London is such a stunning city when seen from different vantage points. The view from the top of the Royal Festival Hall is particularly stunning as you can see all the famous landmarks of London along the river like the London Eye, the Houses of Parliamenet, Big Ben and St Pauls further down the river. We recently were invited an event by Magners Cider where they launched the ‘Bee Aid Campaign” held on The Deck overlooking the Thames.
For our close encounter with the bees, we all had to don the space like bee keeping suits, complete with mesh helmet to inspect the 2 hives that they have placed on the roof terrace.
Bee keeping is a totally human created pastime and involves creating a false environment for honeybees to survive and procreate. In the US, beekeeping is multi million dollar industry where hive owners are known to travel with massive trucks of hive, driving around the country providing pollinating services to farms.
About 1.5 m hives are shipped in to California each year to pollinate the almond trees as there are no natural pollinators. Hive owner can charge up to US$150 per hive for a 2 week service. In the UK, we don’t have similar practices although bee keepers are known to locate their hives within orchards or near farms with the suitable vegetation.
Cider brand Magners has launched its ‘Magners Bee Aid’ campaign to help save 1.5m urban bees in the UK and Ireland. In association with the British Beekeepers Association, they are working to save the 1.5 million bees in UK and Ireland. Magners allow local beekeepers in Clomell to keep their honeybees among the trees in the apple orchard to help pollinate the trees that produce the apples that goes into the cider. hey are highly aware of the importance of honeybees and is launching this campaign to get more people interested in Beekeeping.
Why are Bees important to the economy.
Bee pollination is essential in helping to pollinate crops that produce over 60% of food crops, that generate up £200m revenue for the UK economy of enhanced productivity. In Europe, it is €10bn and worldwide the number is a staggering $200bn. With the decline in bee population due to the recent diseases, the population of bees are slowly declining.
The British Beekeepers Association are trying to encourage more urbanites to take up beekeeping. In London alone, there are over 2,500 beehives and but the numbers have been slowly declining. All you need is about 2 square meters of clear space in your garden or roof top to put in a beehive. It must be easily accessible and preferably with a lot of flowers and bee friendly plants around. The BBKA holds beekeeping classes around the country and you can get details here.
After spending an afternoon learning about the cultivation of bees, I am totally enamoured with the idea. It is not very difficult to do, as all you need is a queen bee and some soldier bees to help her collect pollen and food and to fertilise the eggs. Once the hive is built, it is just a mtter of maintenance. It’s like having thousand of pets who also make you delicious honey.
Win a Beekeeping Scholarship
Magners has teamed up with the British Beekeepers Association (BBKA) and the Federation of Irish Beekeepers Associations (FIBKA) to offer twenty-five Magners Facebook fans the chance to become fully-fledged urban beekeepers.
You can get involved and make a difference – for every action taken below Magners will make a donation that will save 50 honey bees:
- ‘Like’ the Magners ‘Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/magnerscider
- Download the free Magners iPhone or Android Bee Beard phone app (Terms and Conditions apply)
- Enter the competition to win one of the Magners Beekeeping Scholarships on facebook
More information on Beekeeping at British Beekeepers Association.