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Colleagues from Asda Newport been helping the island’s bee population by collecting waste sugar from the store and donating it to local beekeepers.

Community champion Clare Jones and store manager Kenny Farrell visited the Isle of Wight Beekeepers Association to drop off buckets of sugar which colleagues collect after it spills from sugar packets either en route to the store or on the shop floor.

Clare and Kenny wore beekeeping suits as the group explained to them how the sugar is used to feed their bee colonies.

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Dave Cassell from the Isle of Wight Beekeepers Association said:

“Asda’s help is brilliant for a charity like ourselves. Normally we have to buy the sugar, and as the bees go through a huge amount of sugar it’s quite a drain on our budget.

“This sugar is very useful to feed our bees. Basically, sugar makes the queen lay more eggs.

“We’ve got about 15 hives, starting with around 5,000 bees per colony. They can go through four or five kilos of sugar in the form of syrup overnight. We’d hope to end up with between 60,000 and 80,000 bees in each colony.

“Our main aim is ecology, but the bees do produce honey too.”

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Clare Jones, community colleague at Asda Newport said:

“The association contacted us because they were struggling to feed their bee colony during the winter.

“To help them we save our sugar waste and send it to the beekeepers every fortnight. They’re so grateful. All the colleagues know about this and are on the lookout for waste sugar. They sweep it up and put it in special sugar collection buckets, then I take it round to the beekeepers.

“Most of the waste comes from broken sugar bags. Some sugar tends to end up on delivery pallets. Occasionally we get some from the shop floor.

“We normally donate two buckets a fortnight, each weighing around 30 pounds.

“The beekeeping suits weren’t very flattering, but we were delighted to see for ourselves how the sugar is helping them!”

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