Ben Di Giulio, a floods and coastal risk management officer, with his bees at the Denver complex.

There’s a ‘hive of activity’ at Denver with the addition of some bees to the Environment Agency’s flagship flood defence complex.

 Ben Di Giulio, a floods and coastal risk management officer for Norfolk, is buzzing as some on-site bee habitats are beginning to flourish.

Mr Di Giulio, who co-manages the complex, said: “At the heart of everything I do is biodiversity and how we can continually educate ourselves to do more and be better. 

“Around two years ago I began to develop a deep interest in bees and their decline. After quite a bit of research I noted we had the opportunity at Denver to really help the bee population; it was just a case of figuring out what we could incorporate to do more.”

He said funding was secured to purchase and install some on-site bee habitats. 

“These mimic a hollowed out tree and provide a safe and ideal environment for a colony of native bees to become established undisturbed.”

With an ambition to become a beekeeper, Mr Di Giulio has since managed to build his first national beehive and transfer a colony of Norfolk bees into it. 

Although he has a farming background, Mr   Di Giulio said: “I can honestly say there’s nothing even close to the experience of keeping bees. It’s quite involved, complex and there’s a lot of science to it, but it’s an extremely rewarding process. 

“So far, I can take great satisfaction in reporting that the bees are growing and doubling each week. The queen is laying lots of eggs, it’s a healthy colony and I’ve increased the complex bee population by around 3,000 bees.

“We also have a booming bat population and thanks to our hard work closely monitoring invasive species, native water birds have made a huge comeback to the area. We now have nesting great crested grebes once more, nesting swans, moorhens, coots and even the odd bittern.”

He added he was always looking for ways to help the complex become a flagship for the agency, in terms of increased habitat and biodiversity.