The year kicked off with Urban Bees collaborating with artist Mike Bianco to bring his Hivecubator to the Science Gallery in London. The sculpture project is designed to harness the heat created by bees in a hive to grow human tissue culture in a dish. Urban Bees supplied the bees and ensured they weren’t harmed and could get in and out of the gallery through a tube at the back of he structure that led to the outdoors. The survival of the human cells is determined by the health of the bee colony highlighting a fragile collaboration between humans and bees that has existed for thousands of years.
In May, our latest bee book was published. The Good Bee: A celebration of bees and how to save them. We hope the beautiful design and illustrations, easy to read format and fascinating facts will introduce many new readers to the wonders of solitary bees and encourage more people to look our for them. “Enthralling and enlightening,” was how one reviewer described it. We so enjoyed being able to research these amazing bees and share our knowledge. Thanks to publisher, Michael O’Mara for giving us his opportunity. By the end of the year, The Good Bee was a bestseller on Amazon.
The summer brought Urban Bees new contracts, including one with Savills where we transformed a sad looking roof space into a year-round bee-friendly haven by filling a dozen planters with a variety of bulbs, perennials, shrubs and herbs. It didn’t take long for carder bees and buff-tailed bumblebees to find this new source of food in the city of London.
Meanwhile those nice people at Lush made a Bee Movie of the work we’ve been doing transforming their roof into a bed and breakfast for bees, with food and habitat for solitary bees. And the Sunday Telegraph paid a visit to the Lush roof and wrote a lovely article showing readers how to help solitary bees. Radio 4 Today presenter and bee lover, Martha Kearney, dropped in to our back garden to record an item on helping solitary bees in the inner-city.
But it will take more than making towns and cities bee-friendly to save nature’s master pollinators. Transforming farming is essential. So we were delighted to be invited to give a talk at the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development on the importance of pollinators to farming. In addition Urban Bees ‘meet the bee’ sessions at clients KPMG and Coutts Bank may be helping to influence the leaders of tomorrow.
It was another good year for Regents Park honey, although it got off to a slow start. After the harvest, we hosted a cheese and honey tasting event for one of our most loyal clients, La Fromagerie. After visiting the hives and learning how the bees make honey, the participants came to our storeroom where tables were laid with delicious cheeses and honeys that complemented each other. It was a memorable event and one we hope to repeat.
As 2019 draws to a close we look forward to working with new and existing clients in the coming year and to contribute in our own very small way to help pollinators and people on the planet.