Creating a Real Buzz about Bees and our Bio-diverse roof

31 03 2014

Creating a Real Buzz about Bees and our Bio-diverse roof

Last week you could say the bee lovers of Manchester swarmed into Manchester Museum for the first in what we hope will be a series of events to discuss the development of a more joined up strategy for Greater Manchester’s urban bees. The fact that so many people are training as bee-keepers and siting hives in the most unusual of places is fantastic for the bee population – but might just prove too enthusiastic. The problem is that bees don’t really like to fly too far from the hive to collect pollen – and Manchester just doesn’t have enough green space to provide them with places to forage. The more bees we have, the more plants we need to help feed them!

That’s where the idea of a River of Flowers comes in. Some of the great cities of the world have been creating ‘roads for bees’ and Kathryn Lwin, Founder Director of London’s River of Flowers was on hand at the meeting to provide some inspiration. When Kathryn founded the London scheme (which you can find more about here: http://www.riverofflowers.org/) she knew hardly anything about bees. She certainly knows plenty about bees now – and was generous in sharing her knowledge and enthusiasm.

For two hours a room full of beekeepers, building managers and bee enthusiasts, discussed how we can make Manchester a more bee-friendly city. Lots of ideas for hive sites, forage sites, communication and education came out of round-table discussions. It was clear that there is enough enthusiasm to make something really great happen and The University of Manchester’s Sustainability Team , together with a whole host of partners, will be looking at how we can take forward the ideas from the meeting.

Anyone interested in joining the ongoing discussion should contact Emma Gardner, Head of Environmental Sustainability at the University of Manchester on emma.l.gardner@manchester.ac.uk

Areas designated for the Bio-diverse roof on the new Promenade

Areas designated for the Bio-diverse roof on the new Promenade

In the meantime, the Whitworth remains a great place, situated as it is in Whitworth Park, as a bee forage destination and work is progressing, as the image above shows, with creating a bio-diverse roof (alongside our existing green roof) – more information to follow, so watch this space.

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