7th August 2013
The Bee Project to promote awareness of the importance of bees in urban areas
The Bee Project, run by Blackburne House for Women and The British Beekeepers
Association, aims to protect our
bee population and encourage people across the country to learn valuable
beekeeping skills. This fantastic project received £85,979 from our players to help its founders achieve their goals.
Bees pollinate plants which in turn creates food for insects
and humans. Sadly, recent research shows that bee populations are declining
more than ever before as a result of harsh weather conditions and the
widespread use of harmful pesticides. From handing out flat-pack beehives and
arranging beekeeping courses for locals, The Bee Project aims to fight against
this disturbing decline.
"Our main core business is education and we
like to train women right the way through to employment skills as well",
said Andrea Rushton, Head of Maintenance and Construction at Blackburne House. "We also like to do innovative projects
especially around the environment."
Speaking specifically about The Bee Project, Andrea
continued, "We've already created 50 new
beekeepers and as a result of the
project and the funds from People's Postcode Lottery, we've been able to distribute
many, many hives. Our aim is to continue to sustain the project and we want
a larger impact across a wider area."
The Project's organisers are keen to emphasise the ways in which the urban environment can be transformed to help decelerate global warming and climate change. More beehives will also result in a plentiful supply of flowers which improves the aesthetic appeal of cities.
Lesley Reith, Beekeeping Tutor at The Bee Project, teaches
her pupils about the important role that bees play in our everyday lives. "One
in three mouthfuls of food that we take has been pollinated by a bee. With
the harsh winters that we've been having, we've lost great populations of bees
so where we can help them is by helping them thrive and to create more colonies."
The Bee Project not only helps nature conservation, it also offers
local women the opportunity to develop
lifelong skills and enhance their confidence. As Lesley notes, "The Bee Project is going to have a
significant, and is already having a significant, impact on the local community
around Merseyside. We're bringing together so far about 50 new beekeepers who
have never done it before, who are now going to also be able to go out and
mentor the next generation of beekeepers."
By passing on their knowledge and experience to future
generations, these beekeepers are helping to protect bees and our food chain. Experts
like Lesley are also on hand to offer community groups and housing associations
advice on gardening practices.
The Bee Project is one of the many community projects to receive financial support from players of People's Postcode Lottery. Through its success in promoting environmental sustainability, this project was announced as a funded programme in this year's Dream Fund. Applications for Dream Fund 2014 will be accepted from 5th August 2013 and can be made through the People's Postcode Trust website.