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No Bees at Birkbeck - Yet!

No Bees at Birkbeck - Yet!

SOAS bees

Unlike SOAS, who have beehives on their roof garden, cared for by environmentally minded SOAS students (SOAS student Beekeeping Society), funded by HEFCE, Birkbeck Malet Street has yet to invite bees to join part-time students at our campus. Beekeeping is a daytime activity, and busy-bee Birkbeck part-time students have little time in the daylight hours to give bees the careful attention they need.
Birkbeck is a member of Greenthing, the Bloomsbury Colleges joint environment consortium which includes Birkbeck, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and SOAS. Bees are currently at the centre of Bloomsbury Greenthing’s efforts to protect biodiversity in the Bloomsbury area. Birkbeck is planning to place two beehives on the new Stratford building in collaboration with the University of East London, which held a conference in 2010 entitled ‘Wild in the City – celebrating urban biodiversity’.
Birkbeck, Malet Street is not in a position to house a bee hive but Birkbeck could contribute to Bloomsbury’s environmental efforts by providing nectar for SOAS bees by sowing bee-friendly wild flowers on Birkbeck’s 5th floor eatery roof, or around the George Birkbeck bar terrace, creating a colourful environment for summer visitors to Birkbeck’s terraces, insect, human, or other. Any students or staff interested in supporting this project should contact Birkbeck UCU at Birkbeck UCU is collaborating with the SOAS Beekeeping Society, Birkbeck’s Department of Geography, Environment and Development Studies, and Birkbeck Students’ Union to bring this project to Birkbeck for the summer of 2017.
The Beekeeping Project will give Birkbeck students and staff an opportunity to learn more about bees, through visiting the hives or taking part in training in practical beekeeping.

Birkbeck UCU Environment Officer visited the SOAS bees on 22 June to see how Birkbeck can support SOAS bees by adding to their garden of marigolds, corn blossom, poppies and wallflowers. Bees travel up to 3 miles for nectar, so Birkbeck is well within range.

Bees are an essential part of our food system, yet our agricultural practices are putting bees under threat. Pesticides and monoculture have increased the incidence of pests and diseases affecting bees. Colony collapse is now common, posing a serious risk to food production. Bees have become both an ecological issue and also a major social concern. Help us to contribute to supporting the bee population.