The Story Behind Chippindale’s Bee Friendly Farms

We have ambitious plans for growing the number of Bee Friendly Eggs that we produce.

30th May 2016

Chippindale Foods was established in the 1930s and has evolved from a working family farm in Yorkshire to become a major producer of high quality free range eggs, operating from a purpose-built 55,000sq ft eco friendly egg packing facility just a few miles from where it all started.

Our farming heritage means we care deeply about the agricultural community and this led us to develop a unique partnership with the Bumblebee Conservation Trust (BBCT) in 2013 to launch our Bee Friendly Farm scheme.

As the first food producer to enter into a partnership of this kind, we have worked closely with the BBCT to learn as much as we can about bees. This has helped us enormously as we have started to develop bee-friendly habitats on Chippindale’s egg producing farms in Yorkshire and the north east of England.

The bumblebee has seen its numbers fall drastically since the 1930s, with two species becoming extinct in the UK.  Free range egg farms provide an ideal opportunity for the creation of wildflower habitats and our farmers have been hugely supportive of our mission to help the British bumblebee.

Establishing bee habitats isn’t always easy. There can be all sorts of issues such as pigeons eating the seed and the habitat not taking properly. The BBCT works closely with Peter Chignell and Richard Pearson from Chippindale foods and they in turn support our farmers.

We are also committed to monitoring the habitats our farmers are planting. This is a long term process that will demonstrate how the scheme is influencing the variety of species and bumblebee numbers over time.

Our hope is that as more wildflower areas are established, bumblebees will have access to the pollen and nectar they need from the wildflowers and farmers will notice more bumblebees and other wild pollinators which could increase yields of pollinated crops.

We have ambitious plans for growing the number of Bee Friendly Eggs that we produce. By steadily increasing the percentage of our free range eggs that come from bee friendly farms, more consumers will have the option to choose Bee Friendly Eggs which means we can all do our bit to support bumblebees.