Sponsor A Manchester Bee

by Three Bees Coop
Rewards

About the project

Goals

Tipping Point £1,000
Honeybees at the Secret Garden with a bike trailer £2,000
Final Target £3,000
£3,308
tipping point
£30.000
20%
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!
tipping point
25 hrs
12hrs
In-kind donations range from drinks to office supplies. We even accept homemade cakes. See what else we need!

More about the project

What is the social/environmental problem/issue that this project will address?
Decline in honeybee numbers Honeybees in the UK and all across the world are not having a good time of it at the moment. Increasing loss of habitat, agricultural monocultures, and the prevalence of pesticides and herbicides are all bad news for bees. Decline in Beekeeping Population Beekeeping is a tradition that dates back at least 4000 years. It is a mixture of practical craft and biological science. In general it is accepted that ‘wild’ honeybees no longer exist in the U.K, so beekeepers play a vital role in sustaining honeybee populations within our ecosystem. Despite this, beekeeper numbers have dropped significantly since the 1990s. Perhaps this is because nowadays, as well as managing colony size and honey stores, a large part of a beekeepers job is to protect honeybees from an increasing number of viruses and disease which can be challenging, stressful and sad, putting people off keeping bees. Poor quality and imported honey can be detrimental to national bee health and responsible beekeepers. These honies usually come from poorly managed, intensive bee farms. As the bees collect the honey from UK packaging facilities disease can spread to the local beekeeper. Loss of Biodiversity in local Parks due to Government funding Cuts Extensive and continued government cuts have meant matters of horticulture are often some of the lowest points on local council agenda. Plant life and biodiversity in parks is suffering, and access to diverse nature for people living in urban areas is being challenged as a result. Funding cuts to Parks and green spaces are more acutely felt by in the North of England than in the South. Severe budget pressures to local authorities are set to continue. Increased levels of Hay fever experienced throughout the UK.
Can you give us some statistics on this problem?
The European Commission in their EpiloBee study reported that mortality rates of bee colonies in the U.K over the winter 2012/2013 were 28.8%, some of the highest in Europe. While the University of Sussex, supported by the BBKA, estimate that there was a mean average of 21.9% colony loses in England and Wales between 2007 and 2010. In 2010 the International Bee Research Association estimated that there was a 31.4% decrease in the number of beekeepers in Europe between 1965 and 2005. It is estimated that 40% of imported honey contains spores of deadly viruses such as American foul brood. Imports such as these are way that the virus can enter the UK. “Over £75m has been cut from England's parks and open spaces since 2010, according to a report from the thinktank Policy Exchange. The cuts show a north-south divide, with spending reductions more than twice as great in the north and the Midlands than in the south.” The Guardian 19/11/2013 Around 25% of hay fever sufferers are allergic to tree pollen, traces of which can be found in local honey. It is widely considered that by eating local honey, hay fever can decrease the symptoms brought on by hay fever (a process called desensitisation).
What is your solution?
We will increase the number of colonies in our local area while also increasing the amount of forage available to them. A simple pollination equation: More pollinators = more plants for pollinators, more plants for pollinators = more pollinators. We are a co-operative of young beekeepers. Our age goes against the trend of beekeeping perceived as a hobby for retirement. Our group, as well as increasing the number of beekeepers in general, could serve as an example to other young people to take up beekeeping seriously earlier in life. Providing locally produced honey would give people access to quality, ethical honey, and enable them to forgo low quality alternatives. We will increase the variety of pollinator plants in local parks and public spaces and see that these are maintained, bringing seasonal colour back to parks without relying on council authorities. We can make local honey accessible to hay fever sufferers.
How will you deliver this?
At first we will establish one hive in Longford Park, and care for the colony throughout the season with equipment and knowledge. At the honey harvest, we will make surplus honey stocks available to the Park community via the Park’s café. During the winter months we will introduce a variety of shrub species to the area surrounding the hives, giving the bees forage during flora space months. After testing the working relationship between the bees, park using community and council authorities we will propose the format to other South Manchester Parks with suitable areas for keeping bees. After the initial input, the project would be financially self-sustaining: profits generated by the sale of honey and soap items would go back into caring for the bees and their surrounding habitat.

Get involved

Here are some great ways to get involved with the project and help out. If you have...
  • 2 minutes
    Tell the person next to you that the bees need their help and let them know about our campaign and join our mailing list http://eepurl.com/FnpSj for future updates! Make a note of our website (www.bubblesbeesandbalms.co.uk) and come back to it every once in a while for bee news.
  • 5 minutes
    Find 5 people. Tell them about our project. Let them know that a single honeybee only makes 1/12th of a teaspoon of honey in its life. Spread the news of our campaign to your fiends on twitter @ThreeBeesCoop, facebook www.facebook.com/ThreeBeesCoop and other social media.
  • 15 minutes
    Find 15-20 people to tell about our project and bees. Let them know that a queen bee can lay up to 2,000 eggs in a day! Visit our website http://www.bubblesbeesandbalms.co.uk/, join our mailing list http://eepurl.com/FnpSj, feed the bees by getting a herb plant (chives, rosemary or mint) for your garden or windowsill.
  • 30 minutes
    Network! Let as many people as you can know about our project. Let them know that bees need their help. Let them know that by supporting us they are helping provide a home for 30,000- 120,000 honeybees and a rich biodiversity to keep the happy. Join our mailing list http://eepurl.com/FnpSj to keep updated about what we’re doing both in the hive and with our soaps. Buy local honey!
  • A few hours
    Plant a shrub! Focus on late and early flowerers, like mahonia and berberis, as they provide 1000s of flowers for bees, and only take an hour each year to look after. Let people know about our project and know that we’re planting over 1,000 bee-friendly flowers in Platt Fields Park in Manchester, and that they can do their bit to help bees. Visit our website http://www.bubblesbeesandbalms.co.uk/, join our mailing list http://eepurl.com/FnpSj for regular updates on our project.
  • Regular time commitment
    Join Three Bees Coop! and help bees. We plant bee-friendly flowers, keep bees, and make useful products from the wax and honey. We can never have too much help at any of these stages. Buy local honey and plant Plant PLANT!

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About the organisation

Vision and mission

1. To help bees, grow and supply pollinator-friendly plants, give direct support to the local bee-economy and allow others to help support their local environment. 2. To use materials provided by bees (honey, wax, etc), along with other natural ingredients, and otherwise ‘waste’ materials to make high quality soaps, massage bars and lip balms for sale, providing local employment and a means to deliver on wider goals. 3. To teach and educate people about bees and their link to the environment, helping the community to learn, discover and create. 4. To campaign and raise awareness about bees through our membership, partners and wider networks.

Geographical coverage

Within a city/shire

Who do we help?

Local Bee Populations People who enjoy Local Parks and want to see them cared for Young people Existing beekeepers