Why bees are dying

A great TEDtalk with some advice for us all to help bees

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Mail Online article

Here is the article – Keeping bees in cities could actually be BAD for them: City hives run the risk insect starvation | Mail Online by @UC Browser http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2392608/Keeping-bees-cities-actually-BAD-City-hives-run-risk-insect-starvation.html

The shock headline for this article is meant to draw your attention, what should have been made more prominent is the actual meaty goodness in there about the need for bee friendly planting! The inner city can be fairly sparse so rooftop gardens, balconies and window box gardens are needed all the more.  We are lucky in Belfast to have such a wonderful forest of street trees maintained by the city council.  The main variety we find is lime, which gives a beautiful tasting honey, but there are many species of tree across the city which supplement the nectar sources available to the honeybee.

So keep on planting people!

What is Belfast City Bee?

The world has changed and, like it or not, beekeeping has changed.  There are some who would carry on regardless, doing the same old things that traditional beekeeping has set in stone, unfortunately for us (and more importantly the bees) we need to break the mould and adapt to the changes around us in order for survival.

The idyllic picture of a country garden with a beehive or two is perhaps a dream for some.  However, the changing agricultural practices mean that not all country sites are suitable for the honeybee.  Setting the pesticide debate to one side we notice that farming has become largely monoculture which gives a short window of booming nectar flow for the bees and then a famine for the rest of the season.  However, in the city and its suburbs people grow all types of flowers and plants in their gardens/window boxes and even the parks and recreation land have great variety of flora on offer.

That’s where City Bee comes into play.  We are a not-for-profit organisation that wishes to link urban landowners with beekeepers for mutual benefit and ultimately an environmental positive.  Habitat lost through the development of cities can be reclaimed in many ways in the urban environment! From rooftop garden apiaries, window boxes planted with bee-friendly flowers, unused sites housing hives, to scrub land being reclaimed for nature, all can have an impact on the noble honeybee.

Whether you are a beekeeper in the city of Belfast, have a property that may be suitable, or even just a guerilla gardener then please get in touch to join with us in reclaiming the city for the bee!