Honeybees, which are essential to our food chain, are under a lot of pressure and the quantity of colonies in the UK is in serious decline; Leicestershire lost at least 45% of its bees in the rotten winter of 2012/13. So eco-minded beekeepers are always trying to get new colonies established to replace those lost each year.
Two (or more) local beekeepers are looking for a place in the city boundary and hoping that Transition Leicester members may know of some place where bees can live. Could you suggest/offer the bees a home?
Not every garden, allotment or piece of waste ground is suitable for bees so an experienced beekeeper would have to come and check any potential site out before a colony could be placed:
- The area needs to be reasonably secure to prevent the public from getting close to the hives in the interest of their own safety and to make it harder for vandals/thieves to do their worst.
- The beekeeper will need independent access; it’s not generally practical for householder/owner to have to be present in order for the beekeeper to gain access.
- The site should not be prone to flooding
- There should be no public/private paths in the immediate vicinity.
- High (6 feet+) solid fences, hedges or walls are a bonus!
Note: the hive location doesn’t have to be covered in wild flowers to be suitable. The bees will find suitable forage and love the large mature trees (on places like New Walk for example) that are found in cities. Urban bees continue to hold their own compared to their countryside cousins as there is generally a greater range of food sources (such as big trees) and they are not routinely treated with pesticides.
For the Leicester and Rutland Bee Keepers’ Association: http://www.lrbka.org/contacts.htm