First class honours in survival for University of London honeybees

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The rooftop honeybees are proving to be top of the class in the subject of survival and are adapting well to life at the University of London in Bloomsbury.

Honeybees on the roof of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies

Although there was a loss of one third of all UK honeybee colonies this spring, the University’s honeybee colonies, which were only small to start with, are building up nicely and are thriving in their Bloomsbury home.

The rooftop honeybees are proving to be top of the class in the subject of survival and are adapting well to life at the University of London in Bloomsbury.

Despite suggestions that urban beekeeping could be damaging to the bee population, the University’s honeybee colonies are growing in number and flourishing in their new urban surroundings on the roof of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, part of the University’s School of Advanced Study.

The project’s beekeeper, Camilla Goddard, explains, “Although there was a loss of one third of all UK honeybee colonies this spring, the University’s honeybee colonies, which were only small to start with, are building up nicely and are thriving in their Bloomsbury home. The honeybees look all set for winter.”

Since their arrival in June, the University’s honeybees have benefited from the good weather this summer as well as the abundance of natural forage available to them in Bloomsbury. The University of London is also working to ensure that more bee-friendly forage is being planted in the area, including the ‘Green Wall’ project which will see forage planted around what is now a construction site for the refurbishment of part of Senate House – home to the University of London.

With winter looming, the University’s honeybees are now busy filling their chambers with honey, and although they arrived late in the season, there should be plenty of reserves to see them through the winter and give them a head start in the spring.

Speaking on the University’s honeybee initiative and the difficulties facing the bee, Liz Bonnin, wildlife television presenter and University of London alumna, said, “We are extremely dependent on bees and yet human activity has led to a massive decline in their numbers. As we strive to quantify the impact of pesticides, modern agriculture and imported disease-carrying mites on bee populations, it's important to do all we can to support colonies.

“Every little helps, and this initiative is a wonderful way to add to honeybee numbers and enrich urban biodiversity. Beekeeping plays a vital role in the fight to protect our bees, and hopefully these Bloomsbury beehives will inspire others to get involved.”

-ENDS-

Notes for Editors

The University of London

  •      The University of London is a federation of 18 world renowned Colleges, comprising of multi-faculty Colleges, smaller specialist Colleges, Institutes and other academic bodies.
  •      Examples include: UCL, Heythrop College, the School of Advanced Study, the University of London Institute in Paris and the University of London International Programmes.
  •      The University was established by Royal Charter in 1836.
  •      The University was the first to offer degrees to students irrespective of religion, political belief or gender.
  •      In 1878 the University of London became the first university in the UK to admit women to study for its degrees.
  •      The University was also first to offer flexible distance learning, with the establishment in 1858 of the External System, now known as the University of London International Programmes.

The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies - School of Advanced Study

  •      The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies is one of the 10 research institutes of the School of Advanced Study.
  •      The School of Advanced Study is the UK's national centre for the support of researchers and the promotion of research in the humanities and social sciences.
  •      The Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, known as IALS, was founded in 1947 as a national academic institution serving all universities through its national legal research library.
  •      Its function is to promote, facilitate and disseminate the results of advanced study and research in the discipline of law, for the benefit of persons and institutions in the UK and abroad.
  •      For further information on the School of Advanced Study please see: http://www.sas.ac.uk.
  •      For further information on the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies please see: http://www.ials.sas.ac.uk.

The honeybee

For more information on the honey bee please see:

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Jessica Bull
University of London
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