could receive a boost worth millions of pounds a year if thousands of honeybee hives were located in solar parks across the country, scientists have said.

Rising demand for solar power as the UK targets growth in clean energy ahead of its legally-binding 2050 net zero plan, has seen the expansion of large grassy parks covered with solar panels, many of which are situated close to areas of intensive agriculture.

A team of researchers from Lancaster University and the University of Reading said these parks present a unique opportunity for bringing about further environmental and economic benefits, and have quantified the potential benefits and costs of installing honeybee hives on these solar parks across the UK for the first time.

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