This blog documents the story of the Bee Limerick Group and their quest to introduce honey bees back into the city centre of Limerick. Bee Limerick along with its partners are also involved in planting native Irish flowers, shrubs and trees to create a resilient urban ecology.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

City Council Bee Initiative in Newcastle, U.K.

It seems we are not alone at Bee-Limerick in our quest to halt the decline of honey bees. The Newcastle City Council in the U.K. is rolling out a very exciting Bee Aware strategy to address the issue of declining bees. They have carried out an amazing amount of work since being established in January 2010.

Alison Benjamin from the Guardian and a renowned author on the topic visited the city recently to see what was happening; she was very impressed as to all the work being carried out and is now helping to promote their work more widely.

In future we will be looking to share some experience and even visit some of the work in Newcastle. This will be a great opportunity to share knowledge and hopefully build a lasting partnership.

Given the global nature of the issue, the Newcastle group are looking to create a countrywide and in the long term (hopefully) a European wide partnership to tackle the issue. They have already begun contacting UK authorities and initiatives. Bee Limerick will definitely be the Irish connection with the view to rolling out the same project here.

The Newcastle group have a great Bee Aware website and is really worth a visit J

A Bee Steering Group has been established consisting of: Local bee keepers, Newcastle University, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Allotment Holders, The Great North Museum and a number of other interested parties.

Their Objectives include:

  • To raise awareness of the situation with residents and encourage them to be more Bee Friendly
  • To establish a baseline as to where bees are at present
  • To increase the number of bees in the city by providing the conditions to allow them to flourish and by installing bee homes

Various work streams have been established.  These include
  • Homes and Habitats
  • Communication, Awareness and Engagement
  • Education and Training

It makes it all the more worth while when we see other groups trying to achieve similiar objectives. And most importantly of all - if similiar projects catch on throughout Ireland, U.K. and the rest of Europe - there may be hope for our bees yet :)

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