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Bees at UWE. The Honeybee They have been around for 35-45 million years (Homo sapiens have only been around for 200,000 years) Bees were worshiped by.

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Presentation on theme: "Bees at UWE. The Honeybee They have been around for 35-45 million years (Homo sapiens have only been around for 200,000 years) Bees were worshiped by."— Presentation transcript:

1 Bees at UWE

2 The Honeybee They have been around for million years (Homo sapiens have only been around for 200,000 years) Bees were worshiped by ancient cultures such as the Egyptians, Greek and the Mayans One worker bee produces 1/12 of a teaspoon in its lifetime Honeybees are Polylectic – which means they pollinate a variety of crops Colony consist of: – Queen Bee: Mother of all the bees in the hive – Worker bee: Female bee responsible for nectar and pollen gathering, nursing, or hive construction. – Drone: Male bee responsible for mating (They are also unable to sting)

3 Why are bees important? One of the worlds most invaluable species – 250,000 species of flowering plant rely on bees for pollination Food (70% of our crop diet – e.g. Coffee, Chocolate) Medicines Clothes (Cotton) Berries and Seeds which feed species further down the food chain If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man. – Albert Einstein

4 Life without Bees? Hand pollination in South West China Intensive farming, excessive pesticide use and lack of natural habitat has forced farmers to pollinate high- value crops with paintbrushes and pots of pollen by hand. ….but unfortunately theres not enough humans in the world to pollinate all of our crops by hand.

5 What about in the UK? Wild honeybees are nearly extinct in the UK and honeybee survival depends on beekeepers – There are half the amount of beekeeper than there were 25 years ago From there was a 53% decline in managed honeybee colony numbers – Who is to blame? Parasites and disease Climate Change Air Pollution Pesticides

6 Conventional Beekeeping Vs Natural Beekeeping Conventional For the last 150 years beekeeping has been compared to intensive farming Maximum honey production Replace honey with sugar water during the winter Artificial breeding Suppression of natural reproduction Frequent hive inspections Chemical treatments Usually around 30% of the colony is lost during the winter Natural Hands-off approach Bee-colony is respected as a whole- organism, the Bien. The colony is sustained on their own honey during the winter, only excess honey is harvested, if at all The hives used reflect the needs of the colony and its essential form. With natural beekeeping methods all colonies have been know to survive the winter on numerous occasions. Put it in another way, conventional beekeepers demand control over nature; natural beekeepers follow a path of trust in nature. – Gareth, Cotswold

7 Example of a Natural Beehive

8 So why should we keep bees at UWE.? Promote awareness of bees and sustainability Potential interest into further research Pollinate the wild flower around campus (up to 4 miles away from the hive) Build a relationship with the local and wider community – Workshops – Visits by local community groups and schools – Beekeeping courses The introduction of bees to UWE has the potential to create a buzz around campus by bringing students from different faculties together in the design and build of UWEs very own natural, sustainable beehive.

9 Who will be responsible? During early phases UWE people and planet and the Green Leaders will take responsibility of the hive, but as the project progresses different roles will become available. We will have help and support from local bee keepers, bee Bristol project and Bristol Bee keepers association.

10 What we would like to see at UWE Bee Hotel – For solidary bees Sun hive or similar alternative hives – for honeybees

11 The next steps… Members of the UWE people and planet and Green leaders will be undertaking a Natural Beekeeping Course during the summer to understand what is needed to achieve this project. Discuss with experts in the Bee world about the most viable option for UWE and put a plan of action forward. Decide what type of Bees best suit UWE. Start a blog- raising profile of Bees on campus to engage with students and gain interest and create excitement. Our intentions are to get Bees on campus over the summer to showcase to Freshers and create excitement- with the intention of opening up the design of a bee hotel for a further colony to students as part of a design module.

12 What we need to know Identify a piece of land on campus to home the hives Assess the amount of wildflower on campus Have two action days to prepare the land and plant wildflower to insure the Bees have enough food to feast on. (River of flowers) Assess what type of bees – wild- maintained or both- British black bee- native UK – wiped out in 70s replaced by European bees- UWE could support the native bee. Get a break down of costs for start ups

13 Thank you for listening! For more information please contact:


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