From refugee bee-keepers to the social enterprise turning defunct loyalty cards into emergency bee feeders, here's a roundup of what went right for bees this year, on World Bee Day
Three colonies of bees that survived the devastating fire of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris are “thriving”, their keeper has confirmed.
The population, which is thought to number 30,000-45,000 bees across three hives, have been living in the rafters of the cathedral since 2013. They miraculously survived the fire in April 2019.
Beekeeper, Sibyle Moulin, had struggled to visit the hives in the latter part of 2019 because access to the damaged building was restricted. But she has since been able to check on the bees and has confirmed that they are doing well and preparing to produce honey this summer.
Once thought to be extinct in the UK, the black bee is reappearing thanks in part to refugee-run beekeeping projects.
Ali Alzein’s community-led beehive project, Bees & Refugees was founded to provide free beekeeper training and equipment to refugees living in the UK with the aim of establishing 20 native black bee colonies in west London.
Alzein maintains the hives and extracts the honey himself, but when the lockdown is lifted, he will encourage refugees to take ownership of the hives, many of which are located on private land donated to the initiative by Londoners.
A free app and website have been released by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust to try to get more people growing flowers for bumblebees and other pollinating insects.
With global crashes in insect numbers causing concern, a free online gardening resource to get more people growing flowers for bumblebees and other pollinating insects has been launched. The Bee kind app and online tool, which helps people across the UK choose the best plants for pollinators in their gardens, window boxes or community spaces, was announced this week at the RHS Chatsworth Flower Show in the Peak District by the Bumblebee Conservation Trust.
The revamped tool encourages people to install native ‘bee super plants’ such as apple trees, bugle, foxglove, lavender, and red clover.