Peterborough foodbank buzzing after beekeeper’s donation

Having kept bees for 10 years, Ecologist Justin Tilley (41), from Woodston, normally gives his jars of honey to friends and family but this year wanted to support Peterborough’s food bank after hearing of all they’ve done during the pandemic.

Saturday, 29th August 2020, 4:58 am
Ecologist Justin Tilley

Inspired by the ‘invaluable’ work that the food bank is doing Justin hoped he and his bees could make a difference.

He keeps one hive at Palmerston Road allotments and another at Nene Park Ferry Meadows.

Selling the jars at £8 each, Justin recognised the cost was higher than supermarket brands but hoped the community would rally around the cause.

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Justin's bees.

He has been ‘blown away’ by the support and Justin sold out of his jars within only three days, donating £300 to the Peterborough food bank.

Trying to keep up with demand Justin went well over his initial target of £200.

Justin said: “The community have really got behind this, I sold over half of my stock in one day!

“The main thing was that I wanted to do something that helped support others during this really difficult time. There are a lot of parallels between a hive and Peterborough as a community- the idea of working together, treating each other as equals and making sure everyone is fed and cared for. No-one should be going hungry in our city but so many people are struggling.”

Justin's honey.

Not only helping the foodbank, the honey sale has had a positive effect on opening conversations up about bees and the wider environment, Justin added: “It’s great that the people of Peterborough are wanting to help those in need via the excelled work of the food bank but also that they care about the environment.

“I’ve had lots of conversations with people about bees and how important nature has been for them during the challenges of lockdown.”

Incredibly pleased with the unique way of fundraising the Foodbank were grateful for the money donation.

Juliet Welch, Community Action Project Manager, Peterborough Food Bank said: “It is lovely when local people wish to support their foodbank, and we are really appreciative of Justin and his hard work in supporting Peterborough Foodbank through the sales of his honey. We are truly appreciative.”

Justin is considering doing fundraising again when he is next able to, as the bees have to maintain a certain amount of honey in their hive to support them throughout the winter.