Atop City University’s ‘Innovation Centre’ now lives the university’s first beehive. On a grey and blustery afternoon, it seems an unfriendly location for honeybees. They survive, nonetheless, with the helping hand of beekeeper and thespian, Dr Luke Dixon. Luke runs Urban and Community Beekeeping, an organisation that cares for over 60 hives across London rooftops.
Luke is part of a movement bringing bees to busy Londoners in a bid to help replenish honeybee numbers in urban areas. Despite the seemingly never ending expanse of grey, honeybees are now thriving in cities with thanks to gardens bursting with a variety of flowers. Colonies in hives installed on top of law firms, hotels and universities like this one have more than enough sources of nectar to sustain them. To find out how they navigate this concrete jungle, stay tuned for the final documentary.
The bees are benefiting from a symbiotic relationship that Luke believes provides opportunity for students and businessmen alike to ‘reconnect with nature’.
The benefits of project like this are subtle, but noticeable if you look in the right places. Luke was involved with the placement of beehives around Hyde Park and had the pleasure of watching the surrounding forage enjoy a new lease of life with the introduction of a solid bee population. For the first time in years, the chestnut trees began to sprout conkers. A similar situation presented itself when beehives were placed in the garden of London’s Natural History Museum. “When we put the bees there, suddenly the holly started to produce holly berries which hadn’t been seen for years!”