Our successful four year partnership with the Co-op Group’s Plan Bee came to an end this year when we completed a year-long teaching course for the final cohort of 20 new beekeepers at the Camley Street apiary in King’s Cross. We also used Plan Bee funds to set up a new community apiary at Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park and taught 20 aspiring local apiarists, some of whom have formed the THCPbees group.
We continued work with the Honey Club in King’s Cross, teaching young people and business people about bees at new hives in the Skip Garden and taking part in many bee-related events.
A bee-themed pub quiz was one of the highlights of the year at Victoria Business Improvement District where we continue to help to make their environment more bee-friendly. We are also talking to a number of businesses across London about improving habitats and forage for bees and other pollinators.
We took part in the London pollinators’ forum which is feeding into the government’s national pollinator strategy to be announced in 2014.
We think trees have a huge role to play in making towns and cities more bee-friendly, so we have produced the Urban Bees’ Tree for Bees guide
We hosted visitors from around the world including architects in Toronto who are looking to London for inspiration to create bee caring communities, and Urban Bees’ work with Sir John Cass School in the City was featured in a photographic exhibition at the United Nations in Geneva.
Our taster days at Camley Street proved as popular as ever, as more and more people want to learn about bees. Training and education about honey bees and other pollinators will remain core to our work as we engage with more companies and organisations in the exciting year ahead. We will continue to work closely in 2014 with the London Wildlife Trust, who host our Camley Street training apiary, we will be teaming up with River of Flowers to try to create sustainable wild flower forage throughout the capital, and we will support the Bee Collective in its efforts to create a Bee Line through the capital.