How Island Roads Is ‘Bee-ing’ Friendly To Insects In Lake

By Jack Hong

Ceramic tubes are being added to a retaining wall, between Brownlow and Ranelagh Roads in Lake, to provide ‘homes’ for a population of bees.

Part of an ongoing partnership with Sandown’s Artecology, Island Roads says it is a bid to protect the vital insects.

Chester George of Artecology, Bob Seely MP and Jason Boulter

The Island’s MP was among those to see the idea first hand this week. Bob Seely is a former beekeeper.

Ian Boyd of Artecology said:

“This is a really useful practical step to add habitat for solitary bees into the built environment. Often it is the simple measures that are the most effective and we are delighted to, once again, be working with Island Roads to incorporate a feature that benefits wildlife.”

Previously Island Roads has worked with Artecology and its sister-company Arc Consulting, to create an award-winning ‘Eelevator’ (to assist migrating eels as they travel up the watercourse beneath Holbrooke’s Bridge at Bouldnor).

The two organisations also worked together to install tubes in walls at La Falaise car park. In Ventnor, Island Roads worked with Appuldurcombe-based Eagle Eye, to put in lizard-tubes at The Terraces in Ventnor.

Ian Hodson, Island Roads structures manager, said:

“Traditionally, highway engineers may not have instinctively looked at  including environmental improvements in schemes, but…we look for ways to improve the habitats for wildlife wherever possible.”

Jason Boulter who is Island Roads’ project manager on the Lake Hill scheme, said:

“Bee populations across the UK are in decline so it is only right that we take up opportunities like this to give them a helping hand here on the Island. This shows how engineering work that benefits road users can also take on board the needs of local wildlife.”